April 9, 2012

Filthy Review - Hellacious Acres: The Case of John Glass (2011)

Hellacious Acres: The Case of John Glass (2011)

Review by Jude Felton

With the Bloody Disgusting Selects series of releases one thing has become perfectly clear, and that is that they released an incredibly varied bunch of movies. They certainly haven’t taken the safe path, the most accessible probably being The Woman, with movies from Germany, Spain and Argentina amongst others, with a variety of styles and sub-genres. The strangest that these eyes have viewed though is without a doubt Hellacious Acres, which hails from Canada.

John Glass awakens from a cryogenically induced sleep in a barn in the middle of nowhere. He’s slept through the third world war AND an alien invasion, and now through guidance from the panel on his protective suit, is on a mission to recover a series of codes which will apparently enable the powers that be to make Earth’s atmosphere livable once again.

This is just one of the problems that John will need to solve though, as due to his wearing this suit he will need to learn the basics of life; such as how to eat and go to the bathroom. See, I told you this was a strange puppy, and this is without mentioning the strange characters he will meet along the way.

Hellacious Acres is no doubt a very low budget movie, but writer/director/editor Pat Tremblay, who also handled the effects, seems to have had a lot of fun with this movie. The grainy images not only add to the atmosphere of the movie, they also serve to help mask some of the effects shortcomings.

Throughout everything that goes on through Hellacious Acres though there is one thing that is a constant, and that is the rich vein of humor. Whether it be the situations themselves or just John mumbling away to himself under his suit, it is a funny movie and a quite surreal one.

It does of course have its negatives though, there is a lot of walking involved in this movie, and I mean A LOT of walking, and this in turn does cause the movie to drag in places. It probably could have done with having 10 or 15 minutes chopped off its hour and 40 minute running time, just to streamline it a little. As for the acting, it is all very visual, as just about every character, and there aren’t many, wear masks due to the radiation in the atmosphere, and Navin Pratap, as John Glass, manages to portray the difficulty his character faces very convincingly.

As I mentioned, Hellacious Acres is probably the strangest release in the Bloody Disgusting Selects series. Scratch that, it is THE strangest, but it is also probably the bravest release due to its style and content. The best way that I can describe the movie is that it comes across as a low budget videogame/movie crossover. There were times when I thought John was actually playing a game, and maybe he is, but either way I can see this film dividing audiences. Those that crave something fresh and unique will totally dig it, whereas those that enjoy a more traditional, or commercial, style of filmmaking may well be lost on this.

Hellacious Acres is one of the most surreal movies I have seen recently and think that it is well worth checking out. It really is a case of not letting a low budget hold back the filmmaker in terms of the ideas he, or she, wants to put on screen. Flawed? Yes. Funny and original? Hell yes.

Hellacious Acres: The Case of John Glass is available now on VOD and DVD through Vivendi Entertainment

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