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HELLINGER & HOLY TERROR: DOUBLE FEATURE FROM HELL (1997 & 2002)
Published by David Carter on 2014/11/2 (896 reads)
Directed by Massimilano Cerchi
Review by David Carter
Released by SGL Entertainment
Running Time: 125 minutes
Rating: Not Rated
Color format: Color
Audio/Subtitles: 2.0 Stereo English
Region Code: 1, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
16:9 Enhanced: Yes
Special Features: No
Trailer Online: Yes
Short Version: Sacrilegious SOV Horror
The name Massimilano Cerchi was new to us here at FilmFanaddict despite the fact that he worked on two of our favorite early eighties Italian exploitation films, RAIDERS OF ATLANTIS and ALIEN 2: ON EARTH. Cerchi has been behind the camera for several Shot-on-Video horror films since the early nineties and a few of these are beginning to make their way to DVD courtesy of SGL Entertainment. They recently packaged two similarly themed films Ė HELLINGER and HOLY TERROR Ė together on what they are calling the DOUBLE FEATURE FROM HELL collection.
First up is 1997ís HELLINGER. Young Melissa is tormented by a verbally abusive father, who frightens the child by telling her of an evil spirit named ďHellinger.Ē Itís simply an urban legend but very real to the young girl. Melissa wishes that Hellinger would save her from her father and, to her surprise, the pale-faced demon does just that, killing the man before her very eyes.
Years later, grown Melissa seeks therapy for her pervasive fear of the dark due to her belief in Hellinger. Thereís more she should be afraid of, however, as a brutal killer is stalking the New York streets she now calls home. Her cousin, tough street fighter Ken, is helping the cops look for the murderer but he realizes that heís after a foe his fists canít hurt. Hellinger is back and stalking the streets of New York, one step behind Melissa, who may be the only person capable of stopping him.
HELLINGER is similar in name and premise to the HELLRAISER series although Cerchi has done a good job not to directly steal anything from that more well-known franchise. The film compares favorably against other SOV horrors from the late nineties. Cerchi manages to accomplish a few genuinely creepy moments; a welcome aspect since SOV horror typically goes for gore over atmosphere. The addition of a few subplots helps keep the movie moving along nicely up until the abrupt but well-executed finale.
Cherchiís HOLY TERROR sees him return to the world of supernatural sacrilegious horror but with a slasher twist. Nefarious real estate agent Kane gives young couple Julie and David an unbelievable deal on a home they otherwise couldnít afford. Kane isnít simply being altruistic however, heís in league with the spirit of a demon-possessed nun who died in the home and inhabits it to this day. The evil nun longs for fresh victims like Julie, David, and their friends, and Kane shows up to their housewarming party to ensure that everything goes as planned. After some fun with a Ouija board, the guests break off into separate areas of the house, giving the nun a perfect opportunity to pick them off one at a time.
HOLY TERROR is much closer to the standard mode of SOV: a brief premise, short character introductions, and then a series of increasingly gory death scenes. Itís well made, but no aspect of the film is particularly groundbreaking or noteworthy. HOLY TERROR displays the same heavy anti-religious bent seen in HELLINGER, so it may resonate with some of you more on a philosophical level than a standard slasher film.
SGL Entertainmentís double feature looks good considering the original quality of these films. The budget price is added enticement if you are considering picking this up. Both HELLINGER and HOLY TERROR are going to primarily appeal to those of you who remember the heyday of SOV horrors in the eighties and nineties. Cerchiís films were made in the beginnings of the Internet age, so it is entirely likely that some of you out there remember reading about these titles back then and have spent the ensuing years wondering if they were worth the effort to track down. Wonder no more, SGL has done the leg work and brought them into the modern age for you.
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