[Calgary Underground Film Festival] To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story (2017) Reviewed

Kane Hodder's story is told in one of the best personal docs we've ever seen. 

Hailed as the best Jason Voorhees ever, the tale of Kane Hodder's rise to horror stardom is chronicled in the new documentary, To Hell and Back. At a mere hour and forty five minutes, many fans will be thirsty for more. This is easily one of the most interesting documentaries I've ever seen. You'll probably agree. Hodder is a horror icon that's finally given room to talk about his experiences in sometimes heart wrenching graphic detail. 

Tracing the stunt coordinator's existence from his youth to the accident that almost ended his life in a tragic stunt gone wrong, Hodder is shown as a passionate and unquestionably flawed human being that loves his fans and the context of the world he continues to work in. The documentary looks at his humble beginnings, his dedication to the craft, and also shines a light on the demons that have effected his work and also his well defined personality. Yet, one thing becomes quite clear throughout the movie. Kane Hodder loves his life. And he adores the people that continue to support him. 

To Hell and Back doesn't falter in its representation of Hodder. It takes bold steps to let us see that he's not perfect. Where so many of these types of documentaries go wrong in strictly showing bias towards their subject matter, The Kane Hodder Story lets us all know that this man has battled to be where he's at today. Instead of giving us a slanted view, Herbert's direction is multisided, which in turn offers a rounded story that's capped off by interesting interviews with numerous people and stars that have worked on set with Hodder. The interview pieces with Robert Englund show how much these men respect each other. We also get a good look at his interaction with fans: the people that continue to love and respect for the man's iconic work. 

As he spells out numerous times in the movie, he was the one that added physical definition to the legendary killer known as Jason. He also discusses at length his disappointment with not being involved with Freddy vs Jason, a topic that he now pokes fun at. To Hell and Back looks at all angles of Hodder's life. He talks about how his wife has helped him. And he also touches on his children and how they've helped him clear personal hurdles. Hodder then delves into his relationship with his mom, setting up some tear inducing moments that show how she was a great inspiration for him, even after his obsessive disorders damaged his life and personal connections with the most important people. 

Being that I'm such a huge fan of the Friday the 13th series, To Hell and Back is that inside look that we've been waiting for. If you want to know Hodder, this is the movie you want to see. As a tribute to his years in horror, he lays it all on the line here, letting us know that he loves us like family and that the fans make it worthwhile. If you want to experience something great, check this one out. I can't suggest it enough.