Sunday Shorts: “Hell-Bent” (2016)

Theatrical Poster for HELL-BENT (2016) - image source: Timothy J. Cox

Theatrical Poster for HELL-BENT (2016) – image source: Timothy J. Cox

Produced by MKaszuba Productions and released this month, the horror-comedy short HELL-BENT focuses on Michael (Justin Andrew Davis), a struggling young writer for Brimstone Magazine. His crabby and hard-to-please boss Mr. Bowers (Timothy J. Cox) offers a promotion to the writer who comes up with the best piece. Michael sees this as a way to prove himself as a top writer.

But he’s got some stiff competition from co-worker Beth (Ashley Kelley). He gets a break when he discovers that Agatha (Leslie Lynn Meeker), the elderly secretary of the magazine, is also a witch who likes to summon Ricky (Steven Trolinger), an executive demon from Hell. Michael decides to base his article on her story. Can Michael beat Beth with some assistance from Below?

Concept art for HELL-BENT (2016) - image source: Facebook

Concept art for HELL-BENT (2016) – image source: Facebook

Written by Shayne Kamat (who also shot and edited the film) and Lorenzo Cabello and directed by Foster Vernon (his directorial debut), this irreverent indie short bases its laughs on worn tropes from supernatural horror films. It’s particularly funny because all the supposedly “good” people are really bad — and vice versa. For example, there’s no difference between Ricky and Mr. Bowers — except for their respective bases of operation.

More chortles come from the unlikely alliance of Michael, Agatha, and Ricky. Self-effacing nice-guy Michael eventually learns a thing or two about competition from the hilariously foul-mouthed Ricky. In turn, Ricky learns to be a little bit nicer – in his own infernal way.

You can find out more about the highly entertaining “Hell-Bent” (produced by Maggie Kaszuba, whose first film was profiled a week ago on Loud Green Bird) on its official Facebook Page: