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HellBent (2004): It’s Not Delivery, It’s Porno do Giorno

HellBent (Paul Etheredge, 2004)

photo credit: Wikipedia

Well, at least the killer knows they’re not hiding in the closet.

The world’s first gay-themed slasher movie is… well, just another slasher movie, really. Which on the one hand was a really good idea; anyone who wanders into this can be certain of what they’re getting. On the other hand, if you’re going to break the mold by making every character in your movie gay (with the possible exception of the killer), you might as well bend a few other genders, right? Etheredge (Angel of Death) played it safe, instead.

photo credit: movies.zap2it.com

Damn cruisers… always leaving the toilet a mess…

Plot: You’ve seen slasher movies, right? Four pals—cop-with-a-desk-job Eddie (Come Away with Me‘s Dylan Fergus), his little brother Joey (Pumpkin‘s Hank Harris), horndog Chaz (The Box‘s Andrew Levitas), and drag queen Tobey (Champion‘s Matt Phillips), are getting ready for the town’s big gay Halloween carnival. A killer murdered two gay men in a secluded parking lot just on the other side of the woods from the carnival grounds, and Chaz has the brilliant idea of parking in that same secluded lot and hiking through the woods to get to the carnival… which needless to say attracts said serial killer’s attention. When they get there, Eddie, who’s smitten with bad-boy biker Jake (The Absent‘s Bryan Kirkwood), tries to get some in what may be the most awkward, embarrassing attempt at a pickup scene ever filmed, while Jake makes a similarly inept attempt to get to know hunky jock fratboy Jared (Baron Rogers in his first feature appearance), who he’s had a longtime crush on. Tobey, getting no action, finds himself sitting with another drag queen at the bar complaining about men, and Chaz, being Chaz, parties it up with anyone and everyone who comes his way. None of them know they’re being stalked by a crazed killer—until it’s too late…

photo credit: flickr

This particular fruit is so low-hanging I’m going to let you fill in your own punchline.

The things I liked about this movie, I really, really liked. About half the soundtrack is amazing; I had no idea the homocore/queercore movement had produced artists of the caliber of Kent “Nick Name” James and Terri Laird, both of whom turn in top-notch tunes. And that pickup scene? So awkward, so awful, so real, and it is helped immensely by Etheredge (who also wrote the script) having Jake react to it so perfectly (and, of course, Fergus and Kirkwood having the acting ability to pull it off). It’s the little bits like that that make this movie worth watching. On the flip side of this is the movie’s predictability, the kinda-incoherent ending that will satisfy exactly no one, the fact that there’s no way in hell Tobey was going to be the one of these guys who was going home alone (I mean, come on, he’s hot as a woman)…just a little too much in here I couldn’t buy to offset all the stuff I was willing to pay extra for. It’s good, but it’s not great; if gay-themed movies don’t turn you off, this one is worth a shot. ***

Trailer.

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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