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By Seth Roman | October 31, 2004

Another of Sub Rosa’s Drive-In Double Feature DVD’s include a pair of films from cult director Massimiliano Cerchi (“Carnage Road”). Both involve pissed off clerics from the afterlife brutally murdering everyone in their path.

“Hellinger” tells the odd story of a priest who loses faith, does a deal with the devil, and can only be conjured by those who don’t believe in him. Hellinger murdered Melissa’s father when she was just a child, and as an adult, she’s coming to believe that it was all a nightmare, that there never was a bald, screaming, over-acting, white-faced hitman from hell. Which, of course, brings him back. Fortunately, her bad-a*s loose-cannon cousin (with a fantastic full-body Yakuza tattoo) has her back. But it’s Melissa, and no one else, who can send Hellinger back to … well, hell.

“Hellinger” is a fun movie with terrible special effects, a moody atmosphere, and over-the-top acting. It’s undeniably entertaining, however.

“Holy Terror” is just as fun, but with a much looser plot (if that’s indeed possible). A possessed nun dies during an exorcism and she’s doomed to haunt the house of her demise. Thanks to an evil landlord somehow connected to the demonic penguin in the rubber mask, a young couple rents the rather pleasant-looking house, throws themselves a housewarming party, and, of course, are picked off one by one by the evil nun (a synonym if I’ve ever heard one).

Bizarre and nearly incomprehensible, “Holy Terror” is best watched with lots of beer and a room full of friends. Like “Hellinger”, “Holy Terror” proves that Cerchi knows his way around a camera and knows how to establish mood during a scene. Making a story that holds up under even modest scrutiny isn’t quite in his vocabulary yet. The DVD is, of course, being a Sub Rosa disc, packed with extras, commentaries, etc.

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