Fresh Meat #1: HeBGB TV (2022)

HeBGB TV is a 2022 comedy horror film written, produced, and directed by Eddie Griffin, Adam Lenhart, and Jake Mclellan. The trio previously made the 8-minute short, 1-888-5-BLUE-YOU (2021). I was lucky enough to watch a screener online of this film, going in cold and unsure of what this was about. Looking at the IMDb page, I see the 7.2 rating, which seems incredibly high and inflated, but my expectations and intrigue are through the roof. The synopsis from IMDb goes as follows:

“Goofy horror hijinks and high camp queer shenanigans ensue, when some siblings get transmitted into an unsuspecting household via a retro-horror TV cable box.”

As we get into the meat and potatoes of the film, we are introduced to a cable box of sorts that gives off a Videodrome feel, connecting to the TV itself, seemingly breathing and pulsating. A couple of kids then meet The Purple Guy, who seems to be the host or guide to using the box.
The film is very stylish, and you can see and feel the filmmaker’s heart and soul poured into it, as every little detail in the background of shots is painstakingly created. Read the scrolling text when the news is on screen. There are so many Easter eggs for genre fans. My only critique on this is that there’s so much reading on the screen that it sometimes makes me miss the action on the screen. But is that a bad thing? It just means I should watch it again to catch everything. Make sure to watch for people’s names, too, when they are interviewed, as I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Arby’s employee, Onyx the Fortuitous.

There isn’t much of a plot, as the film is very much a stream of consciousness setup. We are essentially watching the HeBGB TV, so there’s news, food commercials, animation, puppets, toy commercials, MTV, The Home Shopping Network, and so much more. Once again, be on the lookout for the small details that can easily be glossed over. Brand names are especially fun. Do you know why a products ID number on Home Shopping Network might be T-HX1138?

There are numerous chuckles to be had, and not once did I feel like I was pulled out of the film by its lack of budget. It just goes to show that imagination and good writing goes a lot farther than money. The humor can be subtle, it can be weird, it can be stoner comedy, it can be gross, but what matters is that it’s FUNNY! Towards the end, it really amps up the whole “media is consuming us” theme, but never so much that it takes away from the fun, despite the tonal shift.

At 78 minutes, it is just the right length. Not too long. Not too short. The format could become very tiresome due to its structure and just weirdness, as it moves with such a pace that it can very quickly wear you out. The news breaks slow things down and really helps with the pacing, so that you can ramp back up to the breakneck pace that is the core of the film.

The format is really fun though, as if you don’t find what’s on screen funny, give it 2 minutes and they will have a commercial that’s so funny you laugh out loud.
It’s funny. It’s quirky. It’s weird. It’s obviously a labor of love. But, most importantly, it’s fun.

Tagline: Don’t Touch That Dial

6.5/10 Stab Wounds

You can pick up your blu ray copy of the film at Scream Team Releasing. You can grab the blu ray itself or the HeBGB Buy the Box collector set. Click the image below for your choice.

About RetRo(n) 61 Articles
I like the 80s, slasher films, Italian directors, Evil Ed, Trash and Nancy, Ripley and Private First Class Hudson, retro crap but not SyFy crap, old school skin, Freddy and Savini, Spinell and Coscarelli, Andre Toulon, and last, but not least, Linda Blair.