The Quintessential Grindhouse Movie…
Exit To Hell is exactly the type of genre-film I picture when I hear the word “Grindhouse” mentioned, as it contains everything needed for this type of affair. Bizarre situations, blood-and-guts aplenty and sexy chicks posing with guns. This is exactly the type of film that influenced Tarantino when he and Robert Rodriguez created their love letter to the genre, the aptly titled, Grindhouse, in 2007, and while this clearly couldn’t compete in budget or cast, it still held its own.
Exit To Hell (previously, Sickle), is about four heist specialists, who are now on their fifth gig, where they pretend to all work in mens-clubs, partaking in various jobs, but are secretly casing the joint, getting ready for another robbery. Thier current “job” is at a Russian mafia-controlled establishment, and after shooting and eye-gouging the staff; then making a sizeable withdrawal from the safe, make their escape, but accidentally end up in the town of Redstone. Redstone is filled with inbred-looking cannibals, who are determined to eat our protagonists, but hot on their heels is Russian hood, Yakov, and a couple of his rather large and mean-looking associates.
If horror is your thing, then Exit To Hell will satisfy anyones bloodlust, as it really is a fine balance of cheap-looking effects, mixed with great, three-dimensional characters, in a setting that even Leatherface would be envious of. We get enough backstory from simply watching the titles, which are given after a gory opening sequence, that sees two drug dealers on the run, after they murder another group of dealers while making a buy. Laden with drugs, the pair wander into Redstone; try to hold up the gas station, and literally get their ass handed to them.
The four robbers being hunted by Yakov (Jason Spisak), are Randy (Owen Conway), Travis (Dustin Leighton), Tasha (Taryn Maxximillian Dafoe) and Jenna (Tiffany Shepis, Do Not Disturb). The main killer, and cop of Redtown, Sickle, is played convincingly by B-movie royalty, namely, Kane Hodder, who is really good with this type of character. Dan Higgins, who bares an uncanny resemblance to R. Lee Ermey’s Sheriff Hoyt, from the 2003 version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, plays the gas-station-owner, and insane resident of Redtown. I couldn’t say for sure, but the likeness could have had something to do with Higgins’ getting the part, which he played to perfection.
The violence is rich, as is the tale itself, and with a running-time of a little under 70 minutes, the movie fairly moved along at a solid pace, with never-a-dull-moment to be had. Having such great characters, penned by director Robert Conway, Exit To Hell was finished before you knew it, as it was such a fun movie to tune into, and is a film that’s easy to recommend.
Review by Ed Blackadder, Lead Entertainment Writer
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