Blu-ray Review: Born for Hell (1976)

August 9, 2021

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

Here’s the basics of Born to Hell: A dude returns from the ‘Nam, but has a lay-over in Belfast, which is under serious strife in and of itself.
Anyway, our “ hero” winds up in a house shared by a gaggle of comely nurses. Oh, I forgot to mention; the vet is a complete lunatic, so things go south for those ladies right quick! Sleaze ensues.
Loosely based on the murder biz Richard Speck got up to a decade earlier, Born to Hell is a grueling sleaze-fest with absolutely no joy on display. What I’m layin’ down is, this is some dark ass shit, so if you are not in the mood for some heavy vibes this one may not be up your arcane alley, ya dig?
Now, if you indeed like your horror biz to be the hardest of hardcore, then this thing will blow your ass away! You get an unhinged maniac (played to putrid perfection by Mathieu Carrière) committing horrible violence (sexual and otherwise) upon woman after woman… one of which is pregnant… yup. There are no laughs to lighten the tension (okay, some of the women’s dubbed voices will definitely illicit ye olde guffaw or two), but there are a few things that will raise eyebrows in this picture that don’t involve the three unholy grindhouse greatest hits: blood, boobs, n’ bad guys…
For one thing, setting what is basically the tale of the aforementioned Chicago-based Speck in war-torn Belfast (fuck yeah we’ll put a political statement into our rapey slice n’ dice pic… ) instead of the more traditional backwoods (located in anyplace U.S.A.) makes it more visually striking than it’s most contemporary antecedent at the time, Wes Craven’s 1972 shocker Last House on the Left)… and speaking on that, the military presence in the area at the time is featured front and center offering what was doubtless free production value that makes this film seem way bigger than it actually was budget-wise.
Still not ready for a shower? Why not park your ass back on that couch and peel your putrid peepers for the special features our pals at Severin have tossed on this Blu-ray release?!!
For starters we get two cuts of the film; the longer, director’s cut, and it’s 5 minute shorter theatrical print (under the title Naked Massacre, which if truth be told describes this film to a fuckin’ “T”), followed by an interview with Carrière.
Next up comes a trio of featurettes exploring Speck (the film’s inspiration as mentioned up yonder), a more recent look at the locations utilized during filming, as well as the film’s Italian theatrical trailer. 
Born to Hell is a grim, nasty kick to the balls of an exploitation flick, and will doubtless be taken to heart by anyone that digs the previously mentioned Last House on the Left and it’s slew of Italian-lensed imitations!

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