Director: J.T. Petty
Writer: J.T. Petty
Cast: Clifton Collins Jr., Clancy Brown, Andre Royo, Robyn Rikoon, Macon Blair, Stephen Gevedon, Larry Fessenden, Dan Fogler
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.) is part of the Augustine Interfaith Order of Hellbound Saints, a special order of priests from various faiths who have one thing in common: they sin regularly – which makes them uniquely suited to do exorcisms. But they have gotten a bit lazy and their sin-count is continuously going down. Which couldn’t come at a worse time.
Hellbenders promised to be blasphemous and fun. Unfortunately it didn’t work for me at all. It was way too dumb and boring.
Hellbenders has a really strong opening scene which made me curious about the rest of the film. Unfortunately it then killed my curiosity bit by bit by being absolutely stupid and nonsensical.
For example, I was waiting for a proper explanation why the priests would have to be sinful to be better at exorcism. The explanation we are given is that if a normal exorcism goes wrong, the demon will choose their bodies to possess and then they can kill themselves and drag it back to hell. Which – if you look at it closely – doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Especially since none of them actually sinned a whole lot. A little drug abuse, a bit of cursing and blaspheming – that wouldn’t make them any more sinful than anybody else, it makes them human, so why would demons prefer them to anybody else? I appreciate the absurdity that came from priests telling each other to sin more than they actually want, but that’s not enough it has nothing to fall back on.
So, the concept didn’t work for me. Unfortunately neither did the characters, as far as they had any personalities at all. They were all egocentric assholes that I wasn’t interested in for even a minute.
That all led me to pretty much stop taking it in much after the first half hour or so. At leas the film is short.
Summarizing: Skip it.