Hell has no anger2021
Directed by Jesse V Johnson.
Starring Nina Bergman, Daniel Bernhardt, Timothy V. Murphy, Dominiquie Vandenberg, Louis Mandylor, Charles Fathy and Josef Cannon.
After the end of World War II and the Allied victory in Europe, a squad of American forces hunt for Nazi gold hidden in the secret grave of German officer Von Bruckner (Bernhardt). The French resistance fighter Marie (Bergman) was his lover and now leads the Americans as her prisoner to find his grave. But Marie has to deal with fleeing Nazi soldiers and corrupt resistance fighters on the way, all of whom want the gold for themselves…
A short 85-minute wartime action-drama from director Jesse V. Johnson that wastes no time on large-scale action sequences or set pieces, keeping the locations sparse (mainly set in a graveyard) and keeping the characters minimal to shaky to form relationships. With the war theoretically over, this was a time when everyone was on their own and the soldiers wanted as much as possible from a torn country. In this case, it’s Nazi gold hidden in the grave of a notorious German officer, played with mischievous amusement by Daniel Bernhardt in a series of flashbacks.
It’s all about the relationships between the American forces, led by Louis Mandylor’s stubborn Major Maitland, and French resistance fighter Marie, played by steely-faced Nina Bergman. After a war that obviously changes everyone during and after, we learn why this gold is both hidden and sought after. It means too much to different people, and the search involves different morals and perspectives. By setting the film in a shady country graveyard, these characters are able to play off each other, but also offer up some claustrophobic gunfights and heated confrontations, all while mixing up the war-tarnished natural beauty. It’s also refreshing to have French and English speaking roles throughout, which adds to the more natural feel of this story.
Johnson keeps the entire production very simple as a DTV offering, but relies heavily on the authenticity of what we see and hear. Without resorting to gimmicks, the story maintains the morale of war, led by our main cast standing on the same page, but keep the lines blurred so you never know who or what might throw in a curve ball. Especially with three forces – French Resistance, American Army and Nazi soldiers – circling around the gold where not everyone will reap the rewards of surviving a war.
After a slow start that required us to get under our characters’ skin and appreciate the focus on people rather than combat, it picks up speed as the stakes increase and the final act is a worthy payoff for spending with the rag-team unit. When Nazi soldiers come knocking with guns, you know there will be no quiet ending! Thanks to the already tense and realistic setting, a range of Grizzly special effects in both makeup and pyrotechnics lend that ever-faithful practical touch to the horrors of war rather than cheap CGI nonsense.
Small in scale and simple in story, Hell has no anger never strays from the gist of what it wants to tell and throws in a few welcome twists during its climax. A worthy and somehow unique addition to the genre thanks to a passionate crew and cast who aren’t afraid to get dirty to truly prove hell has no anger… you know the rest.
Flickering Myth Rating – Movie: ★★★ / Movie: ★★★