the film: Hellmouth

the guest cohost: Jon Bjorling

Sometimes here at WDWJW?!? we explore movies that one, or both, of us are at first excited about, but that excitement quickly fizzles out once the viewing is underway. For me, this episode’s film, Hellmouth, is as such. And, as it happens, I’m not one to often rejoice in other folks’ failures. See, when a film comes along like this one, it somewhat seems a slog for me to get through the recording of the episode. I just really don’t wanna bash a movie; that’s people’s hard work up there on the screen. That said, although I’m not bashing, I am also not praising this film. But thankfully Jon is here to brace the pillars so that this episode doesn’t crumble under the weight of my “meh.” ALL HAIL JON!

The film follows our protagonist, cemetery groundskeeper Charlie (Stephen McHattie) as he is blackmailed into working for six more months – beyond his planned retirement – at another possibly cursed cemetery. He’s old, unhealthy, and tired, ostracized by the world. But sure, fine, he does the job. Along the way he meets a lady, and falls in love. He meets a sheriff, and has a long, weird conversation with him about all the previous groundskeepers and how each met their demise in strange ways. Again, it’s a cursed cemetery, they say. And soon Charlie embarks on a journey to the underworld for some reason.

I first became interested with this title, having seen the poster and that Stephen McHattie was the star. Then I learned that Tony Burgess (the writer of Pontypool) was the scribe behind this tale, so I thought, “Even better!” And then the trailer, which showed the film to be a digital backlot flick akin to Sin City & Immortel (Ad Vitam). I was more than interested. But as you read in the first paragraph, I’m just “Meh” about it all. But, yes, Jon does come in and save the day, talking all smart about self-actualization and psychology. Join us, if you please, in exploring this little-heard-of movie macabre: Hellmouth.


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