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Hell On Earth (2008) DVD

01/03/2012. Contributed by Rod MacDonald

Buy Hell On Earth (2008) DVD in the USA - or Buy Hell On Earth (2008) DVD in the UK

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pub: MVD Group 790594435523. 1 DVD 90 minute film with extras. Price: $11.21 (US)) cast: Brett Fallon, Mary Corrine Miller, Peter Stickles.

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Just one look at the cover would be enough to give you the heebie-jeebies. Fortunately, this comedy horror is not meant to be taken seriously and it's the sort of stuff that would once have been popular in a drive-in movie. Released on DVD, it will probably appeal to older teen-agers, people coming back from the pub and anyone with an inclination for slapstick horror.

It takes a while to get started, perhaps half of the first ninety minutes as an introduction to get used to the characters. There are a few threatening moments but it's only when the devil is introduced do we get serious mayhem. The main character is the teenager Bobby, an unfortunate soul with a physical handicap. Despite this, he is the object of derision and ridicule by his parents and sister. Made to do menial tasks, he has no life to speak of and his only friend in the house is ancient and weird Aunt Sadie who they keep for welfare benefits. She is deeply into the occult and has given Bobby a book to read, the sinister and ancient ‘Apocryphal Book Of Tarkhum’. Reminiscent of ‘The Evil Dead’, this book when opened conjures up all sorts of ghostly apparitions.

The scene being set, the nasty sister Peggy invites some of her friends round for the night. The girls and a couple of guys make out for a party in the large house with plenty of rooms and a Jacuzzi. Bobby is ridiculed by most of the party and secluded in his room, he opens the book and monsters begin to appear. Meanwhile, Sadie has a heart attack and lies dead on the floor. One of the demons makes Bobby read the passage which invokes the devil and all hell breaks loose. This is when the action really sparks.

First of all, a group of zombies appear and start to eat some of the inhabitants of the house, all in the best possible taste of course. One young fellow has his head split apart and his brains eaten while a girl is trapped on the bed and devoured alive by several hungry zombies. The mother of the house is reduced to pulp while trying to escape through the front door but we don't really mind because these are the nasty characters that have been marked out from the start as expendable.

The movie takes a predictable course. This stuff is all stereotyped and has been seen many times before, making originality not one of its characteristics. While it is low-budget, it's actually reasonably well done and will no doubt create quite a laugh for an audience in the right sort of mood. This mood would probably be created by drinking half a dozen cans of lager. As expected, the ending has the usual twist which could possibly lead to a sequel being made. Whether or not anyone would wish to make a sequel is debatable but I suppose worse sequels have been made in the past.

To sum up, this is a rather predictable movie with characters that don't stretch the imagination. It was probably never meant to be anything different. It doesn't take a lot of effort to watch this but it fits nicely into a certain niche in the viewing public domain. It will undoubtedly sell quite well. Watching it invoked memories of not only other comedy horror movies but also American sit-coms including the family of Al Bundy in ‘Married With Children’. Not a movie to watch alone, it would be good for a Halloween party. There's a lot worse out there!

Rod MacDonald

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