Clancy Brown

Hellbenders

“The Augustine Interfaith Order of Hellbound Saints, a team of blasphemous ministers who live in a constant state of debauchery, work to drag the worst of demons back to Hell.” Hellbenders, which stars the likes of Clifton Collins Jr., Clancy Brown and Bubbles from The Wire (Andre Royo), seems like the exact sort of just right release for the October VOD season. While attending the midnight selection at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival, our own Nathan Adams said that Hellbenders “ends the reign of generic exorcism movies by injecting some raunchy jokes and sickening gore into its proceedings. No movie with a sex rabbit could be bad, could it?” No, my dear Nathan, it couldn’t. So with Hellbenders set for a VOD release this weekend, we’ve arranged a little taste of the foul-mouthed priests hunting demons-palooza for you, our ever-discerning and passionate readers.

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Hellbenders

When it comes to horror, it feels like no subgenre is replicated most than the exorcism. And why shouldn’t it? Watching possession play out on film is a great and gruesome way to make make your audience cringe. After the fiftieth or so time you sit down to watch a nice normal girl’s life get ruined by Satan, though, it starts to get a little stale. But the sinning and swearing members of the Order of the Hellbound Saints from J.T. Petty‘s Hellbenders have arrived to spin that premise on its head (sorry). The blasphemous men (and woman) of God are a special force that, rather than waiting for exorcism cases to appear, live as sinfully as possible to bring the demons to them first so that they can battle it out and send them back to hell. It’s dealing with the problem directly at its source. True, this team that consists of cult hero Clancy Brown, Clifton Collins Jr., Samantha Buck, and Dan Fogler is hunting demons and doing good, but Ghostbusters this is not. Hellspawn are a bit bigger of a problem to deal with than the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and just because these characters are ministers doesn’t mean they’re ones you want to introduce your children to at the movie theater. As Collins’ character puts it in the trailer, he’s your Father, but he ain’t your fuckin’ dad. Check out the very NSFW trailer for yourself here:

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3

At Any Price is truly a baffling film. At many times I found myself laughing, I found my mouth agape, I buried my head in my hands… And I hardly think that was the filmmaker’s intended audience reaction. It’s almost hard to believe that someone actually wrote this thing, that the film is even for real. This is especially surprising since the film’s writer/director, Ramin Bahrani (who co-scripted with Hallie Elizabeth Newton), has several good indie films under his belt, including Goodbye Solo and Man Push Cart. The film throws logic and caution to the wind, features an insanely campy performance from Dennis Quaid, flip-flops each character’s motivation with abandon, has zero regard for morality and never ceases to have a cheese factor that explodes through the roof. On the positive end (which is understandably quite narrow), the two race car scenes were shot well, as they were quickly paced and tension-filled. And Zac Efron is always a sight for sore eyes, especially during his two passion-filled sex scenes.

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At Any Price

At first glance, the trailer for At Any Price looks like it’s advertising a melodramatic movie that takes a mock-heroic look at being a farmer, but when you see that this thing has been directed by Ramin Bahrani, the guy who made minimal but affecting work like Chop Shop, Man Push Cart, and Goodbye Solo, you know there has to be something else there. And having seen this one at last year’s TIFF, I can confirm that there is indeed something else there. In between this trailer’s fast-cutting of fist fights, yelling, and make-out sessions, you can catch glimpses of the story at the heart of the film. It’s not only one of fathers and sons, and the pains and pressures that they put on one another, but it’s one of the pressures put on the modern farmer, and how big corporations are taking over the business of producing our food and forcing the people who have been producing it up to this point to either get big too or get out of the way. Like each of Bahrani’s works to date, this one is a real eye-opener.

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John Dies at the End

If you watch the new trailer for co-writer/director Don Coscarelli’s (Bubba Ho-Tep) latest film, John Dies at the End, you’ll probably be left with some questions. Why are those pills that can grow wings called “soy sauce?” Can taking them really make you jump to different dimensions? Is the main character talking into a Polish sausage like it’s a cell phone? Don’t let all of these questions left hanging in the air worry you—a lot of them don’t even get answered after you watch this crazy film in its entirety—just focus in on the fact that Coscarelli has taken David Wong’s crazy novel of the same name and made a crazy movie out of it, and the results are crazy hilarious.

