Hell Fire (2012)

Hell Fire posterEvery so often a horror movie comes along that’s not afraid to mess round with the formula. It takes a new approach to storytelling and character development and is completely successful at giving the viewer something new. HELL FIRE is such a film. I can’t remember the last time I has so much fun watching a horror flick!! HELL FIRE is loaded with action, horror, gore, bad ass characters, and has a plot that keeps you hooked until the last frame. This is writer-director Marc Fratto’s sophomore feature length film (his first being 2006’s ZOMBIES ANONYMOUS) and I can’t wait to see what Fratto’s mind comes up with next!!

The story begins by introducing the film’s main star – The Antichrist. Yes, The Antichrist (J. Scott Green). But this Antichrist isn’t your typical fire-breathing, death-dealing biblical figure. He’s a guy who learned at a young age that his father is Satan and that dear old dad has some big plans for him. Slowly he begins to develop his birth-rite powers, but like anyone learning something new, he needs lots of practice. The first thing he masters is reading people’s thoughts. The Antichrist then proceeds to introduce to us a gang of prostitutes with whom he crossed paths with and who figure prominently in his dad’s grand plans. There’s Phoebe (Kasey Williams), a.k.a, Cinnamon, a failed actress who now turns tricks to support herself and her addiction; Shanice (Jennice Carter), a.k.a, Destinee, who got knocked up when young, botched an attempt at a self-abortion, and is now turning tricks; Justine (Katelyn Marie Marshall), a.k.a., Fyre, who tried rescuing her little sister (Mindy Wedner) from their pedophile father but ended up losing her to a brutal pimp; and Rosetta … just Rosetta (Selene Beretta). The Antichrist can’t seem to read Rosetta’s mind and just writes her off as “not being important.” Bad move Antichrist!! The two things these girls have in common is that they’re whores and that Gabriel (Chris Davis), a.k.a., Dark Gabe, is their pimp. Dark Gabe is also a low-level drug dealer that The Antichrist gets his weed from.

Don't get on Rosetta's bad side!!

Don’t get on Rosetta’s bad side!!

The girls are tired of whoring themselves out and get wind that Dark Gabe is putting together the biggest deal he’s ever set up. Rosetta estimates that it’s at least a six-figure deal. So the gals plan to rob Gabriel in order to start new lives. And if you think these four ‘tutes aren’t committed to the idea then you’ve got another thing coming!! These girls are brutal and will stop at nothing in order to carry out their plan. The initial kidnapping doesn’t go quite as planned and becomes more of a bloodbath, but they do manage to drive away with one hostage. Lucky for them the hostage is the guy that Dark Gabe was making the deal with. Oh yeah … the hostage is also, you guessed it, The Antichrist!! They hole up in the remote cabin of one of Rosetta’s tricks (he likes having his balls punched) as they try to extract the info out of their captive. Rosetta is the acting “info extractor,” a.k.a, the torturer, and there’s no pain she won’t dish out to get the information she wants. Beretta’s Rosetta is one of my favorite female characters in any horror film!! She’s got a mouth that would make a marine-biker-chef blush, ninety percent of the things she says is sarcasm, she’s brutal, and she’s hot. After Rosetta violently knocks out another character she looks at them on the floor and says, “That’s for kicking my in the vag … you know I need that for work!!” I think I fell in love with this character, people!! She’s also not quite the person she at first seems to be (I’m not gonna say anything else about this).

Hell Fire3After enduring a lot of pain at the hands of Rosetta, The Antichrist finally gets a chance to focus and this is when the real fun starts. He starts summoning demons to kill these gals and get the upper hand but these girls don’t give in to easily. From this point on HELL FIRE gets even crazier, gorier, and more fun. At times it feels like TALES FROM THE CRYPT PRESENTS: DEMON KNIGHT while other times there are elements from THE FINAL CONFLICT. HELL FIRE might borrow elements from other films but it incorporates them into something entirely new, fresh, and, as I said many times above, fun as hell. The demon make-up is fantastic, the gore is splashy and plentiful, and there’s such an abundance of violent fight scenes that I’m surprised Tipper Gore isn’t resurrecting her censorship campaign!! What I really enjoyed in HELL FIRE is that it never for a second takes itself seriously. Fratto knows exactly what he wants this film to be and he achieves it. The violence is in many ways comic book-esque as the girls fight off the demons and get severely fucked up doing so!!

J. Scott Green jas a blast as The Antichrist!!

J. Scott Green jas a blast as The Antichrist!!

Besides actress Selene Beretta’s (Rosetta) outstanding performance, J. Scott Green’s Antichrist is a terrific character as well. Green has so much fun playing his character that it becomes infectious. His slight twangy accent sounds a little like Matthew McConaughey and he’s got the attitude and swagger in his walk to back up his grand legacy. I also really liked this particular portrayal of The Antichrist. He’s not a supreme being that no one can harm or get the upper hand on. He’s still coming into his powers and even though he’s having fun doing so he’s also still vulnerable to pain – a fact Rosetta takes full advantage of. I also love how The Antichrist gets into the heads of all the girls and uses their weaknesses against them. In one scene the blood of one of the ‘tutes mixes with The Antichrist’s blood and produces a demon version of the girl. And then she battles her evil self. It’s fantastic!!

Hell Fire1Fratto also gives us a rather unique theological perspective. Basically, God didn’t create human beings, Satan did and God screwed it all up by giving human beings’ souls. I loved this new take on the bible and thought Fratto gave us a new, creative twist. And don’t think this is all just mindless violence and gore with nothing else to offer. The central plot of what The Antichrist is trying to accomplish through his deal with Dark Gabe is slowly revealed over the course of the film. And just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, Fratto throws us one last curveball at the end that elevates the entire film.

I’m almost depressed that I watched HELL FIRE so early in the year. I hope I have more films like this waiting for me in 2015. With solid acting, a great story, well-done demon make-up and gore, and great characters, HELL FIRE is one helluva fun movie. I can’t recommend this one enough. Look for it on various VOD and digital platforms. HELL FIRE delivers!!

My Summary:

Hell Fire5Director: Marc Fratto (& writer, producer, cinematographer, & composer)

Plot: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Gore: 8 out of 10 skulls

Zombie Mayhem: 0 out of 5 brains (they were demons, not zombies)

Reviewed by Scott Shoyer

Stay Bloody!!!

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  1. […] impression on me that I don’t need to consult my notes at all. I loved the films AVENGED and HELL FIRE so much that I remembered every detail about them. Other times I need to read and reread my notes […]

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  2. […] Marc Fratto’s name seems familiar, you might remember him from my review of his feature film, HELL FIRE, one of my favorite films I saw this year. For now, enjoy FIRST NIGHT IN THE HEW HOUSE and ring in […]

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