May 2024
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Hell Swarm Review

As it appeared on the Cold Case fan forum Look Again in May of 2008.

This movie is rubbish. There, I said it.

I can barely bring myself to call it a B-movie (it’s definitely a movie and not a film). It dreams of being a B-movie. D/D- at best.

The basic story is that a group of a long dormant race, the Nephylim, want to re-take over the Earth. This involves putting humans to use as the hosts for the re-birth of their species. The Nephylim have a plan to use a swarm of genetically engineered bees, hence the title, to deliver a poison to the human populous. However, a secret organisation known by their cover business “Global Air Freight” is fighting against the Nephylim. One of several elements showing how poorly put together this whole thing is is that both sides refer to “the Nephylim” without explaining where the name came from. Global Air Freight could not have just made the name up and happened to guess correctly.

The main character Billy Sabbath (Boyd Kestner) is a police officer wrongly sentenced to death for killing a colleague during an undercover operation. He did kill him though. It was in self-defence, the guy had turned on him. He was a Nephylim. After being given the lethal injection he is taken to join Global Air Freight in their fight against the Nephylim. Kathryn Morris plays Allie, an ex-special forces soldier killed in action apparently and brought into the squad.

So what’s wrong with it? The plot is poor. The special effects are mostly very crude, though the head in the jar was quite good. If feels like significant chunks are missing. There’s no tension or any real scares. It just all hangs together very badly.

Obviously I have a significant bias in favour of the lovely Kathryn (see told you I’m biased 😉 ) but she really is one the shining light in this mess, and she is in it a significant amount. I don’t consider myself a good judge of acting. Unless it is really bad, I don’t tend to notice. In this Kathryn is acting her socks off compared to everyone else. Her character is one of the few that shows any emotion, the rest are stiffs. I do think that this movie might have shown the limits of her considerable talent though: Kathryn is never convincing wielding a large gun. As a special forces soldier she should be OK with guns but she isn’t. This is definitely the what Kathryn is referring to when she mentions her “aliens and goo” work though. They aren’t exactly aliens, but it’s close enough. And there is some goo.

Kathryn looked very sweet and the hair… it’s crazy but it works.

Many “horror” films end with a question mark over with the evil really has been vanquished. This one does too but it is so underplayed that you hardly notice. The intro sequence and the way it ends suggests to me that they might have been aiming to turn the show into a TV series.

If you want a horror film you can do sooo much better than this. If you want an action film you can do sooo much better than this. You want to see Kathryn? Of course you do, but there is better work than this, by far. However, if you are a fan of Kathryn you need to see this. I did 😉 And any film that ends with Kathryn saying “let’s do it” must be worth seeing 😛