Plot: Jack (Larry DuBois) was on the verge of stardom in Hollywood, but he wanted to make sure he achieved his dreams. To that end, he visited an occultist and arranged to sell his soul to Satan. This deal would grant him the fame and fortune he craved, but at the cost of his soul, not to mention two human sacrifices. But Jack was unable to follow through on the sacrifices, so he went back home, hoping the pact would dissolve. Satan had no intentions of letting that happen though, so whoever Jack made eye contact with was instantly possessed, driven to kill. He survives the attacks and reaches out to Aaron (Shawn Scarbrough), his childhood friend who is now a priest. A plan to overrun the world with demons and evil is soon uncovered, with Jack and Aaron as the ones who could stop the invasion. But can just two men stand up to the powers of darkness, or will Satan possess the entire world?
Entertainment Value: A micro budget regional horror movie, Back from Hell tries to tell an epic tale of demonic possession, occult mysticism, and of course, a bad ass priest looking to kick some ass. The movie makes a noble effort to have a solid narrative, with a more serious approach than most films of this kind. The production limitations add some unintended humor of course, but it still refreshing to see some effort made to weave a passable story line. The cast here is local talent and while the end result isn’t that great, they do seem committed to the roles. Larry DuBois is a terrible actor, but his turn here adds entertainment, for example. Shawn Scarbrough is the stand out, but I did greatly appreciate the hilarious possession scene with Don Ruem. His wild mannerisms and goofy voice really made that sequence work. The movie is a little slow at times, but winds up as a fairly solid experience. Some fun dialogue and performances, not to mention some cool effects work. If you don’t appreciate low rent regional horror, Back from Hell likely won’t convert you, but if you do, be sure to check it out.
No nakedness. A good amount of blood though, usually in generous sprays across Jack’s face and shoes. You also see some guts, chainsaw mayhem, shotgun blasts, even an eyeball poked from the back of the skull. Some fun, low budget gore that comes in frequent doses. As for dialogue, there’s some fun stuff here. A highlight for me was Jack bragging about his Hollywood experience, all the women that pursued him and of course, meeting Burt Reynolds. There’s also some goofy occult mumbo jumbo, plus some fun one liners thrown in from time to time. Father Aaron might be a priest, but he can still rattle off some sharp ones. Back from Hell has some production issues that add a sense of chaos, but it doesn’t get too wild outside of the genre norms. But the little touches, like Jack’s vanishing sunglasses, sudden demonic appearances, and a bizarre conclusion do give it a bit of craziness.
Overall Insanity: 3/10