Written & Directed by James Balsamo
Starring: James Balsamo, Tom Savini, Andrew W.K
Rich and Benny are having trouble with the ladies, until they befriend a demon named Az. It’s a non-stop party until a soul hungry beast leaps through an open portal from the underworld and starts terrorizing the town. It’s up to Az and the boys to send the creature back to the depths where it came from, and look good, while doing it in “Cool As Hell”.
Low budget indie horror is safe as long as we have James Balsamo. Call it pandering, but death metal, demons, zombies, boobs, questionable acting, comic books, bloodshed, and fish anuses have never been so charming. Throw in some Tom Savani, David Naughton (An American Werewolf in London), Andrew W.K., and you have a winning formula that comes from the most honest and legitimate of places. Cool as Hell wears its heart on its sleeve, immersed in shaky camera work, over-the-top practical special effects, jiggling boobs, and geek-heavy inspiration. Somewhere between the porn actresses and cartoonish approach, Balsamo has crafted a rather effective genre-jumping comedy-horror that aspires to evolve along with the film makers many talents. The low-budget wizard serves as writer, director, actor, editor, effects guru, and probably even worked as a tit fluffer. Balsamo advances his skills with each new film, and this is proof positive.
Anything can happen in an Acid Bath Production. The hero is empowered to fight evil powers by smoking a Satanic bong filled with the tears of a virgin? Yep. Heads lopped off, talking snot, love interests, cheesy one liners, trade paperbacks? Uh huh. Songs called ‘Dream Beaver’? Sure. It’s easy to get lost in the crazy storyline and crazier visual effects, but the core of the film is built on a firm foundation. James portrays the likable comic store owner, Rich, who has larger problems than not getting laid after a demon thrall enters his life. Chasing down his love and managing to not get his Hawaiian shirt wearing ass kicked proves to be a lot of work for the sword-wielding average Joe.
James is great as Rich, bringing genuine enthusiasm to his role. His motley crew of actors, friends, and family offer a great overall vibe to this hilarious indie-horror flick. I can’t stress how important films like this are to the genre. Self-aware and brimming with a backyard approach to film making, Cool as Hell is exactly what the name declares.