Just for the Hell of It Film Details
Overview: A young teenage boy is blamed for a Florida neighborhood being terrorized. But the real culprits are a gang of four punks leading a group of local delinquents on a nihilistic lifestyle of destruction and mayhem.
Tagline: The new look in madness that laughs and destroys anything in its way…including your life!
Review: This film was made by the crown prince of gore and schlock, Hershell Gordon Lewis. It begins with some young people at a party. All of the sudden, one of the ‘untamed youth’ begins smashing things–at which point they all join in with the fun. What makes it rather strange is that some of them have knives and even hatchets!! Where did they hide them and what sort of folks bring hatchets?! This opening scene lasts about three times longer than it should and could have used a strong editing. Then, the credits roll along with some of the most nasal and annoying music I’ve heard in years. Tary Rebanar’s voice is high-pitched and annoying enough to raise the dead!! Sadly, strains from his god-awful warbling came and went throughout the film. Once the movie begins, you’ll most likely notice how bad the sound is–like it’s being filmed with a super 8mm movie camera. As for the acting, everyone seems to over-emote–even the band, whose guitarist and bass player appear to be having grand mal seizures. Really…you need to see them bouncing about to believe it. I am sure the king of subtle, Lewis, instructed them on the finer points of acting and style. What follows are some poorly choreographed fights (I truly think Lewis just yelled out “okay, start breaking things” and let them wing it) and MORE destruction of rooms full of cheap furniture. And, like the first time, it seems to go on forever. You’d think these ‘youth gone wild’ would have gotten bored with this after a while, and so they do. For kicks, then, they fry a guy’s hand on the stove, burn newspapers that sit right in front of the camera and smash apart a baby carriage. I especially loved the shot of the baby sitting in a trashcan–just looking at the punks as they did their thing. It was dumb but also kind of funny. Sadly, however, the film didn’t stop there. It kept showing more and more and more of the same sort of thing–these kids beating up and humiliating adults time and time again. It really got old very quickly and just looked like padding and made up the bulk of the film. Acting and plot just didn’t seem that important. Yet I was also left to wonder how they could do this so many times in broad daylight and yet the cops STILL couldn’t figure out who these young whippersnappers were!!! And, considering how loud and obnoxious and noticeable the crazed kids were, you almost thought the cops in the film should have been played by Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder. Finally, to break the monotony of the same old attacks again and again, a group of four nice girls are invited to one of the gang’s parties and are drugged and raped. But, instead of this signaling a move to more serious crimes, in the next scene the gang literally goes out and beats up little children playing baseball. I know it was supposed to be shocking but I just thought the whole thing was incredibly silly. And, once again, the scene seemed to go on way too long. However, even though it’s a horrible scene, just get a load of that old lady as she watches the attack! I loved her expressions–the type that make Edith Massey seem like a brilliant thespian. Unfortunately, in addition to the old lady being a horrible actress, she also misidentifies who caused the problems–saying that an innocent kid was at fault for attacking an entire gang. And, the brain-addled police seem to think this is reasonable and arrest the boy. They ignore another more credible witness and don’t even bother talking to the little kids! Hmm…it seems the police aren’t really blind–just really, really stupid! In the following scene, by the way, you learn what else the vicious gang likes to do for fun. They play bumper pool!!! So, as the gang play, the innocent guy who was just arrested comes into the room full of these clean-cut looking thugs and threatens them!!! What part of stupid didn’t this guy understand?! He has just shown that he’s dumb enough to join this town’s police force. Yet, oddly, we see no beat-down–just the gang enjoying six packs of everyone’s favorite beverage, Carling Black Label (could they have perhaps been a sponsor!?). What happened to the dumb guy who just threatened to kill them (and without a gun or tank or even backup to help)?! What follows instead is a rape scene that showed a lot more than I’d assumed they could get away with back in 1968. However, apparently the gang didn’t forget about the dumb guy and you see them about to exact their revenge. In the very next scene, his girlfriend calls the cops to report the threatening phone calls she got and they respond that there’s nothing they can do(?). I think the Keystone Kops would have been an improvement over the police in this goofy town. What follows are more sexual assaults and mayhem until finally, finally the gang is finally stopped in a weird scene where a bike just explodes for no reason. This film, with a few exceptions here and there, managed to make gang violence rather boring. Too many scenes should have been shortened, there were too many attacks and not enough story. All in all, the violence just got old and dull very quickly and the story never made sense as people cannot be THAT dumb! While this is a terrible film in almost every way, for Hershell Gordon Lewis this is NOT among his worst films. No, for that you might want to try MONSTER A GO-GO and THIS STUFF’LL KILL YA. Believe it or not, however, Lewis did make one low-budget films that didn’t completely suck–the surprisingly good TWO THOUSAND MANIACS. This proves that if you try hard enough, you’re bound to get lucky once.
Duration: 81 min
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Also known as: Just for the Hell of It,O Prazer da Violência,Nacidos para este infierno,Destruction, Inc.