In a fine example of bring in the wrong place at the right time, former soldier Rex (Ben O’Toole) is at a bank - mainly to chat up the cute teller, Mandy (Ashlee Lollback) - when a gang of armed, masked thugs burst in to rob the place. Thinking on his feet, he uses his John Wick-esque skills to defeat the would-be robbers. Unfortunately, during the mayhem, an innocent bank teller is killed. Sent to jail for eight years, he returns to society and finds that he’s a bit of a celebrity. Rex has a habit of talking to himself - literally, as we see his inner voice manifested, Fight Club-style - and decides to get away from the publicity before he cracks. So he heads off to Finland, where he is kidnapped by a family who have to feed one of the offspring with a different sort of meat - starting with Rex’s right leg. The daughter of the house Alia (Meg Fraser) may be his only way out of the nightmare if he can only talk her into helping him.
Directed with great flair by Alister Grierson, Bloody Hell could well be the expression you use when you see the film. Packed with twisted surprises, Robert Benjamin’s self-aware script is constantly engaging; the dialogue between Rex and his inner self provides some comedy gems and the horror aspect is never diminished by the humour. The character’s military background comes into play numerous times in spectacular fashion - having only one leg doesn’t stop this hero.
Great script and direction only goes so far; Australian Ben O’Toole knocks it out of the park playing the dual versions of Rex, he’s equally charming and a hard-ass when needed. We’re so invested in the character from the start that his situation in Finland comes as quite a jolt. Grierson subverts expectations by nobbling the hero early on - and yes, there are Misery references.
Bloody Hell is the kind of movie that would have cinema audiences punching the air and gasping in shock in equal measures. Even though we have to make do with the less social home screenings, the euphoria will still be there. Certainly a film not to miss.
Where to watch: VOD