Tedious and tasteless in equal measure, the lazy horror parody “Hell Baby” gives grossout comedy a bad name. The latest collaboration from “Reno 911!” creators Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant will play only to the duo’s most faithful fans, providing anyone can tolerate a pileup of poorly improvised scenes and repetitive gags demonstrating zero flair for either satire or straightforward comedy. Congratulations are most definitely not in order.
Dysfunctional married couple Jack (Rob Corddry) and Vanessa (Leslie Bibb) are expecting a baby when they move into a rundown murder house in the ghetto, hoping to flip it for a quick profit. Instead, the house flips a switch in Vanessa, who starts guzzling wine and paint thinner and disembowels her psychiatrist before finally giving birth to the title demon spawn after what feels like a full nine months of screentime. Keegan-Michael Key (of Comedy Central’s “Key & Peele”) is the only cast member to land any punchlines, as an overly friendly neighbor, while Riki Lindhome deserves good career karma for suffering through a ridiculously prolonged sequence completely in the buff. Tech credits are shoddy, perhaps by design.
A Darko Entertainment presentation of a Darko Entertainment/Principato-Young Entertainment production. Produced by Sean McKittrick, Jeff Culotta, Peter Principato, Paul Young, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon. Executive producers, Edward H. Hamm Jr., David Lincoln, John D. Lynch. Co-producer, Lucy Huang. Co-executive producer, Ken Lipman. Directed, written by Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon.
Camera (color, HD), Charles Papert; editor, Kevin Oeser; music, Michael Farrell; music supervisor, Chris Mollere; production designer, Nate Jones; set decorator, Jessica L. Navaran; costume designer, Shauna Leone; sound (Dolby Digital), Dan Izen; supervising sound editor, David Esparza; re-recording mixer, Chris David; visual effects supervisor, Rip Odebralski; visual effects, Gradient Effects; stunt coordinator, Jeff Galpin; associate producer, Jeremy Guzowski; assistant director, James Alan Hensz; second unit director, David Lincoln; casting, Jennifer Cooper. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (Park City at Midnight), Jan. 23, 2013. Running time: 98 MIN.
Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Keegan-Michael Key, Riki Lindhome, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Rob Huebel, Paul Scheer, Michael Ian Black.
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