Plot: Lemmy (Phil Ward) loves to drink cough syrup and imagine life as a rock star, but his punk band hasn’t found much success. He even pens epic tunes with real depth, like a song about van Gogh’s ear. But he is reaching a point of desperation, as he needs Lemmy and the Mynde Paracytes to make it…and soon. When he crosses paths with shady business manager Mr. Tanas (David Marciano), he is offered the chance to finally break through and find that success he deeply craves. The cost is his soul, but since Lemmy doesn’t believe in all that, he signs on the dotted line. Soon he is in the studio and can sense his rise to fame, all because of Tanas’ assistance. But as always, trading a soul for success has a few unexpected side effects. Will Lemmy get his taste of stardom or has Tanas bamboozled the poor punk rocker?
Entertainment Value: This movie might not make much sense, but it is a wild ride that never fails to entertain. The concept of someone selling their soul for success isn’t a new one, but rest assured, there’s much more going on here than the main narrative. That is just the hook to hang all the other madness on and Hellbent ensures it never feels like a retread in the least. The movie takes place in the punk/metal music scene, but there’s not a lot of musical set pieces. There is some music of course, but mostly its Lemmy trying to record music, but failing miserably. I mean, he shows up drunk on cough syrup wielding an assault rifle in the studio, which is better than music, I think. Phil Ward is great here as Lemmy, embracing the off the wall character, but I think a lot of scenes are stolen by Phil Therrien as Duke. His performance is so outlandish, but deadpan, it is almost a work of art. The overall cast falls in line with the wacky script, which means odd performances across the board. Hellbent is outrageous and makes little to no sense, but is just a total blast to watch. If you have an appreciation for wild movies, strange performances, or 80s punk/metal, you have to check this one out.
Some naked flesh, but not a flood of nakedness. This isn’t a horror movie by most standards, but it still boasts some fun bloodshed. Guns are brandished often, even by a kid in one scene, with numerous gun shot wounds. These are mostly splashy, so there’s a good amount of the crimson hitting the walls. These are frequent, especially as the movie hurtles toward the conclusion, so the blood adds up. There’s also other violence, but none of it yields much of the red stuff. The dialogue here is nuts most of the time, made even more outlandish by the colorful cast involved. The flow of dialogue seems very in the moment, which leads to some humorous and off the wall moments. As I said above, Duke is my personal favorite, between his deadpan dialogue that baffles and the scene where he tries to show off his crooning skills. But most of the cast seems right at home in this world of cough syrup abuse and random violence, so lots of strange dialogue and odd performances. If you can’t tell by now, Hellbent earns some serious crazy points, with a constant vibe of what the fuck is going on that rarely eases up. Very little makes sense and I mean that in the best possible way, as you never know what might happen in this one. A really fun, way out there experience.
Overall Insanity: 10/10