What’s a guy do in the apocalypse with nothing but a can of beans, a disembodied arm, and his trusty Butt Butt? If your answer is walk aimlessly for two hours waxing philosophically then you would be correct. Hellacious Acres is a horror science fiction (opposite of thriller? Duller?) film distributed by Bloody Disgusting and created by Pat Tremblay that fails to pack the punch it promises.
The film is set after World War III and Alien World War I—that is to say that it is a ridiculous amount of time away from now after lots of war. We know that the planet has become so polluted and contaminated that it is unfit for human living because of a ten minute monologue by a computer at the start of the film.
We join our hero waking up inside of a cryogenic freezer that he was placed in as humanity’s last hope. A cybernetic super solider named John Glass groans, walks around the barn he wakes up in, and then waxes philosophic about being glad he can’t remember anything because he would be sad to know anything better than the hellish place he has woken up in…
So from the start the film spends too much time discussing what we will accept as the post-apocalypse. Then things get really exciting as a scratchy modulated voice describes feelings of being alone.
The first encounter that John has is with a waste lander who chases him out of his “garden”. Twenty unexplained minutes later he shoots himself and his family allowing John to spend twenty more minutes rummaging through his house searching for canned food. Then ten minutes looking for a can opener. Then ten minutes using a rusty saw on the can. Then he decides it looks gross and won’t vacuum it into his suit without thinking…
It goes on like this. Every available moment that could be interesting or exciting fails to do so. The only thing like this I have ever seen (but was infinitely more exciting) was the Legend of God’s Gun. The only redeeming quality for this film is that it is a satire (and Butt Butt!).
Even as satire it spends much too much time showing how it is satire. One scene acts as the tutorial (as if it were a video game) in which John painstakingly types each letter of a question he has. The keyboard is set up like an Apple turn wheel—i.e. amply time to get a drink, use the bathroom, or find anything more entertaining and fast paced to watch (like paint drying).
Near the end of the film John begins to go crazy from using too many teleporters and starts talking to an arm he found. The arm tells him stories while he slowly loses anything remaining of his mind. At one he takes Butt Butt (a cigarette butt) his only friend and attempts to smoke him through his vacuum feeding tube.
This is a bad movie. This is all sorts of bad film making. There is no explainable audience for this film except for hardcore apocalyptic fans for films like A Boy and His Dog, Def-Con 4, or Easerhead. The problem is that the good things are weighted out by the long waits between plot points. This could be edited to maybe thirty minutes and would be great but at two hours it is way too much.
I give this film one out of five dancing hamsters (for Butt Butt! and concept alone).