|Year Of Production||2009|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||1,2,3,4,5,6||Directed By||Rick Schroder|
Sony Pictures Home Entertain
James A. Woods
|RPI||$39.95||Music||Luc St. Pierre|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Unknown||English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Ancient Greece. On the day of her wedding to the hero Kleitos (Scott Elrod), Demetria (Amanda Brooks) is secretly poisoned by Kleitos’ best friend Theron (J.A. Woods), who desired Demetria for himself. The blind Seer (Indra Ove) tells Kleitos that Demetria is in the underworld, destined in three days to be the bride of Hades himself. She also gives Kleitos a potion that may enable him to journey to the underworld to get her back before she weds Hades.
Kleitos, his scholar brother Nikandros (Adam Butcher), his companion Andronikos (Andrew Howard) plus Theron and two others journey into the underworld crossing the river Styx. They trek across a barren landscape and enter the labyrinth in search of Demetria, facing deceptions, traps and the Hellhounds. They succeed in finding her (rather easily) but on the journey home Theron shows his true colours and is killed by Kleitos. The others make it back to the upper world but Hades is not to be defeated: he resurrects Theron and sends him with the Hellhounds to kill Kleitos and his companions and to bring Demetria back to Hades. In the final confrontation Kleitos must find a way to kill the undead (who have black blood it appears) and save Demetria’s spirit from returning to Hades. Will love conquer all?
Hellhounds is strictly a B-grade make for TV movie but that does not stop it from being a fun romp. Much of the CGI is very obvious, including distinctly non-threatening hellhounds, the acting is basic, the dialogue silly and the fight scenes filmed with jerky hand held cameras that show little except motion. Yet, filmed in Romania the locations are stunning, the Greek period costumes are good, the characters look suitably heroic and the film moves along at a good clip that never falters. This film has received some scathing reviews on various sites. It is true that it is instantly forgettable but I have seen far worse and been less entertained than with Hellhounds. It does not pretend to be serious and for watching with a few drinks on a Saturday night it is quite entertaining. One could do a whole lot worse.
Hellhounds is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and is 16x9 enhanced. I suspect that this is the original ratio.
The print is mostly very good. The outside locations in Romania look great: colours, while not vibrant, are clean and natural, skin tones are accurate, blacks solid and shadow detail good. In various sequences, such as those in Hades, the colour is desaturated, with browns and greys dominant, and when the POV of the hounds is shown the picture is purposely blurred. This is a deliberate choice of the filmmakers. Brightness and contrast are good (except as noted below) and sharpness fine. It is a clean print and I did not notice any film or film to video artefacts.
There are authoring issues with the review print, especially in the early scene where Kleitos visits the Seer. From 14.00 until 14.24, and again at 19.46 (in another scene) there are jumps in video and audio, sometimes with a contrast flash. I cleaned the review disc and played it on two different players and the result was the same. However, the rest of the print was fine.
There are no subtitles.
Audio is English Dolby Digital 2.0 surround encoded at 192 Kbps. This is a nice track. Dialogue was clear, music and some effects occur in the surrounds and my sub woofer did support the music.
Lip synchronisation was fine.
The score by Luc St. Pierre was fine and gives effective support to the film.
|Surround Channel Use|
Nothing, zero, zilch.
The Region 1 US edition has a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track that is reported to be fairly flat and unexceptional, plus three trailers for other films in the TV Maneater series. This hardly seems a reason to go beyond our Region 4 version of the film.
Hellhounds is strictly a B-grade make for TV movie but that does not stop it from being a fun romp. It is instantly forgettable but I have seen far worse and been less entertained than with Hellhounds. The video and audio (except as noted) are good; no extras at all.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S350, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 42inch Hi-Def LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|