You can say a lot of things about the Polonia brothers and their work, but you can’t say they’re not creative. Their movies tend toward genre work–no serious dramas here–but they cover a wide and wild variety of subjects. One of those is the 1993 movie Hellspawn.
What Have They Gotten Up to This Time in the 1993 Movie Hellspawn?
Brothers Mick and Jack are house-sitting for their cousin Frank. Unbeknownst to them, though, there’s a demon–or hellspawn–roaming the area. At their local bar, they hear rumors about the monster in the area, but they dismiss them. Why wouldn’t they? It just sounds like nonsense bar talk.
As the deaths and grave robbings pile up, though, Mick and Jack start to think that there’s some substance to the rumors. In addition, they don’t want to be the murderer’s next victims, so they decide to play detective and find this killer themselves.
And at the same time we’re watching Mick and Jack, we’re getting a view of the hellspawn, who’s an interesting character. The film begins with his birth, by a human woman, and he seems to be a character in conflict. Not only do we see him visit his mother’s grave, but he also seems consumed with human emotion. That’s obviously unusual for a demon movie.
The Polonia Brothers and Their Whole Deal
But then again, it might not be that unusual for a Polonia Brothers movie. The brothers, Mark and the late John, began making movies in their teen years. They continued on through adulthood, making very low-budget, seat-of-your-pants straight-to-video movies. They’re known for their creativity with props and locations, especially their belief that anything can be repurposed and used for filming. Some examples include the dinosaur toys they use in Dinosaur Chronicles or the fact that the bar in Hellspawn is very clearly the kitchen in someone’s house.
They don’t have extravagant budgets for their films, but that isn’t the point. The point is that they thought, wouldn’t it be fun to make a movie? And then they did. And they kept doing it, while holding down regular jobs at the same time. (John, for example, apparently worked at a Bi-Lo grocery store.) It’s likely that more people saw their movies when there were still video stores, but monetary success never seemed to be their motivator. And Mark continues making movies to this day.
Should You See the 1993 Movie Hellspawn?
Viewers say that this isn’t one of the Polonia Brothers’ best. For one thing, it doesn’t seem as if the brothers used commercial equipment. That’s not a problem for some aspects of movie-making, but there are some aspects where you want the best equipment you can afford. I’m talking, of course, about the visuals and sound. Many viewers complained that there were persistent audio issues throughout the movie. These included a non-stop hissing sound and an inability to hear the dialogue during parts. Some viewers also mentioned visual issues, including blurring at the edges of the screen. Overall, they say it’s not as fun as other Polonia outings.
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featured image via Micro Budget Films
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Salomé Gonstad is a freelance writer who grew up in the swampy wilds of south Alabama. She now splits her time between the Appalachian wilds (of Alabama) and the considerably more refined streets of New York City. When she's not yelling about pop culture on the internet, she's working on a supernatural thriller about her hometown. Also, we're pretty sure she's a werewolf. Email her at email@example.com.