Mark Hengst as Jerry
Noelle Perris as Misty
Forrest Pruett as Dan
Learyn Wilde as Carmen
I love Independent horror, and I REALLY love when the creators of Independent horror send screener copies of their beloved films so that we at Best-Horror-Movies.com can review and share our opinions. The Indy section of BHM is relatively new, so I want to do everything that I can to encourage Indy film-makers to share their work. I know that a string of bad reviews of Indy horror will not likely spark a flood of submissions. I also want to find the good whenever possible and appropriately respect the creativity and effort it took to create the film.
On the other hand, BHM is about the readers and about giving a pure and “non-horror inteligencia” view of horror, and I take that seriously. As much as I would like to encourage every Indy horror film-maker on the planet to submit their work to us for review, I will not pander to egos in exchange. Call me a “foot shooter”.
Unholy Passion is a story about two men and their battle with two succubus, one that exists in waking life (the day-walker Carmen played by Learyn Wilde) and one that approaches men in their dreams (Misty Played by Noelle Perris). Misty considers Carmen competition for men’s souls, and makes a deal with Jerry (played by Mark Hengst) to kill Carmen. Jerry later has second thoughts about his agreement which puts his best friend Dan (Forrest Pruett) in jeopardy.
At least that is what the Unholy Passion DVD cover says.
Honestly, I don’t believe I would have gotten any of that from watching the movie. Between the filming, the sound, the editing, the acting and the script any actual “meaning” was lost completely.
The filming of Unholy Passion was first light, then dark, then grainy then not. The sound was just about impossible to keep up with – loud then soft, then garbled beyond recognition then overwhelmed by distant ambient noise and the whir of ventilation systems and street activity. The editing made it difficult to keep track of the activities from one scene to the next.
The acting in Unholy Passion…well, the acting was terrible. The two female leads were OK I guess, the star Mark Hengst had a few brief moments of competence (when he wasn’t being over-the-top ridiculous) and Dan (Forrest Pruett) seemed like he was actually reading a book while he was supposed to be shooting a scene. And that preacher! I can’t find who that actor is, but he is a nightmare that I think was out all night drinking instead of memorizing his lines. Then there was the bear of a man Patrick Cox who played the first succubus victim who ran around crying with a wad of gore on his head that looked like a squished Hostess Sno-ball.
The script was nonsensical. On top of that I think that the director Jim Exton allowed for some “ad-libbing” that resulted in moments like when Jerry confronts the succubus Carmen for the first time and exclaims “just…just…Chill!”
Creating quality Independent horror requires more than just showing up. I can appreciate the effort and dedication that it takes to write and direct a film, but for goodness sake get some help if you don’t know how to do it. Unholy Passion is really just not good. Not even “funny not good”, but simply “not good”. Unless it is completely re-edited and re-worked then I recommend that Unholy Passion be avoided at all costs