You know the rest of the saying. The wrath of a wronged woman is a fabled thing, and in this film, Nina Bergman’s Marie is betrayed by just about everyone she has ever met. The lover of a nazi officer, betrayed by the resistance, branded as a collaborator by the townspeople, and rescued by a group of US soldiers who are only interested in the cache of nazi gold, she happens to know the location of. So yes, she’s royally pissed.
Taking place almost entirely in a run-down cemetery, Marie has to contend with the four American officers who think her a traitor to the french. Also, there are the two french resistance fighters that also happen to be there and the entire platoon of nazis who are marching down the road toward them.
There’s not much more to it than that. There’s gold in that there cemetery, and everyone wants it, and everyone is willing to kill for it. Bergman is great as the biter and jaded Marie, only recently out of prison for collaborating, and Daniel Bernhardt (who is one of those guys you recognize from everything) is fun as the required nazi officer willing to do anything to escape with his booty.
Of course, nothing is really what it seems. Marie’s story is illuminated in flashbacks, and while I won’t spoil it here, there’s a second act twist that recontextualizes everything you have seen before. Also on point are the effects, which are accomplished in what feels like mostly-practical ways. The props department must have gone through more squibs and litres of fake blood than any film in recent memory. Each of the performers sells the hell out of each hit, too.
Is it high art? No. Is it nasty and fun? Yes, and yes. There’s something about this kind of film, one with just enough budget to achieve exactly what it wants to achieve and performers who know exactly what is being asked of them. There’s a scrappiness here that I enjoyed, even if the film is freakin’ brutal. In short, it doesn’t need to be high art because it’s a great example of a grindhouse b-grade war movie, and I enjoyed it from start to finish.
Hell Hath No Fury is available on-demand now and will be released on Blu-Ray on December 21st.
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