Alternative Cinema // 2011 // 76 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Alice Nelson // May 24th, 2013
Note to self: erase this movie from your memory as soon as you finish writing the review!
This is the second anthology film I've reviewed in as many weeks, and it looks like I shoulda stuck with just one. Road Hell does anthology movies a disservice -- in fact it does films in general a disservice. Bad acting, awful writing, and disgusting images all make for a DVD experience that will unfortunately be singed into my frail memory for far too long.
Doug (Jim Hazelton) and Bea (Jaclyn Marfuggi) are unhappily wedded, and have decided to go to the Hamptons for the weekend. On the way, they stop at a rundown motel operated by the very bizarre and incredibly disgusting Dickey Sussex (John Link). Bea and Doug aren't thwarted by Dickey's psychotic behavior, and after they check in the couple become victims of some kind of supernatural experience that inexplicably brings the three strange tales of Road Hell to life.
I'm sure you figured out by now, dear reader, this isn't going to be a positive review. But let me say up front that I understand that movie making is no easy process, and I appreciate the efforts of even the makers of Road Hell. Having said that, I'm going to suggest you steer clear of this movie at all costs, and if you, by some horrible accident of fate find yourself in possession of this DVD, do not, I repeat, do not subject others to it. If I can prevent just one person from ever seeing this film, it will all been worth it.
Road Hell begins with "The Happy Couple," and really it could've done without this one altogether. Its existence takes what could've been just a very bad horror flick and gives the whole thing a weird porno vibe. Doug and Bea get a room at a very strange motel where the owner with the suggestive name of Dickey Sussex greets his guests while masturbating into a plastic sheep. Then we're treated to scenes of Bea evacuating her bowels and Doug pleasuring himself while watching TV -- lovely. This wrap around short is meant to tie the others in the collection together, but it doesn't do that at all -- in fact, it muddies the waters even more. There really isn't one thing redeeming about "The Happy Couple," on top of all I've already mentioned, it contains some of the worst acting in the free world -- and that's saying something considering the 4th rate performances in the other shorts.
"The One" is only marginally better than "The Happy Couple." The story revolves around Derek and his twin brother, Dwayne, who is killed by a seductive vampiress in search of 'The One.' Who that special someone is and even what being 'The One' means, gets mixed up in a muddled and disjointed script that flips back and forth between the past and present so incoherently, that I had to watch this thing twice in order to figure out what happened. But there is one bright spot in "The One," and that is the worst choreographed fight scene I can remember ever seeing; it's so bad you can't help but enjoy it. Derek and the vampiress have a final showdown, and when the dust settles, Vampira is killed by Derek with a stake -- not to the heart, but to her right side-boob instead, then the stake dangles from her chest as if it's glued directly on the skin. Sorry, this may be a spoiler of sorts, but it won't lessen the funny if you choose to watch it yourself.
"Deep Into The Rabbit Hole" has a cast made up entirely of pre-teens, who do their darndest with what they're given -- but that's the problem, they're not given very much. Billy (Dylan Cleary), Roberta (Gianna Hodes), and Tommy (Joseph LeVinnes) are searching the woods for a menacing creature that killed another young boy and Billy's beloved dog Max. Now Billy wants revenge, and he intends on finding and killing this beast before it kills again. After what seems like an eternity, we finally get to see what is terrorizing the majestic woods, but when the monster is shown, the reveal is so laughable that it would've been far better not to have shown the damn thing at all.
The last of the bunch is a walking dead short called "Zombies Zombies Everywhere." Dan 'The Man' Spencer (Edward X. Young) is a zombie hunter in a small town that has become overrun by them. It is the best of the four vignettes because it doesn't take itself too seriously. It's a lighthearted piece where Dan gets calls from a dispatcher who reports to him as if he's the town sheriff, there to protect the citizens from the zombie infestations. Dan's goal is simple: find the zombie hive yes hive and destroy it; he believes this will rid the town of the zombie hordes forever.
This 1.78:1 standard def presentation looks and feels like a low-budget adult movie, while the Dolby Stereo audio lacks any kind of depth or clarity; especially in the short "The One," where the bad soundtrack overshadows the even worse dialogue. Extras include uncut versions of the shorts, without "The Happy Couple," wrap around -- thank goodness, as the shorts were much more enjoyable without it.
Sometimes there are good 'bad' movies that despite their many flaws hold a certain kind of charm that we enjoy. Then there are films that are just bad, and this is the case with Road Hell, a movie so flawed I suggest we let it die, and never resuscitate it ever again.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Alternative Cinema
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 76 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Bonus Shorts
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