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Movie Review: To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story (2017)

Kane Hodder is Jason Voorhees…I mean he isn’t actually the masked maniac, Jason is a fictional character (in case any of you are complete idiots) but, he was definitely the actor that made the role his own, and gave the Friday the 13th film series’ icon a real personality (not an easy task considering Hodder’s face is never seen on film without heavy prosthetic make-up, nor does he utter a single line of dialog in his four on screen stints as the character) comprised of distinct movements. And as you can imagine, any documentary about the man had better well and duly cover his most famous role…and this one satisfies in that department for sure, but there is so much more to learn in To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story.

Coming in at roughly twenty or so minutes into the narrative, the story of how Kane received the scars that have been visible in interviews and his unmasked roles is a heartbreaking and horrific story (the long and short of which is after being burned in a stunt gone very wrong, Hodder received medical care so shoddy that it nearly left him dead) that will have you appreciating what the man brings to his roles even more, This definitely the emotional center of the picture as well as his life, but of course we know from that tragedy a true fright flick luminary fought back and prevailed!

As expected. we also see extensive coverage of the other horror biz Hodder has gotten up to over the years, especially his other iconic role; that of Victor Crowley in the Hatchet films, as well as his constant presence on the convention circuit.

Additionally we hear from Hodder’s peers including Robert Englund, Cassandra Peterson, Bruce Campbell, Sid Haig, Danielle Harris and many, many more (not to mention the directors he has worked with). These are of course anecdote heavy clips, and bring a nice sense of what the professional horror community thinks of the man.

The only negative I had with To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story is that a hundred and eight minutes; it runs a tad long for a documentary (which I firmly believe hits it’s sweet spot at ninety minutes or less…just like most fright flicks). Things never get too tiresome though as Hodder’s big personality always manages to grab your interest back with a black gloved hand…and his gentle giant demeanor.

Emotional, inspiring, and full of reverence for our beloved horror genre, To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story is a must see documentary for all fans of Hodder…and even if you have never heard of him the film is at it’s heart the tale of an underdog beatin’ the odds, and almost anyone can dig on that!

 

 

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