Monday, 21 September 2015

Hellmouth: Oh, Dear … !

21st September, 2015.

You know, there’s times when a film seems like a good idea.

No, really.

I’ve had a day off, today.   I’ve done some minimal shopping, put in a little work into a #Teaser slideshow — tomorrow’s, at least — and done some cleaning up around the flat.

Oh … and ripped a couple of DVDs.

Which regular readers will guess I’d’ve been doing!

They would ALSO have guessed — possibly — that I’ve had a free evening, tonight.

A free evening, and iTunes credit.

And NOTHING on TV … 

Well … 

Bar the potted history of archaeology that’s showing at the moment … 

At ANY rate … ?   I was in the mood for a short movie: something to occupy my mind, hopefully good and entertaining, and — on top of that — visually appealing.

That’s what I wanted.

What I rented … ?   Was the 2014 film, Hellmouth.

‘Oh dear’ is the right choice of words, I think.


Filmed in a faux 1950s style, Hellmouth tells us the story of Charlie Baker*: a gravedigger who’s both terminally ill.

AND due to retire.

Indeed, he’s got the brochures for some much wanted time in Florida.

Until he gets a visit from his boss, Mr Whinny.

Mr Whinny needs him to take over the Forks to Heaven graveyard.

It’s lost at least three of Charlie’s predecessors.

Whinny … Needs Charlie to step in.

It’s only when Charlie stops to pick up a hitch-hiker on his way to his new posting, that things get … 

Muddled …

Hmm … 

There’s a word … 


Because, you see, muddled is possibly the best word I can give you, to describe Hellmouth.

Stephen McHattie, as Charlie?

Is fine: does a fine job as Charlie.   The rest of the cast are … well, OK: even if no-one stands out for me.


Visually, Hellmouth is a beautiful thing to look at: although something I found a bit — or maybe VERY — derivative of Sin City.

And one I’ thought was going to be on a par with an earlier McHattie film.

I’d rented Hellmouth, having a very good impression of Pontypool: an earlier collaboration between actor, McHattie, and writer, Tony Burgess.

But, where I found Pontypool to be a superb piece of work, Hellmouth … was a good looking mess.

It’s now flaw of the dialogue: more the very patchy plotting.

That seems very … well … 

Muddled … !

With a bit more work, Hellmouth could — like Pontypool before it — be a fantastic film.

It could have been a fantastic re-telling of the tale of Orpheus and Eurydice.


It’s a good looking mess!

*        Stephen McHattie.

1 comment:

Nik Nak said...

Just as a final thought … ?

One of the critics quoted on Hellmouth’s Wikipedia entry describes it as having a ‘muddled second half.’

I’m not sure I completely agree. But do agree the fact the film’s plot has two distinct plots going on.

The first half looks like a straight alien invasion story: although, admittedly, one that involves demons rather than Martians.

It THEN changes, roughly half way through, into a retelling of the Orpheus in the Underworld story.

That I think that is something that contributes to Hellmouth’s incoherence.