Director(s) – Draven Gonzalez, Pete Jacelone (Psycho Street), and Alex Pucci (Frat House Massacre)
Starring – Jaclyn Marfuggi (Greek), Jim Hazelton (Zombie Wars), and John Link (Witches Blood)
Release Date – 2011
Rating – 3.5/5
Tagline – “Life’s a journey…Hell’s a destination”
A few weeks ago I went deep into Facebook looking for indie horror films to review so I could break away from some of the major distributed films. I found several indie horror films that I had never heard about and one such flick was Road Hell. The film’s title and poster was not that impressive but I was hooked after I read the film’s synopsis on the film’s Facebook page.
I reached out to them about a review copy of the film and they were kind enough to send one my way. Sadly, I couldn’t have received the film at a worse time. I got the film going into the Halloween season after making several promises to have certain films reviewed before the holiday. I had to squeeze the time in for this one but I am glad I did. I laughed harder today than I have in years.
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows an adulterous husband and his high maintenance wife as they go out of town for a few days. They are traveling at night and forced to stay at a seedy motel. They enter the lounge and find an older man (John Link) dressed as a school girl fucking an inflatable sheep. He then sets them up with a room. The couple is not far from splitsville and asks for separate rooms. Inside their rooms they turn on their televisions and both watch a movie.
The first film follows a man who is hunting a vampire. He finds the vampire he is searching for but she is able to kill his brother before he puts a stake in her heart. The second tale follows a group of kids who discover something sinister in the woods that has devoured several pets in the area before turning it’s sights on the kids in the area. They learn that it is living in the a hole in the woods and set out to stop it before more kids in the area die.
After watching these two stories they return to the office and are given a room together where they watch the third and final tale. This one follows a self-made man that has turned the zombie uprising into a profitable venture. After watching this tale the two return to the counter to get their money back and leave where the clerk kills them both.**Spoiler Alert**
I love a good anthology but it has to deliver the total package in order for me to fall in love with it. The anthology has to have a solid wrap around story and the tales have to be consistent throughout the film with no weak links in the chain. Road Hell is one flawed anthology but still delivered on the laughs rather they were intentional or not. It was unable to provide a wrap around that tied the stories together well and the stories were very inconsistent.
The acting in this one varies from segment to segment. The wrap around segment is the highlight of the film. The cast in this segment work very well with each other. You can honestly feel the hatred the couple have for each other while the creepy hotel clerk delivers on the uncanny humor and creepy dialogue. The third segment featuring Edward Young was very well acted. The cast deliver solid performances in this segment but you can see that several cast members lack experience needed to make their characters better and more entertaining. The remaining two segments were scraping the bottom of the barrel in terms of performance. The cast fail at delivering memorable characters and providing raw emotions when they delivered their lines. In one segment we can blame age and experience but the other we can not.
The stories for these segments range in quality. Once again, the wrap around segment was my favorite. It started out hilarious and as the film progressed it turned creepy before it turned bloody. This was my favorite of the film and was able to turn the Psycho vibe into a comedy. However, it was a horrible wrap around segment in terms of tying the other tales together. The first tale following the vampire hunter was a bit of a bore that tried to switch the story up with the way the beginning of the story started and how it ended. This was very weak and offered up very little originality and entertainment.
The second tale with the kids fighting the the beast in the woods is the film’s low point and it get worse when we discover what the beast really is. If it was a werewolf or some other mythological creature it would have been decent. The third tale is fun and really deserves the feature length film treatment. It was not that original but it was damn entertaining.
Finally, the film has several on screen kills and several that take place off screen. The kills are, sadly, not that impressive but some, not many, deliver some decent gore and a few laughs. The film has several decent practical effects gags and some of the worst CGI I have seen in my entire life. Overall, Road Hell is a bad movie that entertains. No, it’s not a “so bad it’s good film” but it is a bad movie that I just had to watch a second time because I had such a good time. I enjoyed this one but it is one I am hesitant on recommending. If you like Troma flicks then this one is one you will want to check out!