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Holy Hell Review

October 10, 2016 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
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Holy Hell Review  

Holy Hell Review

Ryan LaPlante– Father Augustus Bane
Alysa King– Amy Bonner
Michael Rawley– Dokes MacFarlane
Shane Patrick McClurg– Sissy MacFarlane
Rachel Ann Little– Trisha MacFarlane
Reece Presley– Buddy MacFarlane
Austin Schaefer– El Diablo
Luke Laplante– Officer Plank

Directed by Ryan LaPlante
Screenplay by Ryan LaPlante

Produced by Rogues Gallery Productions

Runtime– 89 minutes



Holy Hell, written and directed by and starring Ryan LaPlante, is an insane, excessive, absolutely offensive low budget romp of epic proportions. It’s a movie that, as a B-movie nerd, I am in absolute awe of because it does what it wants, it tells the story that it wants to tell, and it doesn’t give a flying hooey who it offends. Holy Hell is also a movie that is fairly well made, actually looks like a movie, and doesn’t skimp on the sound (meaning you can actually hear and understand what the characters are saying, something far too many low budget B-movies have a hard time doing for some reason). In short, it is glorious.

The movie stars LaPlante as Father Augustus Bane, a happy, eager, and supremely devout Catholic priest who shows up at his new parish in a rundown town that has no interest in his positive outlook on life ready to do the Lord’s work. After being told to “eat shit!” by one of the town’s denizens, Father Bane is mugged at the entrance of his new church. It’s a harrowing experience for sure, but since Father Bane doesn’t want to give up on his faith or the town he just moves on and tries to do the best he can. Father Bane’s first church service is a total disaster (the church is filled with homeless people, hookers coked out of their minds, and two cops that you just know are going to turn out to be dirty), but he, again, tries to keep a positive outlook on his new digs. Father Bane wants to do the Lord’s work because that’s important.

So some stuff happens, Father Bane attempts to do some at home counseling for a family in trouble, and then the shit hits the fan. Out of the blue, a gang of psychos show up at the house and engage in multiple acts of bloody debauchery that will either make you cringe or make you laugh out loud (I laughed. Hard). The psychos, a family of criminals known as the MacFarlanes, kill damn near everyone in the room (and when I say kill I mean goddamn kill. No one is safe. No one) but leave Father Bane alive and a young woman (Amy Boner, as played by Alysa King) paralyzed. This incident sends Father Bane over the edge and makes him question absolutely everything that he believes. How could the Lord allow such unbridled carnage to be inflicted on the innocent? After some quick soul searching, Father Bane decides that being a good natured priest isn’t going to cut it in this town or in this world anymore. No, he’s going to have to be something else, something harsher, something deadly.

Father Bane is going to have to become a vigilante.

The rest of the movie is Father Bane taking out every bad guy in town. No one is safe from his “holy” wrath. Drug dealers, prostitutes, pretty much any criminal that crosses his path is shot multiple times with a sweet Colt .45 that eventually becomes the thing that Father Bane worships (he actually calls the gun “the Lord”). When Father Bane sets his sights on the MacFarlane family gang, the movie actually becomes even more insane because, well, all bets are off. The MacFarlane clan wants Father Bane dead, and Father Bane attacks them head on. Who will come out on top at the end?

Now, the first thing you have to accept when watching Holy Hell is that you can’t take any of it seriously. It has no agenda beyond being outrageous. Some viewers might be taken aback by its language, graphic violence, sexual content, and Sissy MacFarlane, easily one of the most messed up bad guys in recent low budget movie history. As played by Shane Patrick McClurg, Sissy is a brutal, ruthless killer who also happens to be trans, a creepy henchperson who is so ridiculous that you can’t wait to see what she’ll do next. And that goes for the entire MacFarlane family. The patriarch, Dokes (Michael Rawley), is like John Waters crossed with Bill Moseley in The Devil’s Rejects. Fucked up. The kids, Buddy and Trisha (Reece Presley and Rachel Ann Little), are incestuous gang members. How often do you see that kind of thing in anything? What other kind of movie would even try to do any of that?

