They say that getting married is one of the most stressful things you can do in your life. But imagine your fiancé was wearing the cursed ring of a long dead, wronged bride with psychopathic tendencies and a hate for anyone getting hitched. That’s one Bridzilla you wouldn’t want to mess with.
This is the premise of independent Brit flick Hellbride the third feature from writer, director and producer Pat Higgins. It’s a horror, comedy, gangster, romance film that tries to be a bit of everything and fails on every front, especially the horror.
Lee Parker (from the equally awful Zombie Diaries) is loved up with his equally enamoured (and unbelievable) long time girlfriend Nicole (Rebecca Herod). Buying a ring from an antiques shop he proposes, and the couple prepare for their big day with the help of their friends and Nicole’s gangster father.
Unbenounced to the couple, the ring is cursed and possessed by an evil spirit which has a history of causing death and destruction to its wearer and the people around them.
Can Nicole be rid of the ghost before its too late? Will her fathers mob connections cause an all out gang war at the wedding? Will Lee’s cheeky chauvinist best mate end up with Nicole’s occult loving friend? Does anyone know why this terrible, cheap looking, unscary piece of festering bin mold got a dvd release?
Okay lets be fair, Hellbride does have a few things going for it. The performances are average, which given the cardboard calibre of most British actors gracing our TV screens these days is a compliment. Also Pat Higgins script is peppered with witty and well-written dialogue, which may not quite fit the mouths of the characters it emerges from but is still at times entertaining and engaging.
However, and this is a big however, in an oversized sized font bolded and underlined, there is still a hell of a lot wrong about Hellbride. The most shocking, jarring and obvious thing is how cheap it looks. The camera quality, the lighting, the sets, the sound and the atrocious special effects all look as if they went down the pound shop for equipment and props.
Looking worse than a wedding video filmed by your one-eyed, drunken uncle, the quality of the film makes it almost unwatchable at times, especially the embarrassing climax filled with plastic guns, joke shop effects and cgi from the 1980’s.
Hellbride’s other huge problem is it has no clear sense what it is. Starting with a reasonable horror premise, the plot quickly falls apart. At times a potty mouthed romance, then a gothic horror, then a blokey jokey comedy, then a Guy Ritchie wannabe gangster film. It is a monstrous mess of a movie that doesn’t work in any of the genres it attempts to emulate.
Pat Higgins is obviously a talented writer, but perhaps next time he should stick to scripting and leave the directing and producing to someone with more talent, a bigger budget and a better sense on how to use it.
I am all for independent horror especially when its British born, but Hellbride is one movie you will want to divorce as soon as it starts.