Hellhole (1985) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

Hellhole (1985) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

Hellhole (1985) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

📅02 July 2016, 22:11


Hellhole (1985) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Pierre De Moro
Starring: Ray Sharkey, Judy Landers, Marjoe Gortner
Rated: R/Region A/1:78/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from Scream Factory

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Having witnessed her mother’s brutal death, Susan (Judy Landers, Dr. Alien) gets amnesia from a fall while being pursued by the killer, Silk (Ray Sharkey, The Idolmaker). Awakening in Ashland Sanitarium, she is once again terrorized by Silk, disguised as an orderly. To pry an incriminating secret from Susan’s brain, Silk forms an uneasy alliance with Dr. Fletcher (Mary Woronov, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School), a psychotic scientist who has been testing a new lobotomy technique, using helpless inmates as her guinea pigs. These vicious experiments are carried out in the “Hellhole,” a torture den awaiting Susan as its next victim. Featuring an all-star cast of cult film stars including Marjoe Gortner (Starcrash, The Food Of The Gods), Richard Cox (Cruising), Terry Moore (Mighty Joe Young), Edy Williams (Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls), Robert Z’Dar (Maniac Cop) and Dyanne Thorne (Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS).

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Hellholes venture into the world of high definition starts off by letting us know that the negative for the film is gone and they used the inner positive for MOST of the movie and had to use other sources for the parts that were missing. That leaves us with a transfer that looks great when what we are seeing comes from the inner positive but not so much otherwise. My only other copy of this movie comes from a Cheezy Flicks DVD so you won’t be seeing much complaining out of me. Most the time the darn thing looks better than a movie like this has any right to look. As for the movie, it takes the women in prison genre and tosses it head first into the 80’s. But before we get to that part we kick things off with a bit of a home invasion with a baddie looking for some incriminating papers. This leads to murder and our lead losing her memory which in return lands her in a crazy house for women. As if that wasn’t bad enough for her, she quickly learns that people can earn themselves a trip into the “Hellhole” portion of the place where people go in but never come out. She finds a love interest of sorts, an evil lead doctor, and the bad guy that got her there takes a job there as well to try to finish the job. The darn thing just seems to go everywhere in a direction at times with waves of violence and nudity. I’m not complaining one bit about that, but I will confess this is the most 80’s “Women in prison” movie I’ve ever seen. Which is different from the norm in a very good way.

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Judy Landers plays our designated leading lady here and while she is easy on the eye’s (especially for 1985), she also at times does come across as a bit of a weak lead in character, especially early on. While her Mom’s being choked she’s too busy messing with her hair. She basically walks herself off a ledge in the accident that gives her memory trouble, and she does some other odd things but does manage to show some signs of fight here and there. As useless as a character like that might sound it somehow finds a way to work in the weird world that we are tossed into here with Hellhole. Truth be told, Hellhole might just be an acquired taste in the world of cult horror and exploitation, but I liked it for all its good elements as well as its flaws (and trust me it has more than a few). I’ve seen my fair share of women in prison movies and this one at least feels different and tries to change up the format a little bit. It keeps the blood, it keeps the nudity, but it also tosses a whole dose of “WTF?” on top of it all to make you shake your head at what you are seeing but be entertained regardless. Delays and some issues with some of the transfer aside (due to reasons beyond anyone’s control), this is a great release for a very oddly entertaining movie.

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– NEW Interview With Actress Mary Woronov
– Original Theatrical Trailer

Quality of Transfer: 88%


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