Sunday, October 9, 2011

Foreign Flicks: A Bell From Hell

Are you ready for some....misleading plot descriptions?  Today's movie is one that has been in and out of my Queue for months- possibly years.  It would linger about until I would change my mind about it and remove it...only to put it back in later.  Was it worth the wait?  Well, no.  You see, the movie has a plot description that calls it 'a bloodbath of a movie' and features scenes in which a man's aunt is 'raped out of vengeance.'  That's some serious Exploitation!  Of course, none of that actually happens in the movie.  What you actually get is something far different and, well, 'artsy.'  To see what the film really is, read on...
Our hero is a man just recently released from a Psych Ward on leave.  He has plans to meet up with his family- two aunts and three sisters- but first has to stop to talk to this guy in the trees.  Alright then.
He takes time away from planning his super-elaborate revenge scheme- which includes getting a bust of face made- to screw with people in town.  Why?  Who knows?!?
Skipping past about three time-filler sub-plots- including the attempted rape of a young woman by old men in town- we get to the planned meeting of our hero/villain and the four relatives.  This is where things pick up.
The Aunt is taken out away from the house while the young women are busy and left to be killed by some bees.  How very Phibes of you.
In the film's most iconic image- the one on the damn Menu- our hero knocks out and strips his three sisters down.  His plan- to slaughter them like cattle, a skill he learned in a pointless gore scene near the beginning.  Ready to see where the film really falters?
Well, he doesn't kill them, having a change of heart, and they escape.  In addition, the Aunt is merely wounded- bullshit!  The hero/villain is locked up by behind a wall in the Church, with a rope around his neck that will kill him when the church bells ring.
In the aftermath, one sister is upset at them killing the brother (in spite of what he did to her).  The Uncle investigates lights at the hero/villain's house and gets killed, after smashing the convenient mask.  Who killed him?  Who knows?  The End.
The bells, the bells are calling!  The plot of this movie could have been interesting.  The idea of the complex revenge scheme over money is good.  The actual execution sucks!  The movie bides its time for a long, long time.  There are moments where this works- like the part where he takes the sisters one-by-one- and others where it just sucks.  What was the point of the women almost being raped, only to be saved by the lead actor?  Was it part of this whole 'I'm evil, but so are they' plot?  If so, it could have been done in a shorter, less stupid way.  The biggest problem is how the finale is handled.  Why all the build-up to him simply not doing it?  It's a giant middle finger to the audience!  If you want to make a weird art film, make one.  If you want to make an exploitation film, make one.  If you want to make a movie like this, don't!  That's it- just keep smiling...
Next up, I dive into horror sequels that suck.  First up, the non-sequel to a bad horror film...that is shot-on-shitteo.  Stay tuned...


  1. could you give a few more details about the movie (director, year)?
    when I type "The Bells" into IMDB, there's a shitload of movies with that title

  2. "The movie bides its time for a long, long time." -- That's a good line!

    And friggin' funny review, as always.

  3. It is a tricky one to find, Maynard.

    Here is the Netflix link:

    Here is the IMDB link:

    I also failed to mention the bizarre story involving the Director of the film...because I didn't know it. Look up Claudio Guerin to see for yourself.

  4. Thank you!

    Whoops, looks like the bell sent him straight to hell :)