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This review contains broad outlines of the plot and ending.

Veni, vidi, vici.

Bloody Hell (2020) on IMDb

Plot Overview

spudReturned from Afghanistan, military veteran with a troubled conscience Rex Coen (Ben O'Toole) works as a bouncer at Joe's bar in Idaho. He organizes the lines, manages the crowds, checks for contra­band, and arranges furniture. After schmoozing with the female clientele, he follows up with a visit to Saw­tooth County Credit Union where one of them Madelline “Maddy” Augustine (Ashlee Loll­back) works as a teller. While he's flirting with her the bank is held up by armed robbers wearing grotesque masks. In a heroic shoot­out he puts them down, but one employee is killed as collateral damage. The clue­less police arrest Rex, and a per­snickety prosecutor charges him. Rex accepts a plea bargain and serves six years in prison, but he keeps him­self fit and nobody messes with him there. Once released he buys a ticket to Finland to get away from his troubles.

home readingOn the out­skirts of Helsinki, a young woman Olavi “Alia” (Meg Fraser) reads to her little boy brother Olli (David Hill) the story of Jack and the Beanstalk to help him learn English.

Fee, Fye, Fo, Fum. I smell the blood of an American. Be he alive or be he dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread.

She is preparing him to accept their oldest brother Pati who was born a throw­back to the days when there were giants whose diet consisted of human flesh. Pati is also a picky eater who's finding fault with the food his extended family feeds him (“Too fatty.”) The local authorities are wondering about the many mysterious disap­pear­ances around there (“Lots have gone missing in Helsinki over the years.”) The “creepy couple” flies to America to “find a new one” for Pati's diet. In the Boise air­port, they encounter Rex a fine specimen who is headed their way (Boi to Hel) with nobody to see him off. This is not their first rodeo.

Meanwhile, Alia is editing princes and princesses into the fairy tale hoping a hero will come and take her away from an insane family she cannot escape on her own. And she may do better with a man suiting her brother's taste than did some floozy in a bar with Rex.


In Boise Rex shot and killed three murderous armed robbers and wounded a fourth, liberating a crowd of captives and accidentally killing a mother. The prosecutor focused all his attention on the slain bystander and Rex's reckless rampage (“This is madness”) that caused it. It was all captured on the bank's cameras sans sound. Rex was looking at twenty years in the joint for the one death, but the prosecutor sensing he might not get a conviction offered him a plea-deal of eight years, and his lawyer negotiated to accept six. The media went ape over it and Rex fled the country upon his release.

In Finland Rex stabbed to death “the Manson family” including one mentally incompetent adult, he bloodied an innocent boy, and his accomplice strangled the mother. He liberated one captive hottie. The court had still shots of the slain family members, piles of bicycles & back­packs of their earlier victims, and various refrigerated body parts. The judge was speech­less, and Rex didn't do any jail time. He tells his story of “biblical” proportions unreservedly in Joe's bar.

What does the Bible actually say of such matters? (Eccl. 10:4) “If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for yielding pacifieth great offences.” The spirit of the prosecutor rose up against Rex big time, and he left his place of presumed innocence to take the plea-deal. Yielding to an eclectic jury in this con­tro­ver­sial case would likely have resulted in a hung jury or an acquittal of the great offense. Yielding to the fate of a thrown dart didn't work out to jail time in Finland, how much worse could it be here in the states?

Production Values

” (2021) was directed by Alister Grierson. It was written by Robert Benjamin. It stars Ben O'Toole, Meg Fraser, and Joshua Brennan. O'Toole out­did him­self in the main role. The other actors ranged from good to very good. Even where the movie focused on a secondary part, we were seeing great acting. Alluring Fraser enhanced her Finnish nymph with a sublime accent using hard consonants where we use soft.

There is a subtle casting device that bears mention. A robber in a demon mask had forcibly grabbed a female teller for a hostage, and he & Rex waved their shot­guns at each other representing, we suppose, some kind of phallic duel. When the prosecutor viewing the tape asked Rex, “Why the need to immobilize the perp in such an inhumane and barbaric way?”—he'd shot him in the nuts—he replied, “I wanted him down and I didn't want him to reproduce.” In the heat of the moment, nobody wanted the ‘demon’ to impregnate the white chick. But the prosecutor was black, and blacks have a history of being censured for accosting white women. Is this payback?

On the street the one passerby who accosted Rex (“Psycho twat!”) was black. And in the bar Alia stared daggers at the colored woman who appeared to be making a move on Rex. The Finnish being more sensible were all white. I think a little bit of unconscious racism adds enough edge to the film that it helps rate a fifth star from me, but any­one with a political commitment to avoid films with even a whiff of racism might want to avoid this one.

MPAA rated it R for bloody violence, gore, and language through­out. It was rife with sarcasm but was also sprinkled with gratuitous happy scenes. The plot wasn't above breaking the tension with unexpected diversions. All in all it left us gasping if not sick to our stomachs. But it stopped short of being grotesque. The opening scene was one of the best I've ever seen, and the ending while itself snarky can be outdone with “The Ultimate Finnish” in the deleted scenes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

If for whatever reason you want to see a horror movie, you'll get your money's worth with this one. It creeps up on you rather than pound it in. If you're a returned vet, thanks for your service. Hope you make it in civilian life.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: Five stars out of five.