Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 23rd, 2016
BluRay released: September 27th, 2016
Approximate running times: 88 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $29.98
Synopsis: A singer in a struggling Rock N’ Roll band sells his soul to the devil for fame. Unfortunately, things are not always as they seem and the singer quickly decides that he wants to break his contract for his soul.
Director Richard Casey follows up his hallucinatory horror film Horror House on Highway 5. With Hellbent a more polished feature film that still retains the charm and mind bending logic that made Horror House on Highway 5 so captivating.
Content wise, the premise for Hellbent draws from a familiar source Faust. The narrative is coherent and easy to follow. When it comes to pacing, there is a deliberateness that works in favor of the mood of the film. And the main characters are well defined and their motivations are never in doubt.
As mentioned before everything about Hellbent is bigger and more polished than its predecessor. With this film’s visuals being one of the areas where this film often excels beyond its resources. Another area where this film surprises are the performances from its cast. Overall Hellbent highly entertaining mix of horror and off the wall humor.
Hellbent comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. The transfer created for this release was scanned and restored from in 2k from 35mm original camera negative. The sourced is in great shape, the image looks crisp, black levels remain strong throughout and colors look accurate. There are no issues with DNR or compression and grain looks natural.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and removable English SDH subtitles have been included for this release. The audio sounds clean, clear, balanced and robust when it needs too.
Extras for this release include, a reversible cover art, a featurette with director & cast titled A Little Chaos (15 minutes 43 seconds) and an audio commentary track with director Richard Casey.
Topics discussed in the featurette include, how each participant got involved in the making the film, auditions / casting for the film, guerrilla filmmaking and shooting on location without permits, distributor reaction to the film and on set memories.
Topics discussed in the audio commentary include, the score / music for the film, the title sequence and art director Rod Scully’s other contributions to the film, Alphaville / Lemmy Cautions influence on the film, the cast & information about them, the Faust inspired theme that serves as the foundation for the film, the of the film, special effects, locations featured in the film and disturbers reaction to the film.
Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release. Overall Hellbent gets an excellent release from Vinegar Syndrome, highly recommended.
Note: This combo is limited edition release (only 3,000 copies)