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Reviewed by Thomas Truscott

Released: 5th March 2010

Directed by: Chris Bearde

Starring: Bill Hudson, Mark Hudson, Brett Hudson


Welcome to Hellview – Population: Strange.

Written and starring 70′s American music group, The Hudson Brothers, Director Chris Bearde’s Hysterical introduces us to Frederic Lansing (Bill Hudson), A writer who has had enough of being a scribe of seedy novels.Lansing retreats to the Oregon town of Hellview to relax and write the next ‘Great American Novel’ but the old lighthouse he is renting still has the spirit of Venetia (Julie Newmar), a woman who killed herself a century before along with her lover Captain Howdy (Richard Kiel) and his wife.The level is set very quickly with some questionable one liners such as on Lansing’s arrival in Hellview and meeting with the local estate agent Kate (Cindy Pickett), Lansing uses an assumed name to hide from his fame as a writer with the line ‘Im Casper, Im a ghost writer’. However limited some of the lines are they are delivered well so actually help the film along considerably.

The spirit inside the lighthouse raises the body of Captain Howdy from the sea, who under her command works his way through the town turning the population to roll neck wearing zombies.The introduction of experts, Dr Paul Batton(Mark Hudson) and his assistant Fritz(Brett Hudson) raises the comedy with The Exorcist, Jaws, Chariots of Fire and Raiders of the Lost Ark all getting the spoof treatment. But most memorable is Robert Donner (The Waltons) as Ralph, resident of Hellview Home for the Terminally Strange, who plays out an even crazier version of the character with the same name from Friday the 13th and it sequel.

Released in 1983 in the post slasher phase after Friday the 13th in amongst a number if spoof movies all attempting to play off the success of Airplane, however this does fall short. Not because of the characters or cast playing them, but more likely because of the production itself. Comparative of other films from its time, very poor special effects and an unconvincing plot hurt this a lot, but it is saved by a cast who work off each other quite well and cheap gags that work even though some of them just shouldn’t but become irritatingly quotable. Something about the whole package just makes you think its all wrong but as this type of thing goes then I would pick Hysterical before many other parody films such as the more recent Wayans Brothers ‘comedys’. Worth a watch, and its one of those films with the gags as they are even if you don’t enjoy it particularly the first time, its worth another go, and if you don’t like it ‘What difference does it make………’

25 year old film fanatic who loves rock music, Xbox and cat videos on Youtube. I also tweet @lewisvstheworld

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