Entertainment, Reviews

Drive Angry, Hell on Earth

Out of the depths of hell and brimstone comes Drive Angry 3D a wicked ‘grindhouse’ film that takes evil to a higher level.  It’s a lot of campiness in a large bundle of violence and mayhem.  Director Patrick Lussier gets his cast to whittle down their talent and fit their trailer trash persona.  If you are a fan of films like Machete and Planet Terror, then this cut is right up your alley.

David Morse and Nicolas Cage in Drive Angry

The movie surrounds Milton (Nicolas Cage) a deceased murder that breaks out of hell in an attempt to track down the killers of his daughter and kidnappers of her baby.  Along the way he meets Piper (Amber Heard), a tough waitress who can kick-butt and spit nails.  Running from a mysterious stranger, the two head for the biggest confrontation of their lives.

Although not the best grindhouse film, my favorite is Planet Terror; Drive Angry still follows the same pattern of slaughter and chaos.  Here writer/director Lussier (Hellraiser, My Bloody Valentine) mixes the barrels of blood and guts, slings body parts around the set and explodes anything and everything within reach of his main characters.  It’s a horror flick with non-stop violence that in some cases too realistic.

Amber Heard as Piper in Drive Angry

As for the characters, Cage gets most of the bloody make-up while Amber Heard keeps prettied up so well, that her face rarely has a smudge.  Even while beating the bad guys with her fists, her gorgeous frame shows little wear and tear.  Now that’s one of the rules of grindhouse, quick recovery from near death and the pretty face does not sustain damage.

As if there weren’t enough odd-looking weapons in films today, Lussier adds a destroyer weapon from hell, a unique gun that can blow anyone or anything into eternity. Coupled with some very hot cars that are weapons in their own right, this non-stop action film kicks horror filmmaking up a notch.

The 3D is rather good since the production company actually filmed Drive Angry with 3D cameras and equipment.  Several incidents made me flinch and duck as bullets and shrapnel came flying out of the screen.  Using special effects that pop and burn even the flames and ash spit out at you.

The film is rated R for Strong brutal violence throughout, grisly images, some graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language. Not for the faint of heart, easily repulsed or psychologically imbalanced, Drive Angry makes pretend look authentic.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A fired up film that puts hell on earth. (C+)

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Film Editor John Delia has been on all sides of the movie business from publications to film making. He has worked as a film critic with ACED Magazine for more than 12 years and earned a Bachelors degree in communications from the University of Florida. John is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Follow John on Twitter @staragent1 or send John a message at jdelia@acedmagazine.com