Sunday, April 14, 2013

HELLBENDERS (2012) movie review

Hellbenders (2012) d. Petty, J.T. (USA)

I’ve been a fan of writer/director Petty since his minimalist debut, Soft for Digging, and while his budgets have grown (slightly) he continues to value chewy ideas and colorful performances over the mannered and generic. His latest effort follows The Augustine Interfaith Order of Hellbound Saints (based in Brooklyn naturally), an organization whose dedicated efforts are to sin as much as possible on a regular basis in order to insure their damnation. The reason being that should their more austere brethren encounter a demonic presence too powerful to exorcise, the AIOHS can invite the entity inside and immediately thereafter commit suicide, literally dragging the evil back to Hell.

This brilliant premise, rife with comic possibilities, is explored to its fullest by Petty (who adapted the script from his graphic novel) and his stellar journeyman cast, led by an extremely game Clancy Brown. Sinning with positive intentions hasn’t been this much fun since Alex de la Iglesias’ Dia de la Bestia – adding up to another point in the “win” column for the feisty independent auteur.

--Aaron Christensen, HorrorHound Magazine

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