Prime Prime. The New Orleans setting goes a long way in distinguishing this from a slew of other no-budget gore flicks, treating us to plenty of local flavour; are escargot nachos really a thing? A great cast of colourful characters, voodoo priestess Queen Sheba and bitchy news anchor Brianna being standouts. The score consisting solely of thrash metal solos and spooky casio synths is great too. At 70 minutes you have nothing to lose.
A day in DXM hell. If Phantom of the Paradise is a baroque rock opera spin on Faust, Hellbent is other, grimier side of the same coin. Some of the most inspired set design I've ever seen, shoestring compositions of ripped cellophane stretched over canvas, wooden plank sculptures bathed in neon light. A beautifully cartoonish colour palette of blood red, powdery blues and an ubiquitous burnt orange that almost bleeds from the frame. A perfect capsule of art-punk kitsch.
Of all the Fulci films I've seen, this is perhaps his most brazenly self-referential. We get eye gore, animal attacks, gateways to hell, Giovanni Frezza (I had no idea he was in this and physically recoiled when he appeared on screen) - he even goes as far as to recycle segments of Frizzi's iconic score from The Beyond. It also borrows pretty liberally from Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist and somehow manages to bear a striking resemblance to Poltergeist in…
This seems to receive very patchy reviews but I got a lot out of it. A stark, eerie piece of rural horror with a bubbling undercurrent of violence, I can see why Wendigo perhaps wouldn't have resonated much with audiences back in 2001 but with the revival of moody arthouse horror flicks like The Witch and Under The Skin it feels more relevant than ever.
Not to say that Wendigo is a high-brow film (whatever that means); a few of…