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directed by Pat Higgins
UK 2007

 

In a pawn shop, stand-up comedian Lee (James Fisher) stumbles upon the perfect ring to propose to his girlfriend Nicole (Rebecca Meadows). His idea of a perfect proposal is to query her first on what her favorite movie death scene was (Roy Batty's from BLADE RUNNER) and her favorite movie marriage proposal scene (his is from the Don Johnson cult classic A BOY AND HIS DOG). In spite of this, she accepts and they get the blessing of Nicole's father (James Kavaz) who is up to his neck in money problems with the mob. Right away, Lee's best friend Ricky (Oli Wilkinson) starts making arrangements for a stag party; preferably at an establishment with a vomitorium ("A room in which people may vomit to make room for more consumption"). What Lee doesn't know is that the engagement ring he has given to Nicole once belonged to Josephine Stewart, a betrayed woman who murdered several members of the wedding, her fiance's mistress, bit off her ring finger before killing her fiance. The ring has continued to cause misfortune through the ages but Nicole's not about to let anything ruin the wedding (not even a mobster's corpse in her father's office). She and her bridesmaid Carly (Natalie Milner) seek out help from Natalie's incest-minded, occult scholar cousin Sinclair (Cy Henty) who traps the ghost in a mirror and advises her not get any blood on the ring but the wedding promises to be quite the bloodbath as Lee, Nicole, Carly, and Ricky face off against mobsters and the supernatural. Low budget horror comedies tend to be a bit excessive and unfocused (see most Troma Films pick-ups) but HELLBRIDE seems to have started off with a good script (occasionally let down by the budget but most fans of low budget horror will find these touches more endearing than distracting) that provides routine horror sequences but smartly veers towards the comic aspect. Scenes featuring actor Cy Henty (who also provided the drawings for the opening sequence) were part of the reshoot footage when the rough cut clocked in at 57 minutes and the more juvenile humor of these scenes seems a bit forced. Overall, it is one of the better low budget horror comedies (especially because the humor is not there to compensate for the lack of resources).

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 2007 (UK)

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DVD Review: Fremantle Home Entertainment - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Fremantle Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:16:12
Video

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.75 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by writer/director Pat Higgins and cinematographer Alan Ronald
• Making of HELLBRIDE (4:3; 12:47)
• Deleted & Alternate Scenes (4:3; 3:07)
• Not Happy Bloopers (4:3; 2:15)
• Trailer (4:3; 1:00)

DVD Release Date: 29 March 2010
Amaray

Chapters 9

 

Comments

Released first in the United States on DVD by Brain Damage Films, Freemantle's cover bears the Brain Damage logo and jerky pans and movements, and interlacing artifacts suggest that this British DVD of a British film is sourced from an NTSC-PAL converted master (not to mention the upsized DV image which itself have been PAL-converted originally).

Despite this, the disc is loaded with extras (probably the same ones on the US DVD which was not available for comparison) including a humorous director/cinematographer commentary (which is frank in its assessment of what didn't come off as planned), making-of featurette, outtakes (bloopers are a separate extra), and the trailer.

 - Eric Cotenas

 



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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Fremantle Home Entertainment

Region 2 - PAL




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