Well, this week I'm watching a movie an old friend suggested. It's a gay-themed slasher flick called HellBent, and all my friend would say about it was that it would definitely qualify as a cheesy slasher flick, so there ya go. SPOILERS ahead!
The movie begins with a drunk guy carrying balloons through a forest at night. Riiiiiiight. Balloon Boy trips and falls, then starts calling out the name George. He hears someone nearby, gets himself worked up, then has a panic attack when someone(George, apparently) leaps at him from the darkness. Then they pop most of the balloons. Yup, this all seems perfectly logical.
Back in their car, the couple start going at it, and again, there's a noise outside. While George remains in the car, the other guy decides to hoist himself out the window to look around. From a distance, a shadowy figure watches them. As George starts to take advantage of his lover's awkward position(by, and this is not a joke, tickling his feet), the killer passes by the windshield unseen by either of the men. Then the dude hanging out the window gets decapitated.
George doesn't realize it at first, so he tugs on his friend to get him inside the car, then sees the bloody stump where a human head used to ne attached. He also spots the killer, and tries to start the car. The killer smashes his window with a scythe, then the credits start up.
When the movie resumes, we see a cop named Eddie going through mugshots on his computer. He prints them out, then a cute female cop drops some graphic crime scene pictures on his desk. The other guy who was killed was named Mike, according to her. She sees his printouts, and starts to tease him, then their boss asks Eddie to step into his office. The lieutenant asks Eddie to pass out flyers about the murders when he goes out that evening. Oh, and the female cop is Eddie's sister.
Back home, Eddie decides to use his dad's old cop uniform as his Halloween costume. He even goes to a costume shop to purchase a plastic badge. When he leaves the shop, a transvestite who resembles Shrek compliments his uniform. Yeesh.
What follows is a "handing out flyers" montage. Then Eddie stops at a tattoo parlor. He watches a guy get a tattoo on his shoulders, and sees a trail of blood dripping down the guy's back. Flustered, he drops his papers, gathers them up again, and quickly leaves.
Bored, Eddie finds a trash can, and practices tossing crushed cans into it. He stops when he realizes that a guy on a motorcycle is watching him. They discuss the murders, then the guy on the bike takes off. Eddie then interrupts his roommate, Chaz, having a three-way in a car. They discuss the murders, then go to lunch.
At their favorite diner, they meet up with Toby, another friend who happens to be another unconvincing transvestite.. They go looking for yet ANOTHER friend, named Joey. He's in the employee area of the diner, trapped in some kind of leather outfit. Apparently, he got "stuck" in the leather. Um, not that I'm homophobic or anything, but wasn't this supposed to be a slasher film? What happened with that?
Well, the killer must have heard me, because we see him next, sharpening his blade while recalling his previous murders. Then the 4 friends pile into a jeep and head out for some Halloween fun. Along the way, they tell Toby that they won't be going to a tranny bar, because none of the others are into it. Then they spot a couple in masks on a motorcycle and wave. Yeah, this is SO much better than getting to the point. They could have at least thrown in some lipstick lesbians to keep me interested, dagnabbit.
They pull off at the crime scene, where Eddie tells them about the gruesome crime scene pics he saw earlier. He goes into graphic detail, and Toby asks if he can open a window. As he goes on a rant about how he would kick the killer's ass, a hand grabs his throat. It turns out to be Joey, who grabbed him from the back seat. Then they decide to walk to the party, through the forest.
Everyone decides that they need to pee, so they each pick a different tree. Some noises in the woods startle them, then Eddie sees something moving around in the bushes nearby. He alerts the others, all of whom come back, except Joey. When Eddie catches a glimpse of a guy in a devil costume, he insists that Joey should join them.
They see Devil Guy darting behind trees, and theorize that perhaps he's disfigured, and ashamed of his appearance. Or that perhaps he's just shy. They try to lure him out by calling over to him, and see that he looks like a bodybuilder. Devil Guy then starts to move his hand back and forth, and they assume that he's jerking off, but he reveals that he's getting his murder weapon ready to use. Finally!
Assuming that he's joking, they all moon Devil Guy. Then he vanishes. While they wonder where he went, he pops up next to the quartet, and raises his arms above his head, scaring them strai--um, well, just really scaring them, at any rate. In the distance, they can see the lights from the Halloween celebration, so they keep moving.
When they arrive for the festivities, they notice Devil Guy again, watching them. Toby approaches him and tries flirting, but gets no response. They all go "trick or treating", and then complain that the candies they were given are all the same flavor: pineapple. Eddie reveals that he was also given a green condom. Uh, good for him? I guess? Seriously, is this even a horror film? NOTHING IS HAPPENING...
They decide to get drunk. Yay for them. Wish I was. Then 2 guys dressed as firefighters try to pick up Eddie, but Chaz scares them off. Eddie sees the guy he was talking to earlier in the day, the dude on the motorcycle. When the biker walks into a club, Eddie hesitates to follow him, so the others decide to go with him. As they walk in, Devil Guy watches.
