Sometimes Big Gay Horror Fan mixes a can of corn into his stovetop chili for lunch – and calls that ambition. But leave it to heroic director Joe Raffa and far reaching writer Harrison Smith to truly go the distance with their multi-plotted, flashback strewn horror opus 6 Degrees of Hell.
Certainly convoluted, this tale features under-threads of possession, reality show antics, psychic awareness, romantic rivalry and haunted objects. The finale takes place in a real Halloween Haunted attraction, the Hotel of Horror in Saylorsburg, PA. Many have claimed that this is the film’s true drawing power and its presence is not felt fully enough throughout the movie’s spooky happenings.
Yet, Raffa and Smith are obviously going for something different here. They mix plenty of mature characters in with their young adult set and follow them on a winding journey as they collect a group of objects that eventually end up possessing the performers at the Hotel of Horror one fateful evening. Chief among these characters are prescient June (a solid Nicole Cinaglia), bad boy Kellen (Raffa, showing true presence), haunted reality star Erik (sympathetic Kyle Patrick Brennan), angry police chief John Hanson (a truly believable Faust Checho) and Uncle Jack (a likeable Brian Gallagher), the proprietor of the haunt.
Granted, the low budget mares the duel auteurs’ vision a bit and some streamlining may have been in order. But, viewers with a clear focus should catch all of the film’s subtleties. There is, also, enough blood and violence in the multiple asides to retain interest – even if confusion may reign for a moment. The two, also, use their flashback sequences to build power in the contemporary scenes. Wandering through the haunt attraction at the outset of the spirit fueled finale, June recalls an event from her childhood. As the remembered feelings grow in intensity, the electricity in the attraction blows out, bringing about a galvanizing filmic synchronicity.
Casting wise, the project’s publicity unit has focused on the participation of mini-genre icon Corey Feldman and former television star Jill Whelan (Love Boat) – who both acquit themselves admirably in supporting (Feldman) and minor (Whelan) roles. But, it is Raffa, Checho and Gallagher who truly offer layered performances here.
And, interestingly, while the beautiful Ashley Sumner offers up the film’s only (post mortem) nudity, it is the male cast (including Raffa, Brennan and David J. Bonner as Chris) who offer up the film’s primary visual appeal, a common requirement of any genre project. Raffa and Smith even seem to acknowledge this with the above tagline and multiple joking/sarcastic references to homosexuality among the male characters in the cast.
Released by Breaking Glass Pictures (www.breakingglasspictures.com) in late 2012, you can catch the trailer for 6 Degrees of Hell here:
You can also keep up with all the production’s haunted antics at:
Big Gay Horror Fan, meanwhile, is always waiting for celebrity guest appearances at http://www.facebook.com/#!/BigGayHorrorFan, as well!
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE! – Big Gay Horror Fan!!