Movie Reviews 128 – [DVG] Hellspawn (1993)

And, finally, the last review installment of the Demons, Vampires and Ghouls DVD set:

Hellspawn (1993)

Hellspawn menuAs I wrote in the Demons, Vampires and Ghouls intro, this movie was not supposed to be in the set at all, and was received in place of another missing movie. I wish I could say the final movie in the box set was a winner but this series died with a whimper.

For starters, the people who put the DVD package together couldn’t even get the title right (This was my first clue that I was in for a long arduous viewing session). The DVD main menu titles the movie as “Hell Spawn” (two words) but as soon as the movie itself starts the title comes up as “Hellspawn”. I guess the movie distributors already figured that it would be surprising if any viewers even got that far. And by that I mean surprised that anybody would shell out coin for this movie in the first place. I guess it did not occur to them at the time that the movie would one day be bundled in a multi-disc set. (This set my mind racing with the thought that perhaps it was no accident that this dreck ended up in my box after all. They probably had tons of unwanted DVDs to get rid off.). But I digress …

The first intro screen proclaims the Sterling Entertainment and “Micro-budget” production credits. (The “Micro-budget” was my second clue. I would later be subjected to the most ridiculous looking demon/creature mask to grace the screen. I’ve seen better Dollar store merchandise that looked more realistic than this.)

The next screen was a logo featuring a VHS cassette (This was my final clue that I would be subject to actual Hellspawn and not a real movie). Normally this would not be a concern in itself as the direct-to-video had some pretty bad-ass movies back in the day. But the movies were filmed on film stock and transferred to video or at least some quality equipment was used if actual video tape media was used for the master. What we get here is a dodgy home camera filmed movie. This includes an ever changing audio recording level and some pretty nasty video blurring and discoloration along the edges.

OK, let discuss the movie itself. The first few minutes depicting some scene in the past where the Hellspawn is actually born were actually OK. You’ve got the cliché mother screaming, a priest praying and a confounded looking doctor performing the delivery. This is also the point in the movie where I quickly realized that actually hearing and making sense of the audio was going to be an issue.

We then switch to the present and find a frantic guy calling up two other guys and instructing them to hop into a cars for a long drive as they were needed for some immediate house sitting duties. This is where I realized that even hearing some of the dialog clearly did not mean everything would make sense. (At this point I paused the movie to momentarily switch over to a post season hockey game with the Pittsburgh Penguins were battling the hometown Ottawa Senators. Not much of a hockey fan myself, but I felt I needed a plan-B for the night. Unfortunately the Sens were already losing 4-2 at this point so back to the movie.)

The two guys start their trek to wherever with a few pit stops here and there. The worst one was switching to what was supposed to be some bar. They couldn’t be bother to actually film the exterior of a real bar so they just filmed a neon “Lite” beer sign as the exterior shot and then switch to one guy sitting at a table with a beer in front of him. I swear this was someone’s kitchen masquerading as a ‘bar’. I don’t really know what that bar scene was all about.  Even worse is that we’ll see this ‘bar’ later on a few more times.

We eventually learn that the Hellspawn is now all grown up and still attacking people for whatever reason. (Shit. The hockey game is now 7-3 for the Pens and all but over with only a few minutes left. Game is essentially over and I have no plan-C. I must go back and endure the rest of the movie. Sigh.)

More weird stuff in the movie. I’m still not clear about why the guys are on their trek, but at one point the audio goes to old time 1940’s serial cinema stock soundtrack. The guys on working on the soundtrack probably found a few free MP3 and thought it would sound cool despite the rest of the soundtrack being 80’s mellow music.

I confess that I fast forwarded the last 30 minutes or so. Why bother if I could not hear the dialogue half the time. The boys have reached their destination and battle it out with the Hellspawn after some long winded trivial explanations. At one point they filmed to two guys sitting in a living room discussing the story ad nauseum, so I figure even the filmmakers knew that they had to try to make sense of it all. Still couldn’t make out most of the dialogue, not that I cared at this point. I just stuck around to watch more of that dollar store makeup.

Before I leave you, I just wanted to point out a site I stumbled upon while trying to find a DVD cover for this dreck. Never did find one.  I give you “The Hellspawn Appreciation Page”!

Yeah, this one was pretty bad.

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