Then we get a nightclub dancers montage, because, obviously, this movie needs more padding. The denizens fall into 2 categories: those who look like they belong in boy bands, and those who look like they belong in a Marilyn Manson video. Great choice....is there a Door #3?
Anyway, Eddie decides to try talking to Gay Fonzie. Despite Eddie's attempt to be friendly, the guy shoots him down. Speaking of shooting, Eddie reveals that the reason he got stuck behind a desk was because of an injury to one of his eyes. Wow, that's much more interesting than watching a suspense-filled sequence where a killer stalks his prey. Thank you, movie.
Then we switch over to Joey, the younger friend. Chaz saves him from an uncomfortable encounter, as the killer watches. They wander over to the main stage, where a guy is singing some unintelligible song. He pulls Joey onto the stage, but Joey gets dragged away by 2 security guys. Then he is pushed onto a table, while they pretend to use chainsaws on him. Well, I guess a fake killing is better than none.
After the song, Eddie introduces his buddies to the biker, who is named Jake. Everyone starts to leave the club, but Joey spots someone he likes and wants to stay. Chaz decides to stay as well, to keep an eye on him. Joey tries to talk to the guy, but he's not interested. Chaz asks Joey how it went, and Joey announces that he needs to puke.
In the bathroom, Chaz waits until everyone else leaves, then asks Joey if he's okay. He gives Joey some privacy then, and waits outside. Unfortunately, a guy catches his eye, so he follows him instead of waiting for Joey. Want to guess who shows up?
Joey tries to wash the stage blood off, and Devil Guy is right behind him. He disappears again when Joey stands up, but Joey hears him. He checks 2 bathroom stalls, then is scared by the jock he wanted to meet earlier. They start to make up, then make out. The jock leaves, and Devil Guy shoves a treat bag over Joey's head, before slashing his throat open. He drags Joey into a stall, and shoves the corpse onto the floor, revealing that he actually decapitated him. As Devil Guy leaves, 2 other partygoers find the body. Yay, something happened!
Outside at the Halloween Carnival, Eddie, Jake and Toby are just aimlessly walking around. It's like a metaphor for the script. Toby eventually decides to mingle, and tells the others he'll meet up with them later. He ends up at a bar, ordering a cocktail and chatting up another cross-dresser.
Eddie and Jake try their hands at a shooting gallery carnival game. Jake turns out to be a virtual gunslinger, while Eddie has all the depth perception of Mr. Magoo. They catch up to Toby, who is drunkenly trying to win another game. Then they also see Chaz, who reveals that he ditched Joey. Chaz tells Eddie to lighten up, then leaves with his "date". Devil Guy bumps into Chaz, but Chaz fails to realize the danger he might be in.
Eddie and Jake leave to go find Joey, and Toby decides to stagger around for awhile. A couple of straight guys try to pick him up, until they see that he's a he. Toby then convinces a guy to take his picture, only to realize just how ridiculous he looks in his costume.
At the club, Toby is spotted by Chaz, who gets his attention. As Chaz tries to reach him, Devil Guy looms nearby. The lights begin to strobe, and Chaz gets high off of a pill he took earlier that night. Devil Guy appears behind him, then stabs him several times, without anyone noticing. As he feels the blade slice him up, Chaz looks at the long cuts all over his body, then the killer decapitates him, and leaves his body on the dance floor. Y'know, as bad as this movie is, the kills are actually pretty gruesome. I could almost not hate this one, if it weren't so damned cheesy.
Anyway, back to Toby. He's in the alley behind the nightclub, puking his guts out, when Devil Guy appears. I think Devil Guy missed his true calling...he should be a ninja. A big, homosexual, horn-wearing, scythe-carrying ninja. Or not.
Toby tries to stand up straight, and finds Devil Guy observing him. Oddly enough, Devil Guy makes no move to kill Toby. He just leaves him alone. Toby, being the Mayor of Stupidville, follows the maniac. He also tries to ascertain what Devil Guy's motives are, but Devil Guy is a man of few(or no) words.
Toby switches tactics, and starts to undress. The killer exits the area, so Toby follows him. Finally, Toby thinks of one last way to get Devil Guy's attention: he tosses over his driver's license. When Devil Guy sees that Toby is a guy, he finally turns around. He drops his severed head collection, stands before Toby and then chops his head off to add to the collection. Uh, couldn't you figure out he was a guy before now?
Back at Club Meat(wow, that was subtle), Eddie and Jake see a lot of cops, as well as crime scene tape. The cop at the entrance turns them away, so they try to find an alternate route. Both men climb over a high chain-link fence, then sneak into the building. As he wanders around in the empty building, Eddie realizes that Jake now seems to be among the missing.
He goes back outside, where he sees Jake getting ready to leave on his bike. As Jake tries to convince Eddie to go with him, he sees Devil Guy sneaking up on the young cop. He tries to warn Eddie, but Devil Guy manages to cut Eddie's face before he can dodge out of the way. In an attempt to save his new friend, Jake begins to climb the fence again, but the killer gets in one quick cut, and Jake falls back to the ground.
