Heartland of Darkness (2022)

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Heartland of Darkness (2022). 1h 42m

“A single man with a teen daughter (Dino Tripodis u0026amp; Sharon Klopfenstein) moves into a small town outside Columbus where he purchases a newspaper and hires a reporter (Shanna Thomas). Unfortunately, macabre slayings are occurring and they trace them to the townu0026#39;s dubious pastor (Nick Baldasare) and his goons. Queen of the Bs, Linnea Quigley, is on hand as one of the ministeru0026#39;s disciples.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eu0026quot;Heartland of Darknessu0026quot; was shot in 1989 and originally titled u0026quot;Blood Church,u0026quot; but only a 35-minute workprint was available for promotion. It sat on the shelf (or was lost) for over three decades before post-production was completed with the addition of a few digital effects. It was finally released in late 2022. A similar thing happened to u0026quot;Grizzly II: The Mutation,u0026quot; although that flick wasnu0026#39;t an Indie like this one.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe story was birthed from the American satanic panic of the 80s, which continued to spread around the globe in the 90s. Movies like u0026quot;Bay Covenu0026quot; (1987), u0026quot;Spellbinderu0026quot; (1988) and u0026quot;Race With the Devilu0026quot; (1975) come to mind, although those had way more funds with which to work.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eYet u0026quot;Heartland of Darknessu0026quot; is just as entertaining if you can forgive some lame acting here and there, e.g. The Sheriff. Dino Tripodis (Paul Henson) and Shanna Thomas (Shannon) are actually quite good for a B production while Baldasare (the u0026quot;reverendu0026quot;) and Quigley tend to ham it up.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eRedhead Shanna Thomas stands out on the feminine front. Speaking of which, all three of the women are shown top nude in brief flashes, except for Quigley who, to be expected, basks in showing off her wares.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe gore is quite good for such an old flick, even shocking. Thereu0026#39;s also some decent action, but Shanna Thomas isnu0026#39;t convincing as a martial arts practitioner in the climax.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAt the end of the day this is colorful Indie horror from the late 80s with some questionable acting and predictableness, yet the filmmaking is certainly adequate and there are enough staples of the genre to make it worthwhile for those interested.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe film runs 1 hour, 42 minutes, and, was shot in Granville, Ohio, which is a 20-minute drive east of Columbus, with one sequence filmed in Columbus and other stuff done in Los Angeles.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eGRADE: B-/C+”


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