But isn’t there a limit to being outrageous? Probably, but Holy Hell is so consistently outrageous throughout its ninety-minute runtime that if tried to hold back at any point the movie likely wouldn’t work. Yes, some of the jokes don’t work all that well, but director LaPlante is smart enough to know that, with this kind of material, the best thing to do is just move on to the next bit. Could the movie lose a few minutes here and there? Could it lose some of its “foul” language and still be just as good, maybe even better? It’s possible. The movie does drag a bit every now and then and, in the big scheme of things, would definitely be better if it somehow went by faster. At the same time, I have no idea what, specifically, should be cut.

LaPlante does a great job as Father Bane. He understands how to play the part straight and over-the-top at the same time right from the beginning and keeps doing that throughout. Once you experience how truly wacked out the movie is you’ll understand how difficult that must have been and how amazing it is to watch. Even when Father Bane starts carrying around a gun and wastes everything in his path you’ll be amazed at how consistent it all is.

Alysa King also does a great job as the crippled hot babe Amy Bonner. It’s a bizarre part to perform, but she manages to make it all seem so easy and natural. She’s completely committed to being outrageous and ridiculous and that’s just a joy to see.

Now, the ending is a bit of a letdown. It doesn’t kill the movie, but the ending doesn’t really feel satisfying at all. But then, when you’re dealing with the kind of insanity that is Holy Hell, it’s probably best that the whole thing just eventually ends and doesn’t try to top itself. It didn’t try to do that throughout the movie, so why try to do that at the end?

Holy Hell is a movie that B-movie nerds need to track down and experience. If it’s playing at a convention or a film festival near you, make an effort to see it. It’ll be worth it.

See Holy Hell. See it, see it, see it!

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: Plenty (imdb claims 49. That’s probably right)

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: Some.

Doobage: A mugging, a Catholic Church with the address “666,” a hooker covered in cocaine, a home invasion, face slashing, off screen anal sex, bloody hand removal, blood drinking, bloody eye removal, crosses through the hands, serious baby killing, double hammer to the head, six shots, guy stepping on the Bible, gun buying, a great wicked head shot, a chunky head shot, flaming bat to the face some disturbing bondage stuff, screwdriver to the head, bloody heart removal, a cross with a knife in it, metal chair to the face, serious face punching, arm removal, a brutal decapitation, a massive erection, sex with a cripple, double fellatio, some bad looking CGI body burning, head stomping, some serious chainsaw hooey, cross knife to the balls, serious prostitute killing, and an underwhelming ending.

Kim Richards?: Big time.

Gratuitous: A sign on a church that says “open for molesting,” a retarded son, people singing “Happy Birthday” but you can’t hear them because that probably would have cost money, giving the finger to God and the heavens, husband and wife dick sucking on the street, a parody of McDonald’s, an army of “He Shes,” and an underwhelming ending.

Best lines: “Good morning! Eat shit!,” “Sissy? Nice name, bitch!,” “For God’s sake, Father, shoot her!,” “That was fucking awesome! Best birthday ever!,” “You never want to hang around two guys who just watched you butt fuck a slam hole,” “By the way, you look like a fucking penguin!,” “Want to fuck my wife?,” “I shall call you Lord!,” “The sword of vengeance!,” “They say who is without sin cast the first stone. Well, first stone cast motherfucker!,” “Go with God. I don’t need God. I walk with the Lord,” “Don’t ever wear a condom!,” “You’re gonna rape a cripple? You sick fuck!,” “You shot me in the balls, man! Not the balls! Not the balls!,” “I’ve never been as wet as I am right now!,” “Do I look generous? I won’t even blow my own sister!,” “Drop your weapons! On your knees! Do it now or I’ll skull fuck your corpse!,” “What about thou shalt not kill? Does it look like I’m running for Jesus?,” “Sure you want to fight in a dress, bro? Everyone is going to say you’re a pussy?,” “Oh, Amy! You’re saving me!,” “Jesus loves you! But I think you’re a cocksucking scumbag!,” “I can’t believe you really shot the midget,” “Sometimes the Lord provides. Sometimes midgets do,” “Well, fuck my ass and call me a slut!,” “Go with God! God doesn’t even care!,” “Any last words, nutsack?,” and “All hail gunfire!”

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
Holy Hell is a movie that B-movie nerds absolutely need to experience for themselves. It’s wild, offensive, lewd, and outrageous from the second it starts and it never lets up. It’s also supremely ridiculous. The ending is a bit of a letdown, but it still works. See it. Track it down, make an effort, and see it.