Eddie gets back on his feet, then heads into the club again. He runs into a dead end, and finds a hiding spot just as Devil Guy appears. He sees the hulking killer searching for him, so Eddie locks himself into a cage that barely keeps him out of Devil Guy's reach. Frustrated by this turn of events, Devil Guy takes another swipe with his weapon, and the tip of the blade scratches Eddie's eyeball. Ouch! The cops hear the commotion and show up, just after Devil Guy etches his scythe across the eyeball.
Back at the police station, Eddie gives his statement, then asks his sister to make sure that the facts in the case aren't altered for sensationalism. Before she leaves, she spots Jake, and gives her brother a high-five about as discreet as an explosion at a dynamite factory.
Eddie goes into the nearest restroom, and fixes his glass eye's position. Unfortunately, Jake walks in, and sees the eyeball out of whack. Eddie explains about the accident that caused him to lose the eye. When Eddie talks about ending the night early and finding his friends, Jake talks him into a ride on the motorcycle. They return to Eddie's apartment building at warp speed.
Eddie finds the building he and his friends live in empty, so he heads to his own apartment last. Jake has already let himself in, and the two start to undress. When Eddie finally gets a look at the tattoo Jake was getting earlier, he is told only that it has something to do with the ending of a relationship.
Then Jake starts acting weird. He shies away from Eddie's advances, then tries to get Eddie to share a cigarette with him. When Eddie does it wrong somehow, Jake takes another puff, and blows the smoke into Eddie's mouth. Then he asks where the bedroom is. Could he possibly be the killer? Do I care at this point?
Once they get to their destination, Eddie asks Jake to turn around while he undresses. Jake complies, looking at other areas of the room instead. He notes a drop of blood on Eddie's license, then gets distracted by noise from outside. He looks out of the window, but nothing seems unusual. When he turns around again, he sees that Eddie has taken his shirt off.
Jake handcuffs Eddie to the bed, then Eddie asks him to use a condom. Jake heads toward the bathroom to look for one. In the hallway, he turns to look at Eddie. Then he enters the bathroom to find the condoms. Once there, he seems to be putting off his return to the bedroom, exploring the room.
As Eddie begins to lose his patience, Jake spots an open door. Inside that room, he sees numerous trophies, pictures and sports memorabilia throughout the room. He decides to return to the bedroom, but a loud banging sound catches his attention. Jake sees that it came from a partially open window, and nearly walks into Devil Guy. Devil Guy then stabs him.
Eddie hears Jake being butchered, and gets frightened. Then he sees Devil Guy, and REALLY gets frightened. As Devil Guy prepares to decapitate the young cop, Jake manages to stab the killer from behind. Then Jake collapses to the floor, right next to you-know-who. Ha!
Eddie finally manages to get himself free, and runs to the living room to find his phone. When he locates the damned thing, Eddie calls 911. Unfortunately, Devil Guy gets up once more, and Eddie hears him go after Jake yet again. Gee, Jake really pisses this guy off, huh?
Eddie then rushes to the kitchen, and grabs something from a drawer to use as a weapon. Oh, and he finds the severed heads of his friends right after that. Y'know, normally this is where I'd make a joke about "giving head", but with this film, that just seems a little too on the nose.
Devil Guy then bursts in unannounced, and the chase resumes. After much effort, Eddie manages to run into the bedroom, shut the door, and lock it. Of course, Devil Guy tears through the door like cardboard. Eddie gets himself and Jake onto the fire escape, and then he and Devil Guy fight over his gun. Desk cops get guns? Well, I guess so.
The gun falls to another part of the fire escape, and Devil Guy licks Eddie's fake eye. Yeesh. Devil Guy then flings him over the fire escape, but Eddie manages not to fall the entire way to the ground. He gets the gun again while dangling from a railing, and shoots Devil Guy in the forehead. While he climbs back up to check on Jake, Eddie gets a bystander to call for an ambulance.
Eddie watches the ambulance take Jake to the hospital, then sees his sister taunting Devil Guy, who is being loaded into another ambulance. When Eddie realizes that the killer is still alive, Devil Guy opens his eyes, then reveals that he has Eddie's glass eye in his mouth. THE END
Man oh man, where to begin...first off, the slow pace killed this thing long before the killings started to ramp up. And while the deaths themselves were fairly graphic, they were also monotonous. I mean, did he really have to decapitate every victim? But the biggest missed opportunity was not fleshing out the killer a bit. A cool background story or motive would have gone a long way toward making this one less painful to sit through. 1 and a half killer trees out of 5, and even that feels generous.
And what did I learn from HellBent?
-Well, if you ever get attacked by a maniac, be sure you bring along a glass eye.
-Transvestites NEVER look like women. Except to other transvestites. And crazy killers.
-A killer being taken away on a stretcher is allowed to keep his mask on. I mean, hey, identifying criminals is waaaaay over-rated, right?
Next up is a pretty old one called Pieces. Please God, let it not suck...