Ben O’Toole, Meg Fraser, Caroline Craig, Matthew Sunderland, Travis Jeffery, Jack Finsterer
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…an absolute hoot.
Horror comedy is one of those things that looks like a piece of piss, but is actually extremely difficult to pull off. For every Evil Dead 2, An American Werewolf in London or Shaun of the Dead there are heaving landfills’ worth of z-grade shlock that confuse “noisy” with “funny” and “rip off” with “homage”. Due to the high degree of difficulty associated with this cross genre balancing act, it’s always good to celebrate those rare occasions when it’s done right. With that in mind, we would like to introduce you to Bloody Hell: an Aussie horror comedy that’s an absolute little ripper.
Bloody Hell tells the tale of Rex Coen (Ben O’Toole), a charming but impulsive young man who is infamous for violently foiling an armed robbery, but served an eight year jail sentence on account of some collateral damage. After he’s done his time, Rex decides to bugger off to Finland for a change of scene. When he gets there… well, the scene certainly changes but it’s not one he ever would have hoped for. Without giving too much away, the rest of the film plays out as a wild ride that includes cannibalism, limb-lopping and a truly fucked up Finnish family with a dark secret.
As fun as the story is, what sets Bloody Hell apart from the horror comedy pack is its command of tone and style. Director Alister Grierson (Sanctum) brings a light touch, even in the more gruesome scenes, and deftly nails the comedic beats set up in the script by Robert Benjamin. However, it’s Ben O’Toole’s performance(s) as both Rex and Rex’s Id (or conscience or ego?), with the snarky back and forth banter – even if in the face of involuntary amputation or certain death – that gives the flick a pleasingly surreal vibe; like riding a ghost train on a low dose of psilocybin.
Bloody Hell is that rare horror comedy that manages to be both scary and funny, but more than that, it’s surprising. The plot is twisty and brisk, the characters well realised and engaging and the acting is unusually nuanced and well observed. In terms of indie Aussie horror flicks (bunging on American accents, naturally) it’s punching far, far above its weight. Ignore the torture porny poster art, and get your eyeballs on this delightful flick, because bloody hell, Bloody Hell is an absolute hoot!