Dante's Inferno review by The Grim Ringler


Ok, So there are the moments in life when I can actually hear the title of a classic book and say 'hey, I read that', well, this is one such book. Sorta. I mean, I remember reading SOME of it, just, well, not all of it. I swear we were supposed to though. Oops. Well, one thing I can say is that darn it, I know the story. INFERNO, the classic epic poem, is one of the most influential imaginings of what Christian Hell would look like so, even if you have not read it, you will recognize elements of its story. What we have here, presented by TLA Releasing, is the most unique take on the story I have ever seen, and that is to adapt the tale with puppets. These are not ordinary puppets though. Nope. These are paper cut outs who act in sets and among backgrounds and it is truly like nothing you have ever seen. In a good way.

DI begins with out hero wandering the city steets after a long night of partying, Dante finds himself lost in the city and more than a little hung over. Just as he is losing hope of finding his way, Dante is approached by a man named Virgil., who promises to show him the way back home. To get home though, the two must travel through the inferno, or Hell, if you will. The inferno represents people, places, times, and events throughout history and Dante's life that serve as reminders of how perilous one's life can be if lead carelessly and acts as a lesson in sober living. Along the way the two make their way through the circles of the inferno only to come to the final circle, where Lucifer himself lays in wait, adn in order to escape they must get past him and beyond if they are to see what lies past the inferno itself.

While many have read or at least know of the classic tale of DANTE'S INFERNO, I can guarantee you that you have never seen it in this light. Done with smallmaquette puppets and miniatures, the film adds a level of surrealism to the story that really gives it new life. The allegories and characters are a bit updated and different as well, and you will see many familar faces from recent history. The film is an amazing achievement and is an absolute work of art. Not all of the puppetry is completely successful but it is very compelling. There are many well known actors doing voices here and they give the story a good grounding for how weird things get. The name dropping of some of the 'damned' can get to be a bit silly but overall the film holds together well and plays very well.

Part art house film, and part surreal horror, this is a must see to really appreciate the way this plays out. The cover of the movie is far too cheesy for a film this interesting but don't let it put you off and give this one a chance. I implore you. Very fun, very weird movie.

7 out of 10 Jackasses
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