This is what your face will look like when you realize you've just sat through the worst movie ever made.
Imagine a group of college kids trapped in a warehouse with a full legal pad and a few pens full of ink. Now tell those kids that they can live if they write a slasher flick that is half decent, or at least has an intelligible plot. If those kids wrote Hellweek, you’d never find their bodies, and all their parents would never have to know that their college age children wrote perhaps the second or third (or perhaps the first) most horrible movie ever written and directed.
If you, by some insane leap of logic, tell those kids to get out and film Hellweek and you expect above average special effects on a Wally-World budget you’d probably end up trying to kill yourself by sticking your own head in a microwave and holding down the cutoff switch with a standard tip screwdriver after setting the power on high and the time for 99:99. Which is probably why this movie slipped through the cracks of the editing room floor.
Well that was elaborate. More so than the plot of Hellweek.
I don’t like being overly critical (alright, so that’s a lie), I LOVE being overly critical. The opening is eerily reminiscent of various parts of Hostel if you were to take the movie’s general torture scenes and tell a less experienced director to film the scenes. The girl in the opening scene features a girl screaming as she gets her tongue cut out with a pair of airline cable cutters and a machete. Besides the fake blood looking like watered down ketchup and the fact that it is impossible to tell if there is any makeup on the girl other than the crappy goth girl look; the major problem with the opening is the sound. Some of the scenes sound like they were recorded in a college bathroom (oh wait…).
The opening left me intrigued until about 5 minutes in when it randomly cut to a few guys talking about getting drunk and having “some bitches do sh*t” for them. It’s readily apparent who the bad guys are (frat boys rejoice!), and it’s even more readily apparent who the bad actors are (FRAT BOYS REJOICE!). In theatre they teach you that there is a fine line between overacting and acting, and most (if not all) of the actors overact in just the first few moments. Some of the actors (like the blonde guy, who’s name I won’t dare write) look like they have a severely degenerative movement disorder at times and make me almost feel like donating some cash to their bad acting cause. The problem is, it doesn’t get worse, it stays the same. They either move too much, or don’t move enough.
A boiling point came forth when one the girls get to talking about her sex life (there goes the sex again) and the sudden realization hit me that the actress, and not the character, is making up a story on the spot about having a “hook up” with her teacher/?/professor/dog? that sounds vaguely similar to every other made up story girls tell in cheap porn movies about their history to try to get a leg up on the viewer (giggity!). It’s almost as if the writer couldn’t think of a way to completely not allow the characters to talk since 99.999999999% of their backstory is completely pointless to the impending cheap gore and obviously recycled power-tool kill gags.
At around the same time the girl said “Edward are you okay, oh my gawd.” My friend laughed and said: “Do you have anything else we could watch?” Congrats buddy, you just made it past the 26 minute mark. He deserved a cookie or whole case of beer as I didn’t make it past five minutes on the first watch. The cinematography and bad acting really make it painfully obvious that the performances were filmed at two separate times with one camera (probably on different days since the performances are so spastic you’d think an epileptic cat was editing the film).
I could go on until I ran out of material for future reviews. Some…okay…all of the writing sounds like it was done by a guy who was trying to just fill the time with sexual euphemisms and as many sex jokes as possible. As a matter of fact almost every other joke in the first half hour of this 99 minute crapfest is full of at least enough lame jokes and one liners I could have pulled out of the 1000 Adult Jokes Book I have hidden in my closet underneath the knives I have reserved for bad….nevermind.
Porn King. Yes there is a character called Porn King. That’s his name. I wish I was joking. For the next few sentences I will talk about this cheap nickname and excuse for a character. The name is pointlessly annoying and the purpose of the character is even worse (what is his purpose?). He carries around a camera and documents his non-existent sex life. When it gets to the good parts with him (what…it gets good? – actually, no it doesn’t get any better because that is the characters only purpose) you realize that there is something up with the lighting and special effects. Especially since the effects were as cheap as a bottle of ketchup. While it is possible to get unique and believable effects on a budget (did you know that the Predator blood was K-Y jelly and the goop from the nightglow sticks? Yes, it is, and you can get copious amounts of both for fewer than 20 dollars at Wally World or a Black Bag shop near you [enough to last you at least two movies]).
Directors and Set Designers here’s a ProTip; use Corn Starch, Motor Oil, and Red Food Coloring for movie/camera blood. You can also use chocolate syrup, used motor oil, or soy sauce with red food coloring to make awesomely real blood spatter effects. Mess with the mixtures to get the effect you want, but remember that you can make realistic effects. If you can’t get realistic then at least shoot for more believable.
