“Hell Hath No Fury” is a WWII B-movie of the type Quentin Tarantino might have worshipped during his days as a video store clerk. It could have been Italian, filmed in the ’60s and made by people who didn’t care a whit for “historical accuracy.” They were just trying to make a quick-and-dirty shoot-em up for a quick lira, or Yankee dollar.
“Hell” is C-list actors shooting it out on some Belarus-Kazakhstan location, meant to pass for 1944 France in a story cooked up by people who learned their World War II history from other B-movies.
“Fromage,” as the French would say. And not the good cheese, either.
The dialogue flips willy nilly from English to French to German, sometimes subtitled, sometimes not. There are attempts at Southern accents, gallons of fake blood spilled and Nazi gold at the end of the rainbow. Again.
The director of “The Mercenary” serves up Danish-of-Russian-descent model Nina Bergman as Marie, a French beauty who chances a life of luxury and leisure as an SS officer’s (Daniel Bernhardt) concubine within months of the Fall of France. She survives a Resistance ambush, as does her Nazi beau.
But three years later, Paris is being liberated and we see that she didn’t come out of all that smelling like roses. She’d been imprisoned, and on getting out had her head shaved and a swastika painted on it for consorting with the enemy.
Now she’s battered, dirty and humiliated, in her underwear and bargaining for her life with four American GIs (Louis Mandylor, Timothy V. Murphy, Josef Cannon and Luke LaFontaine). She knows where Nazi gold is!
But as the Major (Mandylor of “Debt Collector” and “Rambo: Last Blood”) and his charges dig up an entire French graveyard because Marie “forgot” where she hit the gold bars, they run afoul of French Resisters who covet the ingots for themselves. And then they hear the SS is on its way, too.
Only a lot of fast-talking and/or shooting will get anyone out of this. As the script is warmed over piffle, shooting it is.
“Ah dawn’t speak no f—–g FRAWG,” Mandylor Foghorn Leghorns. “But Ah unnerstan’ THAT.”
The acting ranges from adequate to pretty bad. The picture hangs on Bergman’s performance, and we should sense fear, cunning and manic efforts to fast-talk herself out of her jam. She just can’t manage it.
Some of the ordnance doesn’t look right for this theater of the war. The Americans are an integrated unit before the U.S. Army integrated.
One of the Resisters (Andrew Bering) keeps seeing and arguing with a smart aleck dead comrade in the middle of the firefights. Characters make blood curdling threats and commit betrayals, only to have a change of heart one scene later.
None of which would matter all that much if the third act twists weren’t expected, the motivations so flimsy and the firefights so hilariously drawn out.
Bernhardt’s Major Von Bruckner shows up with scores of troops, and as explosions roar and bullets rip men to shreds all around him, he dramatically rises up, pulls off his mask and then doffs his hat — glowering before unholstering his Luger to join the fray.
I could go on, as the movie does, but I won’t. “Saving Private Ryan” this isn’t. “Kelly’s Heroes” either. “Hell Hath No Fury” hath no fury, and rarely even rises to the level of “fitfully entertaining.”
Rating: R for strong/bloody violence, language throughout, and some sexual content.
Cast: Nina Bergman, Louis Mandylor, Daniel Bernhardt, Timothy V. Murphy, Andrew Bering, Josef Cannon and Charles Fathy
Credits: Directed by Jesse V. Johnson, scripted by Katharine Lee McEwan and Romain Serir. A Well Go Entertainment release.
Running time: 1:36