From bumper stickers to placards, the Bible belt in America has never been afraid to reassure us that Jesus apparently ‘loves us’. How quite they can be so sure is another story, but, with modern society in chaos, perhaps a more lurid tactic is needed in order to save our doomed souls from eternal damnation. With the devil on our back, constantly looking to lead us into temptation, has the time has come to preach the message that SATAN HATES YOU!!

After a sensationalistic viewer warning, the movie begins with a serene passage from the bible being read out. I resisted the urge to turn off at that point and am kind of glad I did!

The story centres around two characters whose worlds literally collide. First we have Wendy played by the incredibly cute Christine Spencer. Wendy is a ‘good time girl’ who indulges in copious amounts of drugs and has free and easy sex. But Wendy has a problem. Living with her rather more mature sister Holly, she discovers she is pregnant. You see Wendy usually uses protection but there was this one time in a male toilet whereby... well you get the picture!

Then we have Marc (Don Wood), a down on his luck alcoholic fighting his internal shame of secretly being homosexual. Word of advice when dealing with this guy - NEVER suggest he is gay! If you do you are likely beaten to a bloody pulp by a piece of wood, or anything else that is to hand. (Death by bible anyone?) Joining these two degenerates are the ‘goodie’ guys. Z-movie goddess Debbie Rochon austerely plays Jesus freak called Tina, as the movie meanders down the path of Christian propaganda.

Will Marc and Wendy’s problems simply evaporate if they simply let Jesus into their hearts? If only life was so simple...

Ok first thing to be said about this very low budget movies is don’t watch it at all if you are a recovering alcoholic! Shots are pounded, pints gulped and all sorts of substances consumed constantly throughout the 95 minute run time! In fact it was so laden with drink and drugs I wasn’t sure whether I was fit to go behind the wheel after watching it!

There is some terrific humour within the picture as well. A hilarious little scene involved the tribulations of a group of weed dealers whose main purpose in life is role-playing games such as Dungeon and Dragons. Some brilliant dialogue really exposed these chaps as geeks whose grip on reality is fragile!

There was a more obvious attempt at humour with the ill-advised camped up devils. Clad in red velvet and bow ties I felt their subconscious presence hindered the film and became a bit tiresome after their first appearance on screen. Their campy antics could have easily been removed to the movies benefit.

The picture was brutally snatched back from the realms of horror comedy with a stand out viscerally violent scene. A malicious back street abortion sequence, although featuring a humorously over the top surgeon, was had me literally wincing. But it was just all out shock that writer-director James Felix McKenney achieved in his picture. In a different scene featuring a rape, a novel approach was taken. Freeze frame shots of the victims face penetrating the viewer with her petrified stare was accompanied by some horrific screams. I felt it a clever and effective way of conveying the atrocity of rape while not actually showing anything too vulgar.

SHU has a very interesting mix with its humour violence and a religious stance which is not exactly the parody I was expecting. Aficionados of the Phantasm franchise may also be interested to know that joining the cast were Reggie Bannister along with Angus Scrimm. But for me the most entertaining cameo was the Horror legend Michael Berryman. His damning condemnation of Marc’s lifestyle was riotous!

This truly debauched little effort is topped off with a little twist in the plot that made for a satisfying conclusion. Have fun watching it, but beware... you may feel the craving for a crate of Stella Artois at the midpoint!

Review by Marc Lissenburg

Released by Danger after Dark
Region 2 - PAL
Rated 18
Extras :
see main review