Better known for his writing, Robert Conway (The Covenant 2017, Eminence Hill 2019) turns his attention to the mythical for his feature length directorial debut Hellhounds. Set for digital release on January 9, 2024 through Uncork’d Entertainment, the story follows The ‘Hell Hounds’ who are a gang of bikers that have been caught up in a war with their sworn enemies ‘The Silver Bullets.’ However, The Hell Hounds are no ordinary biker gang – they are actually a pack of werewolves who have been all but eradicated by The Silver Bullets.
It all begins as a woman is hunted down and then abducted in the desert by an unknown assailant. As this is happening, one of The Hell Hounds is tracked down by a bounty hunter.
Meanwhile, a woman is nursing her bed bound husband who is suffering from a strange bite wound that won’t heal. This initial setup is a little confusing as the action interchanges between these three plot threads and the audience is left to fill in a lot of the blanks.
Eventually it is revealed that Mia (Dana Kippel: The Cove 2021, Deadly Infidelity 2022) is the bounty hunter who has tracked down Hell Hounds member Alias (Nathaniel Burns:
Krampus: The Reckoning 2015, Skinwalker 2021) and that they are both searching for a man named Dave (Daniel Link: Mind the Gap 2020, Ghost Town 2023). Alias is looking for Dave because he is the man responsible for The Silver Bullets decimating the Hell Hounds, whilst Mia believes that Dave is the man who has abducted the woman who the audience saw at the beginning of the film. Reluctantly, they agree to team up. As this is all going on, we learn that the man with the strange bite wound is named Kevin (Cameron Kotecki: Skinwalker
2021, Dog Boy 2022) and that he has attracted the unwanted interest of a mysterious woman called Lucella (Eva Hamilton: Ruin Me 2017, The Swing of Things 2020) who claims to be his mother.
Hellhounds has a really cool premise. There are very few movies that are about werewolf bikers and the two ideas meshed together do make sense. Bikers travel in a gang, werewolves travel in a pack, and both are bonded by a sense of loyalty and brotherhood. The idea of The Silver Bullets who hunt them down is also really cool, and this could have made for a really great fantasy thriller. Unfortunately, Hellhounds never really lives up to its premise. The war and rivalry between The Hell Hounds and The Silver Bullets all but happens off screen and is used as backstory rather than as action in the film. Meanwhile, the werewolf element is treated as a secret until later into the film.
Truthfully, this would have worked really well as a reveal for the audience if the film’s poster and synopsis didn’t already give it away. In that way, Hellhounds is a frustrating watch for the audience. The film does make good use of some practical effects but elsewhere the use of nudity feels misplaced. Overall, Hellhounds was an inspired idea, but the execution isn’t quite right. That is why Cryptic Rock gives it 2 out of 5 stars.