Reviews: All Hell Breaks Loose

Mr. Stec reviews the indie horror flick, All Hell Breaks Loose. 

What ever happened to good old dentistry?
All Hell Breaks Loose is a movie that really wants you to like it.  It wants to convince you that it's a fun, gory '80s action/horror throwback (complete with fake film scratches), a "so bad it's good" guilty pleasure with just the right amount of self-awareness.  There's action, comedy, plenty of gore, a biblical battle between good and evil, gratuitous nudity, everything anyone could possibly want from a movie like this.  Unfortunately the only thing the filmmakers left out of All Hell Breaks Loose is anything that could possibly make it worth watching.

The film is about a newlywed couple who finds themselves mixed up with an outlaw biker gang known as Satan's Sinners.  When the gang kidnaps young bride Bobby Sue, the groom Pete will go to any length to save her—even coming back from the dead.  But he may have met his match with Satan's Sinners, a name more apt than he may have realized.  It's a film with a surprisingly clear idea of what it is, given the type of movie it is.  But just because you have a plot doesn’t necessarily mean you can execute it in an interesting, meaningful way, which ultimately is the downfall of All Hell Breaks Loose.

Knowing this, the filmmakers seem to have fallen back on gimmicks to carry the day.  The film is designed to look like an old grindhouse movie, from its title designs to the fake scratches mentioned above.  One must question exactly what definition of "grindhouse" was intended.  It would appear that instead of trying to make it look like a genuinely campy grindhouse horror movie, they have found most of their inspiration from the movie Grindhouse.  The film's esthetic reeks of something made by someone who watched a lot of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez movies and picked up all the wrong points from them.  The result shoots for the campy fun of their films, but never comes close to hitting that mark.  Scratches and cool-looking titles just can't disguise the fact that the movie itself is not very good.

Damn it! I hate reflective surfaces!
They keep giving me away!
Credit is due to the makers of All Hell Breaks Loose for having the guts to aim as high as they did.  But they appear to have settled more for style over substance, which never seems to turn out very well.  The comedy is never funny, the horror is never scary; basically everything that is great and fun about these movies is absent.  All Hell Breaks Loose is not the campy nostalgia trip it wants you to think it is.  Instead, it's just an ambitious but ultimately lousy low-budget "horror" flick poorly disguised as one.  

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-Mike Stec