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Independent Film Review – Hellhound

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This brought back memories! No, not of being chased down by a professional hitman, rather it reminded me of rainy nights in Bangkok. It was a long time ago, over thirty years, so I’m sure a lot has changed, but one thing that will undoubtedly be the same is that it is a fantastic, awe inspiring place. It was monsoon season when I was there and that added to my experience. The clouds rolled in just before lunch, rain hammered down around noon, and by early afternoon the heat had dried all the streets out. 

Occasionally, in the evenings, there were the most amazing electrical storms you could ever hope to see. Just as the post opening credits scene showed, I had also managed find myself in the jungle around the Myanmar/Thai border. Much more exhilarating was going around Bangkok in the ubiquitous tuk-tuks which were cheap, nimble, fast, and scary…imagine a cross between a big dipper and a taxi driven by Heath Ledger’s Joker and you get some idea of what a tuk-tuk ride is like! Still, Bangkok was, and I’m sure still is, very invigorating and it was nice to get a reminder. 

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I’ve Been An Evil Man For So Long

But Hellhound is not a travelogue. It is another entry in the “professional hitman wants to retire and is going to do one last job” sub-genre. Loreno (Louis Mandylor) is the presumptive retiree. We start off with him setting fire to a priest who has been up to no good. Well…he set fire to the confessional box the priest was sitting in. After that Loreno goes off to see his mentor, Cetan (Vithaya Pansringarm) who lives peacefully out in the jungle around the Myanmar/Thai border. There is one last job. He has to take out a Bangkok crime lord, Tar (Panya Yimmumphai), and his girlfriend, Nill (Salita Klinchan).

Cetan warns Loreno about how well armed and backed up Tar is and how he needs to take care. As if to prove Cetan’s point, Loreno manages to get hold of Nill but, before he can conclude his business, her bodyguard, Bijan (Tofan Pirani) comes in and gets involved. Nill gets away but now she knows the Loreno is after her and Tar. And so starts all the shenanigans! The bad guys use all their threatening wiles to find out what they can about who the stranger is and who is helping him out. They are successful and people start either getting  killed or getting multiple fingers broken before being killed until there is the inevitable showdown. Oh…the ending was totally out of the blue!

My Sins Are Too Great To Be Forgiven

Louis Mandylor puts in another good turn as an action hero. He is a very capable actor being able to turn his hand to comedy, drama, and action performances. I remember seeing him originally in Martial Law; I loved that series…it starred a chubby martial artist! He also appears in my wife’s favourite film franchise, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. He’s also been in all manner of other things including Friends, Rambo: Last Blood, Charmed, and Not Another Not Another Movie…so, swings and roundabouts I guess.

I need to give a shout out for Panya Yimmumphai as the big baddie Tar. He is menacing, threatening, and, just plain scary. Not surprising really given that he was an actual gangster who has served time and turned his back on a life of crime and embraced acting. Fun fact – the time taken to apply all his tattoo make up is…zero because they are all real! So, all in all Hellhound is a reasonably well executed action film. The fights are well choreographed and executed. To be honest though, that is probably helped by the fact that the majority of the cast have long lists of credits as stunt performers.

Hellhound is released on UK digital from 6th May via Miracle Media.

Film Grade: B+

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Nprtykty, 03/28/2021

Brilliant idea with great information

I’ve been using RunPee for a few years now and it’s basically a requirement of going to the movies for me. The best part of course are the “pee times” that give you cues, synopses and times for when you can pee without missing the most important parts of the movie. There is also information about the credits- length, extras and if there are any extra scenes at the wayyy end. Super helpful to just know that it is or isn’t worth staying. There is a timer function that will buzz your phone when it’s a good time to pee. I also appreciate that the app is very conscientious about it being an app you use in a theater- dark background, all silent alarms etc. I will always enjoy the experience of the theater even if I could watch things at home- but I’ve even used it at home to check for things like after credit scenes or other information too.

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