HELL BABY Blu-Ray Review
The horror-spoof waters are cluttered with the bloated corpses of the bent beyond repair Scary Movie franchise and all of its emulators, but despite it’s unfavorable company, Hell Baby delivers quite a few sloppy laughs thanks to its buddy team-ups and a more grounded stab at parody that has a moderately well developed story that serves as more than filler between bits.
Written and directed by Reno 911 creators (and former members of The State) Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, Hell Baby tells the story of Jack (Rob Corddry) and Vanessa (Leslie Bibb), a yuppie couple that moves into an El Salvadorian gang tagged blower-upper known as — among other things — The House of Blood, which is based in New Orleans.
Vanessa is pregnant with twins, but something isn’t right as they fend off the friendly overtures of their new neighbor and dependent (Key and Peele star Keegan-Michael Key) while mostly dismissing his warnings about the house’s checkered history.
Naturally, things really go off the rails when Vanessa starts acting bizarre and a bit homicidal, drinking paint thinner, smoking cigaretes, and crucifying her bulge biking Doctor; but while she and Jack get ready for the birth of their demon seed — inviting her sister (Garfunkel and Oates comic/singer and actress Riki Lindhome) for moral support and an awkwardly long nude scene — papal investigators are in New Orleans on the case.
Though Corddry and Bibb are technically the stars , it is those investigators — Father Sebastian (Garant) and Father Pedrigo (Lennon) — and two cops played by Human Giant co-founders Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel that steal the film, trading stories over Po’ Boys and beers before joining up with the rest of the talented cast for the film’s bloody climax.
Unfortunately, low-fi visual effects hamper the film’s more gory and horror filled moments, but despite that rocky conclusion Hell Baby is a strongly recommended rental for horror comedy fans that feel under-served by past attempts to poke at the possession sub-genre.
As for special features, the Blu Ray is somewhat disappointing, with only a few sizable deleted scenes and an inconsequential gag reel (aren’t all gag reels inconsequential?), but no commentary track. With Lennon, Garant, Key, Huebel, Scheer, and Corddry aboard the commentary track could have been the best part of the Hell Baby Blu Ray and well worth the cost of the disc, but alas.
Hell Baby is out today on DVD and Blu Ray.