OFFBEAT AND HUMOROUS
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 01/21/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"G-MEN from HELL is based on the comic created by Michael Allred and published by Dark Horse Comics. Director Christopher Coppola utilizes a comic book frame for most of the movie and some brilliantly realized colors. You really feel sometimes like you're watching an animated comic book. The story follows two FBI agents who are murdered and sent to hell. They escape and come back to earth as detectives, hoping to do good deeds to earn their way to Heaven. Their first client is a blonde bombshell whose wealthy husband ends up dead. From there on, we're treated to a mishmash of odd characters, including a fellow dead person who comes to earth and steals the magic crystal that our two heroes stole from the devil. We also have a strange puppet and its master, and a kindly doctor who robs graves to create genetically engineered people.
The movie is strange and different, oftentimes very humorous in its delivery. Tate Donovan steals the show as agent Mike Mattress, whose nerdy glasses belie a pretty tough, buff agent. His delivery is dead on, as is William Forsythe as his partner Dean Crept, whose deadpan delivery is reminiscent of Jack Webb's Dragnet. Vanessa Angel is an appropriately dumb blond, and Kari Wuhrer is an appropriately not so dumb brunette. Add Gary Busey as a homosexual cop who suddenly disappears from the movie; Zach Galligan (Gremlins) as a by the book cop with no experience other than nepotism; Paul Rodriguez as Winfrid, the other hellish escapee; Charles Fleischer as the kindly doctor; Barry Newman as the murdered hubby; and none other than Robert Goulet who is surprisingly effective as Satan.
G-MEN FROM HELL was made on a shoestring budget, but it does well in capturing the flavor of the cult comic."
A great comic-book movie
A. KAPLAN | Las Vegas, NV United States | 09/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Two corrupt FBI agents, Dean Crept and Mike Mattress, are killed and wind up in Hell. Convinced that they don't really belong there, they find a means of escape and use it to get back to earth. Their plan? Do good deeds to earn their way into Heaven. They open a private investigation agency as a means to do said good deeds. It isn't long before a sexy, leggy blonde comes walking in, convinced that her husband is planning on having her killed...Based on an unfinished comic by Mike Allred, this film fleshes out and completes the original story. As Allred says in an interview on the disk, the film doesn't merely adapt his story, it enhances it. For readers familiar with Allred's quirky, snappy pop-culture world, this film will feel as comfortable as a pair of old slippers. Not only are the obvious elements there (Allred characters like Crept, Mattress, Dr. Boiffard--familiar to readers of Allred's Madman series--and an oddball superhero, The Cheetah) but, astoundingly, the film creates a look similar to an Allred comic. It's bright and colorful, with enough odd camera angles and movement that it completely captures the just-left-of-realistic feel of his work. The story and script capture that same Allred magic, humanizing the bizarre with gentle touches, like Cheetah-man's relationship with his loving wife/girlfriend/whatever. It's a moment that isn't expanded upon at the expense of the rest of the movie, but it shows us that this is a man with a complete life, not just a pointless, oddball fixture in a weird universe.(Speaking of weird universes, this disk also includes Allred's own no-budget feature, Astroesque, which ties into his comic Red Rocket 7, as well as a CD from his band. I keep telling myself that maybe if I watch it just one more time, it'll make sense. Hasn't happened yet, but maybe next time...)This isn't necessarily a movie for everybody. It's extremely stylized and doesn't try to tone any of the weirdness down. (What do you expect from a film that features Robert Goulet as the Devil, and Vanessa Angel doing her best Marilyn Monroe impersonation? Not to mention a guy running around in a Cheetah costume.) But it's well-acted and cleverly directed, and thoroughly entertaining, if you just let it into your heart."
Michael Kaiser | Gilroy, CA United States | 12/02/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a big fan of Mike Allred's work, particularly his early Graphic Muzik stuff, which is where the G-Men From Hell first debuted. That said, I didn't really love this movie, and if you're not previously familiar with the G-Men in comic form, I can't imagine you'd like this movie at all. Despite its low budget, it really had some recognizable actors, I'll give it that. But the plot seemed muddled and the film and sound quality, or lack thereof, didn't help either. Plus, what the heck was the point of Cheetah Man? He did nothing in the film. Listening to Mike Allred's commentary was odd because he's apparently completely oblivious to the movie's problems, apparently loving every frame of the film. Perhaps it's because it's a movie of his characters. I suppose that would make me like it more, too. But alas, they aren't my characters and I didn't. Just read Madman comics instead!"