CULT HERO (2022) [Grimmfest 2022 Review]

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Cult Hero

CULT HERO (2022)
Directed by Jesse Thomas Cook
Screened at Grimmfest 2022

When a cult, under the guise of a wellness retreat, prevents its members from leaving their facility, a concerned wife contacts a former TV personality and cult investigator to help bust her husband out of the brainwashing sect.

When we first meet realtor Kallie Jones, she’s a grade-A pain in the arse. She hen-pecks her husband to the point where it’s all about her. Screw his happiness. Life should be about her, first and foremost, according to Kallie. It’s little wonder Brad’s self esteem is through the floor. Sensing his despair and lack of enthusiasm for progress in life and career, she books him into wellness retreat Hope Acres and it’s great to see him actually enjoy himself as he does things that benefit him for once. When he refuses to leave after spending the agreed duration at Hope Acres, we can tell that there’s interference at play from retreat’s head honcho Master Jagori and the staff, but perhaps more time away from his control freak wife is what Brad needs. All that changes when we see a distraught Kallie arrive home without her husband and discover the balloons, cake and pinata she made for his return home. It’s at this point we begin to warm to her character. Yes, she seeks perfection at her husband’s expense and has many, MANY faults, but it’s clear she loves her husband dearly. Moving forwards, we get to explore more of the other side of Kallie – that of a caring wife who just wants her husband back but who on Earth is going to help her? Dale Domazar, that’s who!

Dale Domazar is a kickass cult buster superstar with his own reality TV series. Speeding around in his black muscle car, sporting an 80’s aesthetic, gruff voice and gun-toting attitude, Dale’s every bit the man of action, that is until he’s forced off air when a bust goes wrong. Living in his underpants in his clapped out caravan, he struggles with life out of the spotlight but never gives up hope of once again de-programming cult members. When Kallie Jones calls him up to report on her experience at Hope Acres with her husband, it’s time to dust off the Hawaiian shirt, pack those pistols and spring back into action for a new series of Cult Busters!

This retro blast of action, with a horror slant, has all the fun and frolics you could want whilst delving into the matter and mindsets of cult activity, topped with a sprinkle of the red stuff. It makes you want to slip on those sunglasses, punch the air and grow a ‘tache (yes, even if you’re female), ready to kick some cult leadership ass.

Incredibly witty with outstanding performances from its cast, in particular Ry Barrett as the gruff-voiced cult buster Dale and Liv Collins as ranty realtor Kallie, CULT HERO is everything you want it to be and more. An utter blast from beginning to the very end, CULT HERO is a movie that isn’t afraid to dial it to 11! Its enthusiasm and appetite for destruction (of cults) makes you feel like a kid again, but don’t be fooled by its over-the-top caricatures. This is a very clever film. It’s incredibly difficult to make a movie that can consistently make the audience laugh, but the writers and filmmaking team of CULT HERO have knocked it out the park with their hilarious take on society and celebrity.

A badass, satirical action flick that will you have you grinning from ear to ear, this is the only CULT HERO you need.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

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About Bat 4417 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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