A Greek warrior must travel to the Underworld and battle killer hellhounds in order to rescue his murdered bride from the clutches of Hades.
Directed by Rick Shroder (yes, the same Ricky from “Silver Spoons”) comes a film by the title of “Hell Hounds”. The film is one of the ongoing “Maneater” series releases put out by Genius Entertainment. In fact you can check out all the titles per this link which all have something to do with animals that kill on some level.
The movie is a time period piece set in the Greek days of warriors, gods, witches and legends. Yes, the same period of Clash of the Titans though without all the fluff. It surprised me at first not reading into the synopsis as I assumed a modern tale about killer dogs. HH actually explores in how the classic Greeks referred to hell as Hades, a literal domain that could be traveled to under the right guidance. To step back a few, Kleitos a greek warrior has asked for the hand in marriage from the kings daughter Demetria. After returning from a successful run with his colleagues, the king is honored to accept this rewarding young man into his family. Demetria and the kingdom call for a celebration, though before they wed we find that Kleitos best friend Theron is also in love with Demetria from a past love many years ago.
With no interest in him, Demetria shuns him away with the promise that she will have him arrested if he continues to approach her. During the celebration the princess is poisoned by an unknown assailant. Kleitos at wits end decides to seek out the local seer for help in bringing her back from the dead. She informs Kleitos that Demetria has been taken into Hades for the sake of the entity “Hades” himself who is in need of a virgin for his kingdom in the underworld. Kleitos and his team set out with instructions to enter the underworld and reclaim his bride to be. This is not of course without complications. The beasts know as the “Hell Hounds” roam the ground and halls in search of prey.
From this point forward it sort of goes into a Dante’s inferno meets Lord of the rings, though without the fx budget, elaborate scenery and characters. The team of warriors head straight into hell and find a series of catacombs to search though out. Not much is revealed in respect to hell domain though we get a few rooms of some captives. I would have loved to have seen this area really excel but then again it is a low budget production that has to take what it can get. The group wanders though out hell while the Hell hounds are close on there tracks until they find Demetria. They even get to interact a bit with Charon while Hades himself laughs about and broods his next plan.
Theron turns out to be a real d*ck and tries to win over Demetria a few times while also leaving Kleitos behind. Kleitos kicks his ass for good and kills him in hell to rot on the torture rack. It would feel like at this point the film has reached its end as they take Demetria back into the upper world and rejoin her soul to her body. But Hades has other plans. He sends his hounds and Theron back upstairs to bring Demetria back into the underworld.
The film isn’t bad, but its closer to a Greek mythology journey than a horror story. The Hell hounds even in their CGI form get to rip into a few victims ravaging canine style. Rick Shroder directs the material with a careful eye and provides enough entertainment for a SyFy type release.
I don’t care who you are, whenever you involve a trip into hell, there’s gonna be some disappointment if the scenery doesn’t deliver. the location was right though there wasnt enough “Hell” in Hell…if you know what I mean.
They actually picked some decent spots to film which for the record was Bucharest Romania, so the location I’m sure saved alot of scene building budget. It also lists Canada as the country of origin which usually provides some decent tax breaks to go along with that. Give it a go if you’ve got a night to fill, it works better than some of the other Maneater series releases and it’s appropriate for lighter horror fair viewers.