Another ProTip, if you’re going to dismember a character, make sure you find a way to lock down the parts you will cut off with a real chainsaw, and find ways to splatter the fake blood around to make it believable. Hell, use a real person if you want (we do not condone the actual dismembering of others, I was just trying to make the point that the effect could be done better). Another word about that chainsaw scene, nice nod to Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I clap for you, you could not have made it more obvious. (Oh wait…you did, maybe you should have had the guy with the chainsaw dance around with the saw for a few minutes, yeah that would have been freaking beautiful. I <3 fake dismembered body parts that totally have no blood on them. But you did have the guy chase someone down while he was wielding the totally not turned on saw.) If you haven't noticed, this is blatant sarcasm. As is the rest of this article where it seems I say anything positive about this movie.
As everyone knows, I love music. The music in the movie is actually pretty good, but it doesn’t fit many of the scenes in the movie. At least try to make the music fit the scene. In almost all but about three scenes I hear nothing but the same sounding music playing, which would do well if the songs were at least mixed in properly and not taking over the soundtrack. Before I get into a full on critique and technical overview of the soundtrack I’ll just say that the soundtrack sounds like a severe afterthought and it just doesn’t work throughout most of the movie. As far as sound goes, the problem isn't with the mix, it's with the overall quality. One cut you hear heavily echoed and reverbed screams, and the next cut you hear dead silence and almost soundproof room-like noises. I understand the crew was on a budget, but sound can make or break a good performance. The opening sequence with the screaming girl was a dealbreaker just because of the sound, I couldn't quite get around the fact that it sounded like it was filmed in my garage (not to say that I have experience in that...ahem...).
I will compliment one part of the movie that did make me laugh. For those of you who are just dying to know what scene is worth watching I'll tell you. In the next paragraph.
I’m talking about the piano scene where one of the killers is (clearly not) playing a detuned electric keyboard during a torture scene. I mean, how the hell is he hitting all the high notes when his fingers are clearly on the bass end of the keyboard? What the hell man? He must be a freaking god at the piano. I bow to you Mr. Masked Killer, I bow to you and your amazing keyboard skills, I could almost swear they made a left handed piano just for you. You are truly a virtuoso who deserves to be alongside Thelonious Monk.
I swear that if you were to totally tell me to look for someone who played better than you I would not go…I totally would not f**king go. *Cut Scene* *Nile closes door.* I told you I’m not f**king going, but turn the damn car on anyways so we can go look for you awesome pianist. I lied, there were two scenes, that was another one, quite possibly the best editing in the whole movie. It was comical and so well executed that I actually laughed when I was hardly paying attention to that scene.
I almost lost sight of the review there for a moment and got lost in one of the best scenes in the movie. Perhaps the only cut in the whole movie that actually pulled what I felt was the intended reaction out of me and made me laugh. The third other good scene was when the credits rolled and we saw the special thanks at the end since everything up to that just felt like filler. It feels good to have wasted an hour and forty four minutes of my time (yes I sat through the credits trying to find out just who the hell was responsible for making this fine coaster) watching a perfectly crappy movie and not doing anything else. Procrastinators Rejoice! That means you (points finger), Frat Boys, Sorority Girls, and cheap Film Students. Hurrah!
I’ll put it this way. If the creators were film students submitting this film to my class I would give them a Non-existent “E” for effort while telling them that they only pass my class because I felt sorry for them wasting so much time making the movie and scrounging up the rights and money to make it. I would also tell them that there are two Hellweeks in a college semester: Midterms and Finals, and they should have checked in with me on the first one so I could teach them how to properly light a set and give them pointers on FX, Cinematography, and simple Acting.
Even with a bad script you can make a good movie, provided the director cares enough about his name and the film. A good example would be Bicentennial Man. While I personally don’t like the movie, I know plenty of people who do, I’m actually hard pressed to find people my age who don’t like it (that’s not to say that I don’t know a few). Some movies are a result of good idea, bad execution. Hellweek is an example of rehashed idea, horrific execution.
It’s a horror not because of the conten-…okay… it is because of the content and its production value. Bottom line, only see this movie if you plan on wasting a little under two hours not playing a game or trying to drink yourself under the table two rooms away. That’s probably the only way I could enjoy this movie, drunk and asleep with the volume on mute.
You want my rating? 1/10. 10% only because 5% is how much I could tolerate with the other 5% being the overall humor I got out of the horrible acting and silly wannabe Grindhouse'ish feel of the whole movie. Let's hope the next movie is better than this one.