Sunday, February 16, 2014

Succubus: Hell-Bent (2007)

Succubus: Hell-Bent is an awful film that surprisingly has a few absolutely delightful moments. It begins with a shot of a shadow of a fighter jet and this important bit of voice over: “Some men are born first. Some are born to be first. My name is Adam. I was born both.” Yup, silliness of biblical proportions.

Then we cut to a different plane. Two guys are going to Cancun in a private plane for spring break. They have cameras, so once they reach their destination they film girls’ chests. None of the women seem to mind. The two guys are completely indistinguishable. One of them turns philosophical, offering this intriguing question: “What’s hotter than a hottie?” Then he points out a woman in a black bikini and actually says, “Check her out, two o’clock.” The other guy refers to himself as “the A-man” and goes to hit on the woman. He tells her eloquently, “You look hot.”

The A-man turns out to be Adam (who provided the brilliant voice over work at the beginning), and the woman is named Lilith. And Adam’s come-on line works. Soon they’re in a hot tub together. Adam tells her he’s in film school because he wants to make blockbuster movies and that he’s motivated by money. Yeah, he’s more of a douche with each passing minute. Lilith is kind of hot, and I like that she says, “I prefer to be on top.” Adam secretly (but not secretly enough, for Lilith notices) films their love-making, which is sadly very tame, even when it goes into slow motion for some reason. She commands that he tell her he loves her, and suddenly he develops scruples, saying he just met her. Adam and his friend watch his homemade sex video on their flight back, so clearly there is some kind of homosexual attraction there.

The editing in this film is fucked up. We go to a business man on the phone, then cut to a woman on the phone, but apparently these are two completely unrelated phone conversations. Who cuts like that? The man turns out to be Adam’s dad.

Adam then gets together with his girlfriend. Yeah, he has a girlfriend. Seriously, this guy is more and more of an asshole. An idiot too, as he takes off his shirt, forgetting that Lilith had left some visible scratches. His girlfriend understandably gets upset and leaves. And Adam is so distraught that he immediately calls his friend to organize a party. “I am feeling the need for a major rager.”

So then we cut to a party. Somehow Adam has found a whole lot of folks as vacant as he is. We’re more than twenty minutes into the film and I’m beginning to wonder if this is a horror movie at all. Adam has sex with two stupid girls and when he pulls out the video camera, they giggle with glee. Lilith shows up in his bedroom, which upsets the girls, one of whom says, “We were doing him first.” Seriously. She says that. And then, oh boy, it is revealed that the two girls are sisters. What twelve-year-old boy wrote this piece of shit?

Anyway, he and Lilith go at it, while his friend listens at the door, saying he hopes Adam is getting it all on tape. Yes, he’s super gay. And then, proving that every character in this film is completely empty, Adam’s girlfriend actually comes back to him. Yes, pathetic. So like thirty-two minutes into the film when someone is finally killed, we’re happy. We want all of these people to be killed. But for now, it’s just the pathetic girlfriend who dies.

The cops think that Adam did it, and in a better film we’d want the cops to believe he’s innocent. But in this film it doesn’t matter. Adam is such a despicable and worthless prick that his being executed for a crime he didn’t commit would suit us all just fine. But his dad stops the arrest. A shame.

The first interesting thing in the film is that the coroner in the van unzips the body bag and kisses the dead girlfriend. It’s totally pointless and unrelated to anything else in the film so far, but it’s amusing and more believable than anything else we’ve seen.

Then we have some pointless footage of Adam flying a fighter jet. Lilith shows up there too. I have to wonder, Why is she even interested in this guy? Another question is, Why did someone give the filmmakers enough money for planes and helicopters but not a script or decent actors? Anyway, they crash a plane and then go out to a club. At the club, Adam’s gay friend says, “Never leave your wingman in the dark, Maverick,” a reference to another gay fighter pilot movie.

Lilith shows up and kills the gay friend. There is a funny moment where two girls discover his corpse in a bathroom stall. They scream, close the stall door, then open it again just to check, and then scream again. So, if you’re keeping track, that and the necrophilia are the two good moments so far.

His gay friend’s death makes Adam sad so he drives by the Hustler store while listening to a mellow song on the car stereo. Then he goes home and watches old footage of his friend in which he is without a shirt. He then does a search for the name “Lilith” online. Oh boy. Listen, there is nothing more boring than watching someone typing on the computer and then reading aloud what’s on the screen. So if you are a filmmaker, try to avoid this.

Anyway, Adam calls a demon hunter to get rid of Lilith. The demon hunter is played by Gary Busey, which is great, but the dialogue he has to deliver is just awful. Busey spends as little time in the movie as possible, giving Adam a parchment and some weapons and then taking off. He’s in the film for four minutes. The parchment provides instructions on creating a pentagram. There is an odd, funny moment where a Jesus statue levitates for a moment. Again, it has nothing to do with anything. But it’s cute.

When Lilith shows up, she spells “succubus” for Adam. After all, she knows he’s an idiot. And then comes the film’s best moment. Lilith erases the pentagram from Adam’s floor and replaces it with a smiley face. It’s funny and kind of clever and makes you wonder why more of the film isn’t like that. I mean, if they could come up with that delightful moment, why couldn’t they go back and create a better script?

At the end, we have another bit of thoughtful voice over from Adam: “Sometimes being first means you’re the last to know when you’ve gone too far.” Okay.

Succubus: Hell-Bent was written and directed by Kim Bass.

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