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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Dec 10, 2023




‘THE BELL KEEPER’ is a horror-slasher film that stars UFC fighter and wrestler Randy Couture. The opening scene shows him brutally killing a young man named Gary and a young woman named Nadine with an axe. 

He keeps on saying: “You rang the bell!” 

And it seems this is the reason why he is killing them.

This would make you conclude that he’s the killer, but as the story unfolds, there is a big twist in his character as “The Bell Keeper”. 

We learn that his name is Hank and he has become notorious as people suspect him to be a serial killer, a recluse living isolated in the forest where he sort of guards a mysterious bell. 

It is said that whenever someone rings the bell, Hank then would appear to track him down and kill him, along with his companions.

We are then introduced to his would be next innocent victims. The main story is about a group of curious young people who drive to a remote camping site high up in the mountains to do research and make a documentary about a lot of missing people in the wooded area called Bell Lake.

The leaders are two brothers. The younger one is Liam (played by Reid Miller) and the older one is Matthew or Matt (Mike Manning). 

Liam has dropped out of school and lives alone in his camper. 

He earns his living by selling marijuana that he himself grows.

Unlike the aimless Liam, Matt is a go-getter and he is used to bullying his brother.

They are using Liam’s camper to drive to Bell Lake and with them is Matt’s pretty girlfriend,  Holly (Cathy Marks), who wants the two brothers to be more warm and cordial to each other.

Two other docu crew members join them:  Gabriel (Antoine Vaillancourt) and Megan (Alexis Santiago), who are in a relationship and are both bimbos.   

On the way to the lake, they stop by a gas station and meet a cop, Eugene Carlson (Chaz Bono) and a freaky looking store sales clerk, Jodie (Bonnie Aarons of “The Nun”), who both warn them not to go to the lake as Hank is there and he can be ruthless.

Of course, they don’t listen to her and they also meet another young woman, Brittany (Kathleen Kenny), who is looking for her missing brother who turns out to be Gary, the very first victim who was decapitated at the start of the movie.

Liam is quickly smitten by Brittany but she tells him she is LGBT. But together, they will be partners in trying to solve the mysteries of Bell Lake. 

Of course, Liam and company find the location of the mysterious bell and it’s easy to foresee that his oafish companions will ring it and then Hank will appear to chase all of them.

This is about as far as we’d go as anything else will be a spoiler.

Suffice it to say that Hank has a valid reason to do what he is doing and that is for you to find out when you watch this movie that will surely be quite a delight for genre fans who enjoy watching blood and gore.

You can then start guessing who will survive and who will die. The script seems to be haphazardly written.

They even include a devil worshipper named Jackson who makes the story more of a jumbled mess, creating some icky plotholes.

It even tries to inject some humor as they need three virgins to fight off the curse on the evi belll. Guess who the three virgins turn out to be.

The young actors in this movie are all unknowns who are likely to remain so and so don’t expect any Oscar moments from them. 

But truth to tell, the most bad ass actor in the movie is Randy Couture, who delivers his lines seemingly without fully understanding them. He also lacks the charisma of other wrestlers like Dwayne Johnson and John Cena.

This movie rightfully belongs to our treasure trove of low budget, trashy horror-slasher flicks that are quickly forgotten. 

But the movie ends on a note that’s teasing they’re hoping to have a sequel. With the lackluster presence of Couture in it, we don’t think this has a future as a movie series or franchise.