HELLACIOUS ACRES works as a student film or an experimental film where lots of different filmmaking techniques are used asÖwell, an experiment. Visually, the filmmakers captured the desolate look and feel of what a post-apocalyptic America would be like, thanks to the part-scratchy film, party crappy-VHS quality to it. It revels in its crappiness, and itís that crappiness that actually works for the filmís favor, giving HELLACIOUS ACRES a unique style all to its own. Same goes for the cheesy special effects, as itís obvious they were made by folks still learning the craft with very little budget, but folks who have an assload of talent, if not a lot of money.
Combine the unique visuals and charming-if-crappy special effects with the booming Ď80s style soundtrack of heavy metal and synthesized video game scores, and you have yourself a film that, on a technical level, succeeds at what it attempted to accomplish. Itís a post-apocalyptic world, itís dirty and dingy and an all-around unpleasant place to be and HELLACIOUS ACRES puts you front and center in its dirty chaos.
All technical achievements aside, the film is one boring and pointless movie in terms of script and story, and in that aspect, HELLACIOUS ACRES fails miserably. Maybe itís the fact that the main character, John Glass, is wearing a helmet/mask the whole time, making it impossible to see his eyes or connect with him as a person that makes it so impossible to enjoy, or the maybe itís due to his meaningless meandering around empty fields and abandoned farm houses that makes HELLACIOUS ACRES an absolute chore to sit through. The story is hard to follow due to the almost inaudible narration by Glass, but by story I really mean, the whole point of him walking around was totally lost on me, other than to show us that the world is truly abandoned save for a few energy-aliens and cyborg-things in suits. There really is no point to the majority of whatís happening, and for a film that is over 100 minutes, thatís an atrocity against its audience.
So while I appreciated the technical aspects of the film, the rest of the film, the meat of the film, left me hollow, bored, and aggravated, as itís quite literally a waste of time. They should have cut out about 30 minutes and added a bit more personality to the story and the characters, and then maybe HELLACIOUS ACRES would have been worth sitting through. But as it isÖ itís not.
Audio: 2.0 Stereo never sounds all that awesome compared to the 5.1 potential, which is a shame as the rockiní soundtrack would have benefited from a better audio mix.