Archive for November 19, 2014

Question time : when you come across a movie that isn’t on IMDB, are you immediately intrigued, or immediately suspicious? Especially if it has a long-ass, bizarre title?

For my part, I’m inclined towards the latter, even though I probably shouldn’t be — I mean, it only takes about five minutes for the maker of any film to slap up a page on there, and it doesn’t cost anything, so if the person responsible for the flick hasn’t chosen to let the folks browsing the largest goddamn database of movie titles in existence know about it, you have to wonder how much they want the world at large to even know that the fruit of their labor exists.

Furthermore, any old fan can throw a listing up there if the filmmakers haven’t opted to do so, and if no one else, let alone the folks who made it, thought enough of a movie enough to spend a frankly insignificant amount of time creating an IMDB page for said film, that’s a solid clue right there that nobody liked it very much.

Still, when I saw a new addition to the website called Season In Hell : Evil Farmhouse Torture I was sufficiently curious to check it out, especially when I noticed no information for it whatsoever had made its way onto IMDB.

I’ve already said I should have known better, haven’t I?


From what little info I have been able to glean, this was shot in 2004 by a guy named Elliot Passantino, who also stars in the flick (don’t ask me what part he plays, and we’re not going to bother listing the other actors since you’ve never heard of any of them, either),  and the basic set-up goes that the east coast is in ruins after a series of terrorist attacks of some sort that cause friends Carl and George to head for the hills. They make a pit stop at a presumably-abandoned farmhouse to look for supplies and soon find that the place is very much occupied indeed, the owner being one Marbas Hiram, a deranged character who passes the time by keeping a bevy of young women imprisoned in his basement, some of whom have developed an over-active case of “Stockholm Syndrome” and worship their captor as a kind of new-age messiah. Oh, and to make matters worse, it turns out that the house is built smack-dab on top of a doorway to hell itself!

The film’s promotional blurb describes it as “evoking the trippy style of Jess Franco and the savage intensity of early Wes Craven,” but for my money it’s just a poorly-made assemblage of experimental edits, rapid-fire nonsense shots, and half-brained non-sequiturs disguised as a pretentious “art house” mish-mash that steals its central plot device not from Franco or Craven but Lucio Fulci.In short, it sucks big time.


Anybody who’s been reading my reviews for awhile knows that there’s no bigger champion of zero-budget cinema than yours truly, and that I certainly don’t hew to conservative notions like “movies have to make sense to be any good.” I’m all for experimentation and for indie filmmakers with no money to be unafraid to throw a lot of shit at the wall and see what sticks. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean that something will, and in the case of Passantino’s little number here (which, on the plus side, clocks in at just over an hour long, so it takes almost as long to type out the film’s full title as it does to watch the thing), it’s a case of all the shit he’s slinging missing every target in sight — even the fan, since if it hit that something interesting, at least, would happen, and it never does here.

And, ya know, just because you’ve got a camcorder and know how to use it, doesn’t always mean that you should — or that whatever dime-store “opus” you’ve created with your friends should be seen by the general public. But from the ponderous invoking of Arthur Rimbaud in the film’s title to the overly-impressed-with-itself indulgences in faux-psychedelia that take up nearly all of its runtime, it’s clear that Passnatino thought he had something to say here. And maybe he did. But whatever that was, it was certainly nothing worth paying attention to. Apparently he figured that out at some point or else he would have listed this on IMDB, and the fact that he hasn’t is a kindness on his part for which we should be most thankful.

Still, if you feel the urgent need to ignore my advice — sometimes a sound course of action — our friends over at The Movie And Music Network have generously made Season In Hell : Evil Farmhouse Torture available for free viewing to Trash Film Guru readers, just follow the link at the top of this review. Keep the bourbon and Advil handy and who knows? Maybe you’ll find  yourself enjoying this thing more than I did.