You Had Me at “Perky New Boobs”
Because of my taste in podcasts, I have been beaten over the head with information about today’s movie for quite some time. Thomas Lennon is a frequent guest of some of my favorite podcasts, and his involvement in today’s movie caused him to plug it frequently. And Doug Benson’s obsession with the full-frontal nude scene of one of his friends in this movie led him to talk about it even more frequently. Recently, while listening to one of these podcasts, Lennon mentioned the fact that this movie was available on multiple platforms on demand. It was time that I checked this movie out. And thus my Xbox and credit card were able to connect me (finally) with Hell Baby, written and directed by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, and starring Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Keegan-Michael Key, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Riki Lindhome, Michael Ian Black, and Kumail Nanjiani.
Expecting couple, Jack (Rob Corddry) and Vanessa (Leslie Bibb), move into a decrepit house in New Orleans, where they quickly meet F’Resnel (Keegan-Michel Key), a neighbor who says he lives down the street but seems unconcerned with going to his home and instead opts to hang out in the crawlspace. He also informs Jack and Vanessa that their new house is generally referred to as “The House of Blood,” a reputation it earned from frequent murders on the premises. Strange things start to happen around the house, and Vanessa starts acting very strange. Jack decides they need the help of psychiatrist Dr. Michael Marshall (Michael Ian Black), when they more likely need the help of two priests from the Vatican, Father Sebastian (Robert Ben Garant) and Father Padrigo (Thomas Lennon). On top of what they’re already dealing with, they also have to deal with two police officers – Micky (Rob Huebel) and Ron Huebel (Paul Scheer) – who believe Jack killed a crazy old lady (Alex Berg) in the neighborhood…because he kind of did.
I know that Garant and Lennon’s movies have typically not done well with the critics, but I’m not like the other critics. In fact, I’m barely a critic at all. I liked Reno 911, I liked the Reno 911 movie, and I even liked Balls of Fury. And I liked this movie as well. If one were so inclined to review this movie as a horror movie, they’d be in for a disappointment as the movie is not particularly scary. They don’t seem altogether interested in making this movie scary. They have a couple of brief startles, but that’s as far as it gets. And then some of it would be a little too predictable, like where they were going with the spear-like, constantly-electrocuting lamp that Jack kept playing with throughout the movie. And how is no one going to see the breach in logic when Vanessa was trying to convince Jack to kill the cops? They know too much? About what?! Turns out the old lady wasn’t even dead, so they know everything about the nothing you did wrong? Sure, you tried to bury her alive, but I’m sure she wouldn’t rat you out if you gave up some of the D that she was after, Jack. So does the fact that the movie isn’t scary and the fact that it’s predictable mean it’s bad? No. Garant and Lennon’s movies are usually just written to set up funny situations, and this movie is different only in that it’s a horror version of that. There are plenty enough funny moments throughout this movie to make it worth the watch. I personally wasn’t a big fan of the po’boy scenes that they spent a lot of time on in the movie, but others might find it hilarious.
The budget was probably really low on this movie, so it wouldn’t really make sense to spend a lot of time talking about the look. A lot of the movie worked really well. The settings were creepy, the sets were nice, and the gore was pretty well done. I was never really convinced by the makeup on the creepy old lady, but I wouldn’t want the movie to be without her because some funny moments came from that character. I don’t usually pay much mind to continuity mistakes either, but there was a blood spot on Rob Corddry’s shirt before the scene where he got injured. It’s like this movie wasn’t filmed sequentially or something! I just like pointing out when I actually notice that kind of thing.
I think the biggest sell of this movie is the cast. Practically every single name I listed in the cast above belongs to people I love and find hilarious. Keegan-Michael Key pretty much runs away with every scene he was in. His introduction scene was pretty hilarious, and he keeps that pace going for the rest of the movie. The same could be said for Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon. And for Rob Huebel and Paul Scheer’s scenes as well. And Rob Corddry. And the one scene I had heard about before I decided to watch this movie did not disappoint, and that was the full-frontal nude scene from Riki Lindhome. She looked absolutely fantastic. But that scene also made me mad because Keegan-Michael Key gets to hug her while she’s completely nude. And he probably STILL got paid to do the movie! The only complaint I would have for the cast is that I would’ve liked to see more from Michael Ian Black and Kumail Nanjiani. I love both of those guys, and I know them to be hilarious people, but they had very small parts in the movie.
Hell Baby gave me so much more than I expected. Since all I expected going into this movie was to see Riki Lindhome naked, it probably wasn’t that difficult to meet and exceed those expectations. The story was fairly simple, and the look of the movie was only decent, but the people they cast for this movie elevated it to a place that allows me to feel perfectly comfortable recommending that you guys give it a shot. I didn’t do any research about where you’d be able to find this movie, but I think it’s supposed to be on all major On Demand places. I either rented it from Xbox or from Amazon. So go do that now. Hell Baby gets “Oh, that’s cool! This place has a nickname already!” out of “Could be the devil; could be an ex-girlfriend on PCP.”
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