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Reviews of Movies I Haven’t Seen: Hell Fest

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,

By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use,

Hell Fest is a documentary about the annual Misfits fan convention in Colby, Kansas. Colby is not all that big, so there’s only about 5 fans of the band. Well, actually, about half of the teenagers in Colby walk around with Misfits shirts on – it’s just that only 5 people in the town realize that the Misfits are a band rather than an obscure European fashion design house.

Anyways, Dirk Brooks is the organizer. Dirk was originally from the country but moved to Duluth to chase his dream of being a singer in a bowling alley. His dreams crumpled and he had to get a job as a door greeter at a funeral parlor.

The Misfits are his life. They helped him get through many hard times, like when his dog ran over a car. He compares them to the Beatles, whom he always confuses with the Beach Boys.

SPOILER WARNINGS: I haven’t watched this movie

The plot, as it were, revolves around Dirk’s scramble to keep the show together when the guest of honor, G. Felton Skrosky (Dr. Chud’s childhood friend from elementary school), decides to cancel at the last minute due to a scheduling conflict (there was a M*A*S*H marathon on TV that weekend).

With ticket sales stalled and the corporate backers getting nervous, Dirk makes several fateful decisions. This is where the movie loses steam. I know that the deposit at Chuck E. Cheese was non-refundable, but Dirk should have had the dignity to end the show right there.

The actual human sacrifice sub-plot goes nowhere. I guess the documentarians had filmed hours of footage for it, so it ended up in the film anyway. Trying to find a willing victim, trying to find a loop-hole in Colby’s unnecessarily strict ‘murder’ laws, trying to create a realistic looking cadaver from a stolen mannequin, a bottle of ketchup, and seven pounds of potato salad – the film-makers wasted their time filming it, so they punish us by making us watch it.

The film really takes a downhill turn when Dirk decides to invite the local Juggalos. I don’t know how they managed to make them seem like decent people who are actually really cool once you get to know them and not all that different from you or me. Obviously they crossed the line from documentary to outright fabrication. They even pointed out the truth that Insane Clown Posse isn’t all that different from the Misfits. Sure, both band’s lyrics are corny horror-inspired trash, both wear embarrassing costumes, it all sounds like dogs being strangled – but the Misfits have ‘punk’ sounding guitars! The beat is more ‘rock’! And they’re poppier!

Anyway, two Satan horns down from me on this one. I recommend Heck Fest, about the Misfits convention in Salt Lake City, instead.

Best Line: This Ouija board must be defective. Call Milton Bradley.

How I’d improve the movie: Mute the audio and play the Misfits during the Juggalo scenes. In fact, mute the audio and play the Misfits for the duration of whole movie. Finally, remember to remove the lens cap before the police chase them out of the water park.

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