Directed by: Christopher Coppola
Starring: William Forsythe, Tate Donovan, Bobcat Goldthwait
This is apparently based on a six-issue plot from the comic book “Madman”, which is so extremely indie there’s really no reason anyone should’ve ever heard of it. Still, given that origin, there are some fairly recognizable names in here, and it’s honestly not that bad of a film. Hell, according to the special features on the DVD, the creator of the comics espouses how amazingly faithful to the source material this movie manages to be, even going beyond the original scope of the characters. Which is great and all, if you’re one of the six people who enjoyed the original comics (I’m of course just making up numbers here, but I couldn’t find any way to pirate these comics, so I’m just assuming they can’t be THAT popular).
Two FBI officers (colloquially called “G-Men”, at least back in the 50’s) are killed in a mob hit and go to hell. Believing they have been inappropriately detained, they steal the devil’s (Robert Goulet) magic crystal which lets them go back to the real world, and they set up a private detective agency in hopes of doing enough good deeds to get into heaven. They become embroiled in a strange plot involving a mad scientist, his robot (Goldthwait), several stereotypical women, and a guy who looks like Meatloaf with a hand puppet which has to do with the murder of some random dude. I’m not going to spoil the mystery, but I will say that Gary Busey is an investigating cop in this, and he turns in his usual completely bizarre performance.
You could watch a worse movie than G-Men From Hell, and it probably wouldn’t even be that hard to do. But… I’d think you’d really have to be of a specific mindset to actually enjoy this thing. A mindset which I’m not entirely sure what it would be. I mean, I like mysteries, and that’s what this is, and I like weird shit, to which this also certainly applies. Hell, I’m even a fan of things involving the devil, just because I think he’s a fun fictional character. But there was just too much weird shit packed into this film that absolutely did not need to be there for any reason, except perhaps to appease those who had read the source material. It felt really crowded with a lot of extra fluff, and this partly contributed to the fact that none of the characters were all that well developed (which is just what happens in an hour and a half long film with a billion characters). There’s a reason that most adaptations don’t follow strictly to the source, and that’s just because the medium of a film doesn’t have the same pacing and structure as other mediums. Despite what fanboys might think, it’s totally acceptable to change things when turning it into a movie. Eh, I guess that’s all I really need to talk about that right now. G-Men From Hell was okay.