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The bad thing about The Exorcist is that it has been so influential that we’re coming up on 40 years since its release and still we’re getting a handful of cheap knockoffs released in theaters every year. From The Devil Inside, to The Rite, to The Last Exorcism, to The Exorcism of Emily Rose, demonic possession movie after demonic possession movie is made with the same plot, the same characters, and the same tone. And every time you watch the whole thing play out, it manages to hit with slightly less impact than it did the time before. It was with great enthusiasm, then, that I watched J.T. Petty’s (The Burrowers) latest film, Hellbenders, which is finally, finally an exorcism movie that’s nothing like all of the other exorcism movies that have come before. There are no creepy little girls and wise but weary priests here. Instead, Hellbenders populates itself with foul-mouthed, hard-partying priests who seem to be more comfortable sinning than they do going to Sunday mass. You see, the conceit is this: in order for a priest who deals in exorcism to be ready to take a demon into his body and escort it to hell — by offing himself — he must always have enough sin wracked up to actually be worthy of going to the place. So, the merry band of miscreants that this film follows have checklists to make sure that they’re on top of their sinning. They curse, they steal, they blaspheme, they engage in […]

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2010’s The Expendables gave fans of iconic action hero badasseration a taste of what it would be like to experience some of our favorite face punching, public property demolishing, one-liner dropping stars of recent yesteryear share the big screen. It was over the top, explodey good times. Stallone, Li, Crews, Statham, Lundgren, Couture, and Rourke were a fun sample course. Sly, never being one to shy away from sequels (still waiting on Cliffhanger: Hang Some More), poured moonshine in the formula and give us more Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, and the perpetual awesomeness that is Chuck Norris in The Expendables 2.   Even better, the villain finally gets an equal measure of excellence in the form of The Muscles from that Place in Belgium, Jean-Claude Van Damme. Sorry Eric Roberts, I love you but…Sharktopus. Still, one JCVD chair-splits punch alone isn’t enough to compete with those  three decades worth of action superstars, and whomever tangles with them next will have to compete with an action aficionado wet dream of additional Expendables. What is a top bad guy to do? Contract out — pull an equal measure of baddies from the past together and give Barney Ross and company a run for their money. Below are my ten Anti-Expendables, in no particular order.

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Even with its relatively limited resources, John Dies at the End creates a bigger and more involving world than most films with over 20 times its budget. This is one crazy world filled with even crazier characters. Writer/director Don Coscarelli‘s adaptation isn’t a lick afraid of silliness, and that is John Dies at the End‘s key charm. To describe everything that goes down in John Dies at the End would be a massive and confusing chore. In short: there’s a lot. From alternate universes to a meat monster, it’s got plenty going on. The two leads, young and good-looking twenty somethings Dave (Chase Williamson) and his buddy John (Rob Mayes), take a drug known on the streests as “soy sauce,” and it’s the kind of drug that opens one’s eyes in ways unimaginable. The pair get into some oddball situations, involving the likes of Paul Giamatti and Clancy Brown.

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If this has been the summer or the year of the “good, but not great” movie, Cowboys & Aliens stands just a bit taller than most. It wears its spurs a little prouder. It slings its gun a little faster. Whichever metaphor you prefer, Jon Favreau has crafted a loving new vision of the Western genre that delivers far better on character than the average summer blockbuster. At the very least, it works more on making the people on screen matter, even when sci-fi spectacle could have (and maybe should have) taken the reins. Jake (Daniel Craig) wakes up in the desert having lost his memory but gained an alien weapon strapped to his arm. When he’s arrested in the town of Absolution alongside Percy (Paul Dano), the sniveling son of wealthy landowner Woodrow Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford), the pair are ready for transport when the community is attacked by beings from another world. Their kin are taken, and they round up a posse to get them back.

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Jon Favreau is once again the King of Comic-Con. In a lackluster year where fans have sat through panels for films that have nothing to do with comic books (and some little to do with anything interesting), the Iron Man director hit the stage like an adrenaline needle to a crowd already buzzing to see the Marvel panel later in the evening. It’s been a hectic day of overcrowding, a trailer presentation that brought on the boos, and a fight that broke out and resulted in police action. After the panel for Paul brought everyone back to life, Favreau was joined on stage by Daniel Craig…then Olivia Wilde…then Sam Rockwell…and then, Harrison “Throw Me the Idol” Ford. So, perhaps it was the five minute standing ovation that got the crowd in the giving mood, but the footage for the definitely 2D Cowboys vs Aliens was spectacular. Since it could be considered a bit spoilery, hit the jump.

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If you’ve never picked up “The Goon” for a solid Sunday read, you should head to the local comic book store (the one where the owner won’t let you thumb through the pages because it makes them “used”) and pick up the entire series immediately. Actually, volumes 0-3 should be enough for now, but make sure the gas tank is full because you’ll be heading back to the store soon. There’s zombies and skunk-apes and it’s fantastic. News of a film featuring the beloved characters has been around for quite some time, but a very cool teaser trailer made especially for Comic-Con is the first solid proof (beyond a few pieces of concept art) that the film is barreling its way down throats and out back ends. It will be soon enough. Grab a slice of pie and check out the footage:

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This morning we take a look at fan made trailers for the Lost finale, dueling Marylin Monroes, the future of Nick Fury, Mark Hamill’s directing career, Paul Dano vs. Aliens and more.

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TheGoon

Eric Powell’s batshit wonderful comic book is slowly, achingly moving toward getting made. Latest milestone: a script.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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