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Holy Hell (2016)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 27 May 2016 (USA)
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An inside look at a West Hollywood cult formed by a charismatic teacher in the 1980s that eventually imploded.

Director:

Will Allen
4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Amy Allen Amy Allen ... Herself
Cristala Allen Cristala Allen ... Herself
Gina Allen Gina Allen ... Herself
Will Allen ... Himself (as William Francesco Allen)
Jennifer Baca Jennifer Baca ... Herself
Alessandra Burenin Alessandra Burenin ... Herself
Vera Cheiffo Vera Cheiffo ... Herself
David Christopher ... Himself
Phillipe Coquet Phillipe Coquet ... Himself
Radhia Gleis Radhia Gleis ... Herself
Julian Goldstein Julian Goldstein ... Himself
Michel Gomez Michel Gomez ... Himself
Greg Gorey Greg Gorey ... Himself
Murti Hower Murti Hower ... Himself
Chris Johnston Chris Johnston ... Himself
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Storyline

An inside look at a West Hollywood cult formed by a charismatic teacher in the 1980s that eventually imploded.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 May 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kulten fra Californien See more »

Filming Locations:

Oahu, Hawaii, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,730, 3 June 2016, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$16,905, 5 June 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Will Allen joined the cult when he was 22, after he was forced to leave home when his mother discovered he was gay. See more »

Quotes

Chris Johnston: There's this social interplay that happens between highly codependent people and pathological narcissists. Who is going to give a person who needs constant adoration and attention, who is going to give that to them, ceaselessly? Somebody who relies on him as the source of their self-esteem. And they'll say, "You seem like a normal, rational, intelligent human being. How did this happen to you?"... It's what we do every time we come into a religion. We take on their beliefs as truth. You will do...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing song written and performed by _Cabot Budlong_ former member for 20 years. Abused, still surviving... See more »

Connections

References Earthquake (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

Hooked on a Feeling
Written by Francis Zambon (as Mark James)
Performed by B.J. Thomas
Courtesy of Scepter Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lots of reviews by cult members
7 July 2016 | by spencerthecatSee all my reviews

I don't review movies here BUT I read the extremely negative reviews and was curious. All were by new members with this being either their only review or maybe one or two additional ones done soon after to legitimize their reviewing credentials. Obvious plants by the still faithful. Sadly they are still out there.

Their reviews did not have the result intended. They piqued my curiosity and I sought out this film. If you are fascinated by cults or a fan of documentaries seek this film out. It's a rare thing to have this much inside footage of a cult leader and his followers in action. To outsiders the machinations of this vain Svengali seem transparent and obvious. So vain that he was the one who had all of this footage shot. Meeting the members you gain insight, sympathy and understanding as to how and why seemingly intelligent, aware individuals can be swept up by someone and something like this.

The film is well constructed, clear, emotional and does have a point of view. That point of view is what gives this film it's fire and passion. It's made by ex cult members and boy are they angry. It doesn't pretend to be a cold, objective view on what went on there and I think it is better for it. Imagine a film about Scientology made by angry ex-members or a film about the Manson family made by a disillusioned, embarrassed, remorseful ex-member. Oh the truths we'd learn!

My only complaint is that I wanted a cathartic confrontation with the cult leader at the end. There is a confrontation but it seems muted and sad rather than explosive and angry.

See this well made documentary if you can. It's an eight but I'm giving it a ten to counterbalance those idiotic one star reviews.


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