Movie Name: Hell and Back
Studio: ShadowMachine Films
Release Date(s): October 2, 2015
MPAA Rating: R
Remy, Augie, and Curt are running a carnival with no future and no money. When Remy finds a crying devil book, he gets Curt to make a blood oath to try to get the carnival up and running again. Curt is sucked into Hell with Remy and Augie in hot pursuit to rescue Curt. Augie and Remy team with a demon named Deema and Curt just tries to keep alive with the Devil planning him as a sacrifice.
Directed by Tom Gianas and Ross Shuman, Hell and Back is a stop motion animated film for adults. The movie received a limited release and was generally panned by critics.
I like stop-motion animation and I like animated films for adults because it is a nice contrast with animation being primarily for kids…but with filthy adult humor. Unfortunately, Hell and Back is like a twelve year old learned a lot of bad sex jokes and repeatedly makes them.
The movie is pretty immature. Every other joke is a dick joke…and not even a clever dick jokes. The movie is really immature to the point of not even being fun. It does a lot of homophobic jokes, sex jokes, and racist jokes…but it thinks it is smart by pointing out that it is racist. There are a couple of good jokes, but in general, the movie really left me wanting a better, smarter story.
The movie has some talented voice actors. Nick Swardson, T.J. Miller, and Rob Riggle play the main characters with Mila Kunis providing the voice of Deema. Bob Odenkirk is a bit of scene stealer as the Devil and Susan Sarandon plays Barb the Angel. Danny McBride plays the “soul saver” Orpheus and Jennifer Coolidge plays the demoness Durmessa. Lance Bass also has a small role as the Boy Band Demon. I liked the “appearance” by H. Jon Benjamin as the Sex Offender Tree…yes, that is a thing.
The visuals for this movie are really the only good part of the movie. It is quite smooth and slick and the movie has some great character designs. It is unfortunate that the movie is poorly written. It had great design potential and it looks like the makers put a lot of work into it.
Hell and Back is a movie with a ton of missed potential. The movie needs to provide more than just jokes for a teenager and should have more thought behind the jokes. In being a failure, the movie also wrecks the chances of other adult animated features hitting the screen…and that is the bigger problem. I will say this; the movie will make me really want to request a pizza when I go to a Pizza Hut/Taco Bell.