To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story

01/02/2019 17:47

Film: To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story

Year: 2017

Director: Derek Dennis Herbert

Starring: Kane Hodder, Mike Aloisi and John Carl Buechler



This was a documentary that I heard about for some time and was intrigued in that I’m a fan of the person it focuses on, Kane Hodder. He is the Jason Voorhees that I know from the Friday the 13th films that came out when I was growing up or the ones that always seemed to be on television when I would seek them out. I didn’t really know his life story, but heard some interesting stories in regards to him. I was quite interested to learn more. The official synopsis is the emotional story of Kane Hodder who survived a harrowing childhood and near-death accident to become one of films biggest and most beloved horror icons.

As the synopsis states, we start off learning about Kane’s childhood. I knew that he was bullied and that it was something that really took a toll on him. It is kind of crazy to think about, because of how such a physically opposing guy he is. He did grow up on a military base in the pacific, which makes it also quite interesting. He does reveal that he was a daredevil, even in his youth. Listening to him as he dealt with bullying was good and I think it is a solid message for those that have to deal with it. It also has a message for those that think they are helping when they might not be.

What really got to me in this though was the accident that Kane survived. He attempted to do a fire stunt and it ended up going wrong. This left him burnt and trying to get over the damage he did to his body. The physical and mental toll was quite emotional for me as a viewer. It was really touching for him to open up, allowing the viewer to get to know the person behind the man on the screen.

This documentary also does a solid job in that it interviews his friends in the industry and outside of it, fans, those he works with and things to this effect. I do find it interesting to hear things from the person themselves, but also to get the other perspectives. Now I don’t expect to hear people talking about bad about him in that it’s a documentary about him, but the people that were interviewed all seem to generally like him. I find it interesting that I’ve never heard anyone I’ve interacted with who have met him say anything bad and that he truly loves his fans. It is good to hear despite some of the bad things that have happened to him in Hollywood that he has become such an icon of the genre.

Despite the film’s almost 2 hour running time, it really doesn’t feel like it. The film goes through many of his major roles, giving some stories from the sets of them. It also goes through the major disappointments of his life in the industry and outside of it. Regardless though, I was captivated from beginning to end and this really did move quite fast. I will say that I don’t necessarily know if I believe 100% everything that is stated, but there isn’t much I questioned either.

This is going to be another shorter review as it is hard to talk about documentaries. This is the man that I think of as Jason even though he’s some of the worst films in the Friday the 13th franchise. His life is quite interesting and listening to the stories he tells really had me feeling emotional and in awe of him. If you like to learn more behind the scenes of films or about actors in general, I would give this film a viewing. I think it is definitely worth it for fans of Kane, Friday the 13th or other films he has appeared in. It is one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in the genre for sure.


My Rating: 9 out of 10