Hellhounds (2024) Review
Werewolf bikers, one might think they would be fairly common in movies, but apart from tonight’s film Hellhounds I can only think of a couple. There’s 1971’s Werewolves on Wheels, which has more to do with Satanist than lycanthropes and more recently High Moon, where a gang of old west werewolves find themselves in the present and saddle up on more modern iron horses. There’s also Bikers vs Werewolves being promised for later this year, but that’s it.
Hellhounds gets off to a start, or should I say starts, that are all over the place. We’re introduced to three separate sets of characters with no clue as to what the connection is. A woman chased down and abducted somewhere in the desert. A member of the Hellhounds biker gang tracked down by a bounty hunter, and then by members of The Silver Bullets. And lastly, a woman whose husband is suffering from a strange wound that apparently is a bite mark of some sort.
Eventually we end up at a biker rally where amidst some fights and lots of bare breasts we find out the Hellhounds biker is Alias (Nathaniel Burns, Summer of Grace, Krampus: The Reckoning), and that the bounty hunter’s name is, Mia (Dana Kippel, Cannibal Comedian, The Cove). More importantly, they’re both looking for Dave (Daniel Link, Watch Over Us, Ghost Town), the man responsible for The Hellhounds being all but wiped out by The Silver Bullets.
Unfortunately, almost as soon as we learn this, writer/director Robert Conway (Exit to Hell, Battlefield 2025) goes back to hopping between plot threads. This time we find out that Kevin (Cameron Kotecki, Senioritis, Selling Silence), the guy who got bitten, has attracted the attention of a strange woman named Lucella (Eva Hamilton, Ruin Me, Blood Harvest) who claims to be his mother.
And the guy we saw kidnap the girl in the desert? By process of elimination, he must be Dave, and he just abducted another woman.
All of this gets extremely frustrating because Hellhounds is long on talk, but nobody really says anything. The word “werewolf” isn’t even spoken or hinted at until nearly forty minutes into the film. It’s treated like a big secret, even though there’s one right on the poster.
And, while we’re talking about the film’s publicity, forget what it says about a war between biker werewolves and biker werewolf hunters. That happened before the film started, and the skirmish we see at the start of the film is all we see of The Silver Bullets. Hellhounds is actually about tracking down Dave and Lucella. And much of that is played like a straight thriller.
When we finally get to see a werewolf, it’s a disappointment. The CGI transformation is way too smooth and easy looking, lacking the intense, painful looking moments and sounds of bones snapping and flesh tearing we’ve come to expect. I was actually relieved when the next transformation happened off-screen. Unfortunately, the two after that aren’t. The gore does look like it’s practical, but there isn’t that much of it, more people get shot than torn apart.
Once I saw this was a Robert Conway film I knew the budget wasn’t going to deliver the plot as advertised. But the plot we got had so much potential. Werewolves, stalking each other among the violent criminals in a modern day Hole-In-The-Wall.
Instead, we get a talky film with some glaring plot holes, way too much clunky dialogue and a completely unsatisfying non-ending. Conway does spice Hellhounds up with a good deal of bare skin, a first for him. But it takes more than that and weak replays of a couple of scenes from The Howling to hide the mange on this mutt.
Uncork’d Entertainment will release Hellhounds on January 9th. You can check the film’s Facebook page for more information.