Film Monthly Home
Archives
Wayne Case
Interviews
Steve Anderson
The Rant
Short Takes (Archived)
Small Screen Monthly
Behind the Scenes
New on DVD
The Indies
Horror
Film Noir
Coming Soon
Now Playing
Television
Books on Film
What's Hot at the Movies This Week
Interviews TV

The Other Side

Directed by Gregg Bishop

Written by Gregg Bishop

Starring Nathan Mobley, Jaimie Alexander, Cory Rouse, Poncho Hodges

Produced by Gregg Bishop

Rated R

95 minutes

**

The dark side of the afterlife has a revolving door policy in the Slamdance On the Road presentation of “The Other Side.”

While waiting for the woman he loves, Sam North is unexpectedly murdered and sent, surprisingly, to hell. Hell, meanwhile, is an insane combination of childhood flashbacks and plastic wrap and not a whole lot of fire.

Anyway…now Sam’s in hell, or is until a few other denizens help him, bafflingly, escape via a corrugated plastic tunnel conveniently located not too far from where he landed in the first place. Naturally, the management disapproves of such things—though if they actually DID have a distaste for this kind of thing you’d think they’d just seal up the damn corrugated plastic tunnel. I mean, come ON. Why don’t they just put up a big sign saying “This Way Out Of Hell” and start advertising?

“Hey kids! Sick of being assaulted by horrible demons round the clock? Longing for old earthly comforts like breathing and water? Can’t stand the heat? Then get out of hell’s kitchen! Come on down to the Big Corrugated Plastic Tunnel! Easy access out of hell, twenty four, seven, three sixty five! Just take a left turn at the giant Cerberus, and if you come to the boiling pit of human feces, you’ve gone too far! That’s the Big Corrugated Plastic Tunnel, where you’ll say, hell may be damnation without relief, but the Big Corrugated Plastic Tunnel is the next best thing!”

With such an unlikely premise in place, we follow it up by having three invincible and ludicrously gun-crazy bounty hunters called “Reapers” dispatched to fetch him. And so, Sam’s got to dodge the Reapers and reunite with his one true love all the while trying to keep his ass out of hell.

Which, of course, makes for a difficult situation. Is he going to spend his life dodging bounty hunters? Is he even human again? There are a whole lot of questions that need answering in a ninety five minute block of time.

So will they answer those questions? They will, actually. But sadly, the results are buried under a series of logical improbabilities, massive believability problems and a series of fantastic action sequences.

The interesting thing is that, not only is hell an easy escape in “The Other Side,” hell’s bounty hunters are also roaringly inept. Despite their flawlessly-set grimaces and seemingly invincible nature, they can be fooled by surprisingly simple dodges and can be knocked unconscious for several seconds by something so mundane as a two by four. Though they can jump handily between human bodies, and one of the bounty hunters has shapeshifting powers, it’s amazing how many trenchcoat-wearing unconscious men seem to be within easy possession range for them.

And as we’ll discover, there are a LOT of hellish escapees roaming around in “The Other Side.” All you have to do is look for the vaguely wrench-shaped tattoo.

Despite some serious problems and huge difficulties in believability, “The Other Side” is actually a pretty action-packed mystery thriller, as Sam attempts to reconstruct what happened to his girlfriend, and finds out plenty else in the process.

The ending is much like the movie itself in microcosm, an action-packed and extremely unlikely gorefest.

The special features include Spanish subtitles, a director’s commentary track, a behind the scenes featurette, a visual effects featurette, deleted scenes both with and without commentary, and trailers for “The Other Side,” “Night Junkies,” “Naina,” “Anonymous Rex,” “Cookers” and “Footsteps.”

All in all, you could do much, much worse than “The Other Side.” Though suffering from serious believability problems and horrendously unlikely scenarios, it’s got plenty of action to it, and is fairly fun to watch. Boxes of bullets fly literally everywhere, and though it’s laughably unrealistic, it’s still a fairly solid excursion and worth a rental.

Steve Anderson is a film critic who collects action figures so he can dress them up as his favorite horror villains. He lives somewhere in the United States.


Got a problem? E-mail us at filmmonthly@gmail.com