Two new releases are dropping from our good friends at Breaking Glass Pictures, and I’m here to share the lowdown with ya’ll. Being a huge UFC fan as well (and this being a monster fight weekend), I wanted to have a little fun with these two new releases and play the reviews like a title fight. So, in the red corner we have the revenge/exploitation flick Dust Up staring Amber Benson (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and in the blue corner is the supernatural horror flick 6 Degrees of Hell staring Corey Feldman (The Lost Boys, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter). Who is worthy of your independent bucks this month? Let’s take a look at the tape!
Up first is Dust Up. Dust Up is about Jack (Aaron Gaffey), a one-eyed Iraq veteran who’s moved to the desert for some peace and quiet. His only neighbor and friend is Mo (Devin Barry), a man who’s moved away from the Indian Casino life to the desert to try and find his roots (while living in a solar powered tee-pee). Jack is the lone handyman for the area, and one day he gets a call from Ella (Benson) who has some issues with her plumbing. Ella is a new mom, and her deadbeat husband Herman (Travis Betz) is a roadie for Hoobastank that has a serious drug problem. As luck would have it, the day Jack enters Ella’s life is also the day Herman returns home in dire need of $3500 that he owes his dealer Buzz (Jeremiah Birkett). Jack offers to help Ella and Herman, but only has a third of the cash on him. Buzz doesn’t accept the partial payment, and things get ugly real fast.
I will admit when I first sat down to watch Dust Up I was expecting the movie to be played a lot straighter than it was, but Dust Up is definitely an action/comedy. I didn’t take to the comedy for the first third or so of the movie, but once the action picked up and the jokes got funnier, I was along for the ride. Dust Up is littered with plenty of violence, sex, and cannibalism to easily earn it the exploitation label. I’ve gotta give Jeremiah Birkett his due for the over the top performance as Buzz. Buzz was the perfect bad guy for the twisted movie that Dust Up turned out to be. I also wanna praise the always lovely Amber Benson as Ella. Being the only normal character in a world full of crazy helped give the movie a solid nucleus, and she did a great job as a new mother who wants nothing more than to keep her young daughter safe.
Now we head over to the blue corner to take a look at 6 Degrees of Hell. 6 Degrees of Hell is about June (Nicole Cinaglia), a young woman who was born with psychic abilities. She does her best to hide her abilities, as nothing good ever comes from them. After one such reading at a little get together, one of her friends ends up dead. Now the movie switches focus to June’s friends Chris (David J. Bonner) and Kellen (Joe Raffa). Chris and Kellen are working for “Uncle Jack” (Brian Gallagher) to help set up his Haunted Hotel attraction to open during the Halloween season. Uncle Jack has been given a number of objects from another psychic to use in his attraction, but she warns them that they are possessed. Meanwhile, Erik (Kyle Patrick Brennan) is the host of DeadTV, a paranormal ghost hunters program. Erik left town after the mysterious death of his sister, and has returned to follow Uncle Jack’s acquisition of said haunted objects, as well as his curiosity in June. Needless to say, eventually demons are unleashed on the workers of the Haunted Hotel on opening night to wreck havoc on the small town.
There is a lot going on in 6 Degrees of Hell. A lot. Too damn much as it turns out. There are way too many characters, and way too many subplots sprinkled throughout the 90 minute run-time of the movie. I believe 6 Degrees of Hell would’ve been much better off with half the cast and subplots completely hacked from the movie, and a little extra time added to the one or two that really matter. As it is, it is a bit of a challenge to sit through the hour plus waiting for the movie to get violent and bloody. I will say though, when things finally resort to the Haunted Hotel, the movie kicks some serious ass. I am a huge fan of haunted attractions, and the way the movie mixed in the kills with the clueless guests that continue walking through thinking it’s all part of the show is fantastic. It’s too bad you have to sit through so much other stuff to finally reach the exciting conclusion, because it really was a great time. Oh, and for those of you wondering about Corey Feldman, he’s completely pointless. He plays a paranormal investigator that is listening to a police officer telling him about all the strange occurrences that make up the movie. He’s completely there for poster art only, and I’m sorry but in 2012 that is not appealing poster art. I was a Feldman fan back in the day (honestly who didn’t wanna be Tommy Jarvis??) but those days are long gone.
Okay, so after looking over both Dust Up and 6 Degrees of Hell we go to the judges scorecards for a decision, and if it came down to only one movie I’d have to recommend Dust Up. The over the top Buzz really made the movie a blast (once I caught on with the comedy aspect) and it is a fun little indy film. I do have to give 6 Degrees of Hell some honest props for that bad ass Haunted Hotel scene, however the other hour plus of movie fails miserably for me to wholeheartedly recommend it. Look for both of these movies out this month from Breaking Glass Pictures, and as always support independent cinema!