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Thursday, April 9, 2020

HELL'S BELLS (Film Review)

                                     Starring Jim O'Rear, Scott Tepperman, Marc Price

                                       Directed by Jim O'Rear & Scott Tepperman


  As it has been said: "Music soothes the savage beast" - but what if it was that beast that was behind said music? I was recently gifted the opportunity of checking out Los Bastardz Productions latest dive into dulcet-laden waters - this one's called Hells' Bells and if you've got a hankering for some melodically maniacal moviemaking, then grab your instruments (no, not THOSE instruments) and meet me in the studio - we've got a film to break down into readable stanzas!

  O'Rear & Tepperman (the Bastardz, most respectfully speaking) pull some seriously heavy duty in this presentation, with acting roles, accompanied by writing, production and directorial functions as well. Their roles are that of longtime buds and fledgling rockers Art "Destroyer" Finkleman and Herb "Rainmaker" Stankin, and it's an absolute toss-up as to which is more of a deficit in their lives right now: the lack of quality employment, a shortness of intellectual elevation or the fact that they've gone nowhere with their band, Devil Music in quite a long time. The guys are henpecked by their significant others, ridiculed regularly by their manager at work (Jim Maguire in a funny role), and gather religiously for practice in a pseudo-studio that leaks like a sieve. Will anything help these hapless "artists" catch a break? Maybe their help isn't so far away after all...enter The Mysterious Stranger, played to diabolical excellence by Marc Price (TV's "Family Ties" and the 80's horror cult-classic Trick Or Treat) - everything he offers comes with a contract, and a small fee for his services - question is, is your life worth a little bit of excess or instant fame?

  The guys' representation gets snatched up by a seedy promoter (Tom Komisar) who has done a little bit of dealin' with the Devil, if ya catch my drift. It all adds up to increased notoriety for the group, a little bit of chaos thrown in for good measure, and the sound that the band has been looking for for ages...problem is when it's time to "collect" the fellas aren't too keen on having a demon (Jerry Reeves) beating down their door to reap what the duo has sowed. The film from front to back is jammed with goofy humor and comic instances, with even a few scenes set up like an old black and white sitcom, complete with laugh-track. Both O'Rear and Tepperman play off of each other extremely well, and the accompanying work of Price and Komisar make this an all-around fun-flick to take in - just add beverages, munchies and whatever other stimulants you may crave - oh yeah, don't forget the tunes either! Just don't play them too terribly loud, or there will be the Devil to pay.

 RATING: 3.5 out of 5

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