Film Review: HOLE IN THE WALL (2014)

Film Review: HOLE IN THE WALL (2014)

Sep 7, 2018

IMDb: Hole in the Wall (2014)
Directors: Carolyn Baker, Steve Goltz, Greg Johnson, Rob Michels, Andrew N. Shearer, Kevin Sommerfield, Cory Udler, Derrick Carey
Stars: Blade Braxton, Heather Dorff, Greg Johnson

Reviewer: Adrian Hall

It seems like you can’t move these days without bumping into another horror anthology, but the thing that makes Hole in the Wall stand out from the pack is its own unique concept that ties together all of its segments. Each story is set in a world populated by psycho hillbillies and schizophrenic hicks; a surreal yet strangely familiar land of murder, mayhem and sexual depravity.

The anthology begins with a wonderful Twilight Zone/Alfred Hitchcock style intro, presented by a dubious suited fellow warning us of the dangers of viewing such grisly material and a plea for sensitive types to turn back now before it’s too late! A wonderful little touch that gives you a sense of what kind of a ride we’re in for. This is a descent into the seedy underbelly of society and what we’ll find there might not be particularly palatable; but rest assured, there’ll be some tongue-in-cheek laughs to be had on the way.

The film is divided into six segments created by various directors from the Wisconsin horror scene and as such, a genuine sense of community can be detected throughout. The film begins with a scenario that acts as a thread that ties together all of the nightmarish tales within; we follow a young simpleton yokel who stumbles across a crazed axe murderer dragging a body into a disused barn. From here, we view the rest of the film’s illicit events through voyeuristic eyes gazing into the barn through a hole in one of its walls. This scenario acts as the thread that ties the film’s nightmarish tales together. And so the journey into madness begins.

One story centers on Wisconsin’s very own famous resident Ed Gein, who is brought back to life by a trio of Witches and somehow finds himself practicing dentistry. Of course, his methods are a little unconventional, especially when it comes to extracting teeth. This segment is notable for a delicious performance from actress Judith O’Dea who plays the role of Ed Gein’s mother and you might know better as Barbra from the original Night of the Living Dead! There’s also the tale of a haunted axe that turns whoever wields it into a bloodthirsty killer. This part is shot entirely in a garish black and white and features an eerily ethereal and seductive voice of the spirit of the axe. Probably the most memorable segment for all the wrong (yet right) reasons entitled Scumbag follows a perverted and sadistic killer who kidnaps unsuspecting passersby and subjects them to hideous spectacles that involve puke, pissing blood, self mutilation and a highly original use for severed body parts. This one scratches all the right itches for any fans of gross-out gore and was made by Rob Michels and Carolyn Baker, otherwise known as the Screaming Like Banshees team who brought us The Lurking, recently reviewed elsewhere on this site. There’s also a tale about a sexy female singer who takes a strange drug and transformed into a powerfully erotic siren of death, shot in a bold psychedelic Giallo style and a bizarre short film about a twisted, freakish couple and their destructive, grotesque but oddly sweet love for each other.

At heart, Hole in the Wall is an exploitation film; an anthology of sleaze, wickedness and debasement held together with effective acting, artistic flair from each of the directors, a dark sense of humour and masterfully wicked storytelling. I loved it and if you have a hidden deviant side to yourself, you probably will too.