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At a local Catholic school, the nuns have noticed that the priest is doing more than just leading his students in prayer. Not content to stand idly by as evil walks their halls, the Sisters decide to take action. Confronted by the nuns about his wicked ways, the priest retaliates. For defying him, the Father takes the Sisters hostage and bricks them into the walls of the school's basement. The sadistic and fatal punishment shakes the faith of the women, forcing them to renounce their holy vows in the moments before their demise. How could they continue to believe in a power that would allow them to suffer such a fate when they were merely trying to do what's right? Decades later, the school is now vacated and in a state of disrepair. Selected by the community as a building marked for urban renewal, a neighborhood youth group has volunteered their afternoon to come clean up the premises and prepare it for construction. However, when the motley crew accidentally uncovers the blasphemous...Written by
With his prolific indie film career, New England filmmaker Richard Griffin is best known for his work in the horror genre. As a director, Griffin's forte is the horror/comedy hybrid. It's a type of film he has refined to near perfection recently with his previous horror film THE SINS OF Dracula which also came infused with a delicious helping of biting satire. With his latest horror feature FLESH FOR THE INFERNO, Griffin re-teams with writer Michael Varrati and the results are once again extremely satisfying. Unlike SINS, FLESH FOR THE INFERNO is not a subversion or melding of genres. Instead, the movie is a love-letter to 70s and 80s fright flicks. More specifically, FLESH takes cues directly from the Italian "Godfather of Gore" Lucio Fulci. The film has a vintage Euro-horror flavor from the religious themed storyline (recalling European nunsploitation films with the movie's demonic, killer nun antagonists), stylized lighting, practical (and extremely over-the-top) blood and gore special effects, and a pulse pounding synth music score (courtesy of Griffin's frequently employed composer Timothy Fife) that brings to mind the likes of John Carpenter, Fabio Frizzi, and Goblin. Actually in a way, it's somewhat ironic the film is set in modern times (unlike Griffin's 80s set SINS or MURDER UNIVERSITY) as it might come the closest in feel of Griffin's films to a genuine 80s Italian horror flick. Heck, take out the present day backstory, swap in some vintage stock sound effects and dubbed in dialog and you'd probably be able to fool some people.
FLESH FOR THE INFERNO is a tightly paced, constantly suspenseful, engaging 85 minutes of horror. The plot centering around demonic nuns terrorizing a group of unsuspecting young people is simple and not terribly original, but Griffin takes the premise and makes one hell of an entertaining film out of it. As a film, FLESH plays most like Griffin's non-horror outing FUTURE JUSTICE in that it's a straight forward genre piece instead of a comedy. Even so, the movie is loads of fun (and like FUTURE JUSTICE) is peppered with some good comedic relief moments. The movie's cast performs well and Griffin regulars like Michael Thurber and Jamie Dufault are charismatic as usual. The ultra-gorgeous (even when plastered in fake blood!) Anna Rizzo has perhaps her largest role to date in a Griffin film and is plenty likable and fun to watch as well. Moreover, Jamie Lyn Bagley is brilliantly bitchy as a fanatic Catholic girl who entertains in spades. On the side of the movie's antagonists, the trio of evil nuns are all effectively creepy and sinister while Aaron Andrade turns in what is perhaps the movie's best performance (playing the Devil no less!). If there's one nitpick to made be made it's that it would have been nice to hear actor Steven O'Broin's clearly native Irish accent outright instead of the southern tinged thing he sounds like he's putting on. For a New England horror film, an Irish accented Catholic priest would probably have felt more authentic than not.
As it stands though, some of FLESH'S biggest stars are its great practical blood and gore effects. Some are so excessive and cartoony they work as great black humor. There are some key gross-out moments that are certainly memorable and pack a real punch. While there are also some CGI visual effects on display, they are all tasteful, well utilized, and kept to a minimum. All in all, FLESH FOR THE INFERNO is an indie horror film of the highest caliber. It's short and sweet, no-nonsense B-movie goodness and is prime Halloween season viewing!
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