Garden of Hedon (2011)

Kevin Kangas (Fear of Clowns) directed and wrote (along with Luke Theriault) this film, which concerns a detective who awakens to find himself in a pleasure palace where all manner of decadent pleasures last eternally, from the simple act of eating to — you guesses it — any fetish there is. But when a dead body shows up in what seems like heaven, this become a mystery that needs solving.

This flirts with the giallo and has some great ideas, even if the costumes suggest Eyes Wide Shut on a Spirit store budget. Actually, isn’t that what we want so often? A movie that has ideas that are bigger than the money on hand to film it and the willingness to dive right in and try to make something great?

So yeah — you may not have seen anyone in this movie before. You may never see them again. But the central idea in here — is this heaven or hell or just somewhere strange on Earth and there’s a murder that needs solving — is solid.

Now, if you just gave it a more giallo-esque title instead of the punny Garden of Hedon, we’d be getting something. Ensnared in the Arms of HeavenThe Case of the Perverted EternityAutopsy of an Angel?

Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s shot on digital, it could definitely use another pass on the script, some better acting, improved audio and less of that piano tinkling over and over and well, over. But hey — what have you done today? Did you convince a bunch of people to dress up and traipse about a mansion and make a horror movie for less money than some people make in a year?

Maybe I was in the right mood for this. I think watching forty giallo movies in two weeks kind of numbs you to reality which is exactly how I want to live my life.

You can watch this on Tubi.

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