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Hellblock 13 (1999).

October 29, 2010

The Scoop:
It’s Halloween! That means ’tis the season for movies to send shivers up your spine and make you jump out of your seat. Unfortunately, this isn’t one of those movies. The folks at Troma bring us (only as distributors, not producers — sorry!) this regionally-produced attempt at that trusted horror film standby, the anthology movie.

In the framing sequences, the supersexy Debbie Rochon gets creepy as a condemned serial killer reading from her notebook of sub-Stephen King horror stories to her executioner (played by “Leatherface” himself, Gunnar Hansen) on the eve of her execution. In the first tale, Amy Swaim plays a troubled suburban mother who murders her children (shades of Susan Smith), only to be haunted from beyond the grave. In the second and most ludicrous tale, Jennifer Pelusco is an abused trailer trash housewife who seeks help from the neighborhood witch to handle her asshole husband, but with unexpected results. The final story concerns a group of corpse-worshipping bikers who get a little supernatural help to evade the law.

Despite being shoddily written across the board and lacking in Troma’s usual diet of gore and nudity (except for an all too brief bit of girl-on-girl action in the third tale), this one’s worth a look primarily for Rochon and the framing story. Maybe you can save a space for it in your Halloween horror movie marathon when you’ve exhausted a lot of better possibilities.

Best Line:
“Please don’t hit me with no more food!”

Side Note:
The film was originally titled “Hellblock 666” but was changed because producers Jeffrey Miller and Paul Talbot, who also wrote and directed, had trouble securing filming locations in ultraconservative South Carolina.

Companion Viewing:
If you’re looking for horror anthologies for you Halloween viewing pleasure, try some of the classics like, like “Black Sabbath” (1964), “Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors” (1965) or “Creepshow” (1982).

Official Site.
Monsters at Play.
Fear Fragments.

Take a Look:
Sadly, this is only available via Amazon Video on Demand. What’s the deal, Troma? C’mon!

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