HORROR DVD/BLU-RAY REVIEWS

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HARD RIDE TO HELL
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Penelope Buitenhuis

Starring:
Miguel Ferrer
Laura Mennel
Katherine Isabelle

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A group of twenty-somethings are driving through Texas to help out Habitat for Humanity (that's new) but run afoul a group of sadistic bikers looking to bring about the Anti-Christ and possibly the end of the world?
Is it good movie?
I can't say I was very excited to see this movie after watching the unskippable and overall bad omen-ish previews for the Hayley Duff epic Backwoods and previous stinker I've reviewed Phantom Racer, but you can't judge a film by the previews that come before it, right? Sliding this one into my player, I was hoping for a decent western-themed horror flick starring the usually badass Miguel Ferrer and I got it, but it's being presented in a package I've seen before.

Other than a few slightly original whiffs of something fun here and there, this is a movie feels like a retread of something all too familiar. I may need a third hand to count how many "Satan-worshipping cult wants to bring the Anti-Christ to Earth" movies there are out there. The best bits are (inhale) the "cult" being a bunch of burly bikers who are lead by Miguel Ferrer who is a renegade priest who found immortality but has to feed on human flesh to keep it up who prays to Babylon and tries to impregnate women in order for one of them to give brith to the Devil. (exhale) Our group of victims may have names but their actions have never changed over the years. We even get the friendly stranger who shows up later to help as well.

Alright, so it isn't exactly original, but it does what it does well, right? The acting is actually pretty decent given the low-brow fare. Laura Mennell turns in a pretty strong performance as our heroine Tessa, Katherine Isabelle supports her well and Miguel Ferrer really sinks his teeth into the bad guy role and gets to do some serious damage that all adds up to some fun moments for the viewer. Although the budget is low and the CGI isn't always top notch, the effects are pretty fun and there are some pretty creative moments to help pass the time.

Well, this ride is certainly better than the films that are previewed before it, but not by a whole lot. Due to its not-so-fresh take on the subject matter, you'll have a pretty good idea of what's going to happen down the road so the movie tends to get very familiar and you'll be bored before the big ending, which ends a bit more on a whimper than a strong note, try as it might.
Video / Audio
The film sports a nice looking 1.85:1 widescreen transfer that works!

Audio is quite well delivered too, sporting the industry standard, Dolby Digital 5.0.
The Extras
If you consider scene selections to be an extra, then DIG IN!
Last Call
As I always say, "just because you can see people getting off the roller coaster when you get on doesn't mean you won't enjoy the ride", and that' sort of the case with this film. Although it treads familiar ground, there's a bit of heart in its chest and it certainly tries to be entertaining. The problem here is that the hardened horror fan will likely predict the whole thing but enjoy the kills, while the uninitiated will not marvel at the low-budget. Thumbs in the middle here.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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