“Big Trouble In Little Finland” utters the lead in this mash up of familiar horror tropes that has enough of its own energetic vibe to make its own mark within the genre……
We have all seen Die Hard (well I hope you have!) and maybe when you were a kid, you imagined what would you do if you ended up in the same situation as John McClane. Would you reach for that gun? Save the pretty girl? Fight off all the crooks? For Rex (Ben O’Toole – the look of a young Colin Farrell), this is what happens. There he is at the bank, mostly to talk and flirt with the young woman Maddy (Ashlee Lollback) who works behind the counter, when armed crooks (wearing iconic figures from horror masks), storm the building to rob.
When a gun literally lands on the lap of Rex, he doesn’t banter an eyelid to save the day, to become the hero of the party, a guy who gets the girl and wins the acclaim from a nation. But as the flashbacks that sparkle with an energetic energy that will delight action junkies suggest, not everyone can do a Bruce Willis and a bitter twist in the tale, results in Rex’s life being put in the slammer for 8 years.
On his release and his face now on tabloids and with the paparazzi hunting him like prey, Rex does what most of us would do and just get away from it all and books himself away to Finland of all places! Why? Because fate told him too and yet as soon as the plane lands, Rex finds himself gassed and awakes in a dingy basement, hanging from his wrists, confused, scared and oh….with his lower part of leg been sawn off.
The fact we haven’t even hit the twenty five minute mark yet, shows how just breathless and joyful the opening gambit is. Its from here that the film quietens the tone as Rex spends a long time hanging like a piece of meat ready to be slaughtered with his own cocky conscience appearing in front of him, offering advice and some wisecracks which land like a punch to the viewer, or at times leaves us groaning, but to be fair never bored.
What happens from here will not really surprise die hard (I don’t mean the film) horror fanatics as we introduced to a psycho family who by judging by the many tourist belongings in the basement, have been dealing with the art of cannibalism for a while, not for themselves but for one of their siblings who is a deformed and monstrous giant who will eat nothing but human flesh.
Within the family is a pair of creepy twins and a young woman Alia (Meg Fraser) who for a while wants out of the murderous shindigs and has been waiting for her knight in shining armour to come and save her, is Rex the answer? Well judging from his past antics, it be hard to say no and the film that threatens to be nothing more than a Hostel comedy, ends up being a whole lot of fun.
The main reason why Bloody Hell is such a delightful find is because of O’Toole who channels Bruce Campbell’s Ash to such a degree that he even replaces the famous chainsaw with a golf club and yet, its so utterly insane that it will leave you grinning from ear to ear. This is a character who just accepts the situation he is in and how to get out of it, without ever worrying about the seriousness of his predicament and you can see O’Toole is clearly having fun in the dual role when he is talking to himself and the script at times surprised me for being so damn funny, with the dark humour gleefully being embraced.
While many films take themselves too seriously, you can feel from every frame that the main object was to have “fun” and its clearly a project made with a lot of affection from director Alister Grierson who has a created a tale that in lesser hands would have relied on gore and same old cliché’s instead of the refreshing blast of fresh air that this delivers in spades.
With a crowd pleasing climax and a set up for a possible sequel, Bloody Hell is a frisk joyful ride that echoes the golden age of zany horror that reminds us at times that while slow burn is great, its also nice to take the shackles off at times and just smile at the goofiness on show because this is as close as a vibe we could get to the early work of Sam Raimi and that itself is a huge compliment I can give to 2021’s little gems.