Cult Hero – Fantasia 2022

Dale Domazar (Ry Barrett) used to be a huge deal. A private detective, cult buster and cult reprogrammer with a hit TV show Dale was riding high on success. But then Dale decided to go wildly off script while dealing with a death cult leading to the on-camera deaths of all the cult members (and the cancellation of his show – guess which one upset Dale more?) Currently unemployed he spends his days doing Cameos for cash & speaking to the new podcasting generation of cult busters who are less than impressed with him.

Kallie Jones (Liv Collins) is his unlikely saviour. A realtor with a tendency to dominate her husband Brad (Justin Bott), Kallie finds herself in need of Dale’s services when the wellness centre her husband is being treated at turns out to house a death cult.

Guys this is a riot. Cult Hero is a retro exploitation delight. Directed by Jesse T. Cook from a script by Kevin Revie Cult Hero is just a perfect ’80s throwback Saturday night movie. You can picture this movie with a lurid VHS cover sat on the shelves of a Blockbuster.

Barrett is a joy. He gives such a fun committed performance as Dale. Dale seems to genuinely delight in his cult-busting ways and should they happen to result in “Cult Buster series 2 “being commissioned then hey so be it. It was impossible not to cackle at Dale brutally slaughtering death cult members sent to kill him while he struggles to get out pithy one-liners that will look cool on TV. His enthusiasm is completely infectious.

Collins (who has a story by credit) is good value as Kallie. Kallie is a very thinly veiled “Karen”. The Karen stereotype has quickly become a misogynistic way to attack women but the strength of Collin’s performance stops Kallie from being a misogynistic joke. Kallie is deeply oblivious to her husband’s deep anxiety and while she is awful she really does seem to be blind to how awful she is! I found myself rooting for Kallie, shrieking nightmare that she is, as death cult members descend on her in waves.

Cult Hero builds to a fun, super violent climax which is as entertaining as it is over the top.

Cult Hero is a fun time, hugely recommended!

Cult Hero premiered at the Fantasia International Film Festival.

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