Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

‘Succubus – Hell Bent’ managed be a surprise and a disappointment all at the same time.  As I have pointed out, these movies go in my Netflix cue around number 100 and by the time said movie gets to number one and makes its way to my mailbox I have no idea what it is and why I put in my cue in the first place.  Looking at the DVD sleeve for this one, I’m guessing it’s another low budget shot on video quickie that I must have placed in my cue to have something to talk about on Totally Twisted Flix (my TV show), but when I slip the disk in I see this film is of reasonable high quality with acrobatic jet sequences and also includes a relatively quality b-list cast with the likes of David Keith, Kelly Hu, Gary Busey (I still consider Gary quality) and Lorenzo Lamas (okay, you might have me there).  But after watching the movie, despite the time and effort that was put into making it, the film disappointed big time and was yet another lousy entry into the DTV lexicon of crappy horror films.

Adam (Robert L. Mann) stunt pilot / film school student, is the son of a high powered mover and shaker who always has time for making deals and making money, but never time for him.  So Adam and his best bud Jason (Jayson Blair) jump on dads private jet and head off to the Caribbean for some wench sampling spring break madness.  Poolside, Adam spies a gorgeous brunette who is obviously a woman among girls prompting the master ladies man to make his move.  Lilith (Natalie Denise Sperl) toys with the boy for a while but eventually Adam manages to close the deal in a spirited tryst in his hotel room.  If Adam were paying attention while Lilith was scratching the shit out of him, he would have noticed her eyes glowing red and the wings sprouting out her back.  Not quite the gentlemen, Adam slips out after his night of passion, leaving our lovely demoness alone in the room asleep and jumps back on the plane back to sunny L.A.

After another fight with his dad Adam decides he needs to throw a party and just before he was to engage in tasty manage-a-trios, Lilith shows up out of the blue and scratches the shit out of him some more.  Then bad things start happening as Lilith sets about killing most anybody Adam cares about then showing up on his computer screen and in his dreams.  Knowing he’s dealing with a demon, rolling with the mythology about Lilith being the original wife of Adam (we’re talking Genesis Adam here), he calls in a demon slayer by the name of Sentinel (Gary Busey) to deal with the creature.  Apparently having only given Busey lunch money for his scene, Sentinel gives the young man some trinkets, and bolts – never to be seen again.  This then leads to an incredibly long showdown scene between Lilith and Adam which you may want to fast forward past should you feel risky and want to watch this movie.

Probably the biggest problem with ‘Succubus – Hell Bent’ is that lead actors Robert L. Mann and Jayson Blair can’t act.  Seriously.  I mean these kids with their fake b-boy personas, saying things like ‘I gotta bounce’ are just simply awful, and considering they were like in practically every scene, there wasn’t much the film could do to survive them.  More so Mann than Blair, but Mann was the star.  Without trying to be mean because I’m sure that these are good kids, but I still have to ask how hard is to find somebody in all of Los Angeles who is good looking, has a six-pack and can competently recite a line.  Take Natalie Denise Sperl for instance in the role of Lilith.  Good looking, arrestingly so, and though she might not be the second coming Meryl Streep she was able to embody her character in such a way that it didn’t distract from the movie.  Hell, she just might be the second coming of Meryl Streep considering what she had to work with in this film. 

As far as the other ‘name’ actors in the film, most were probably doing a friend a favor since their scenes were either one offs, such as Busey’s scene or Lorenzo Lamas’ scene, or in one location, such as Kelly Hu’s scene so she could knock it off in a day and get back to the business of not returning my calls.  Call me Kelly.  Even David Keith, who had more to do than the other name cats in this thing, seemed bored to death in this film which you rarely see from the veteran thespian.

One more thing that really sucked about this movie was that was virtually no nudity!  What the hell?  Lots of pools scenes, sex scenes, a manage-a-trio, and plenty of bimbos all around and yet couldn’t find the time to gratuitously fill this thing with a single wayward breast.  For shame director Kim Bass. 

Yes, considering the money and effort that went into creating ‘Succubus – Hell Bent’ it is a very disappointing effort on practically every front with the exception of the surprisingly inspired performance of Natalie Denise Sperl.  Hey Natalie, if you read this and see Kelly, ask her why she don’t return my calls.

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