There is no arguing that one of the biggest names in the horror genre is Kane Hodder. The man is beloved by fans all over the world and rightfully so. While his career is still flourishing, it has already spanned decades and is worthy of not only a biographical book, but also an in-depth documentary entitled To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story.
Over the last few years, there have been some great documentaries for horror fans to enjoy — Behind the scenes interviews and making-of stories recounted about some of the biggest films the genre has produced. To me, those all come in second place to this one.
To Hell and Back covers the famous stuntman and actor’s journey from a tumultuous childhood full of bullying to his teenage years, where he got his first taste for film.
The Kane Hodder Story features interviews from tons of other horror powerhouses that have worked with Kane over the years including Robert Englund, Adam Green, Bruce Campbell, Cassandra Peterson, and co-author of the “Unmasked” biography, Michael Aloisi.
If you’ve been following the career of the foreboding and enthusiastic Hodder, you already know the myriad of roles he’s portrayed in the genre. From his four films as Jason Voorhees to the four films as Victor Crowley, his work in films like 1987’s Prison and 2015’s Muck, it seems the man never stops. What was even more compelling to me as a fan, however, was the more personal stuff we learn throughout To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story.
Kane tells stories of how he got his first role in a film in 1974 as an extra and about his life even before that, as a child who was severely bullied on a daily basis. What was most impactful, though, was his emotional recollection of the stunt-gone-wrong in 1977 that caused the majority of his body to be burned and scarred even to this day.
Kane Hodder has reinvented himself time and time again in the horror genre. He’s gone from the man behind the mask to a man who can do it all. His roles as both real-life serial killers, Ed Gein and Dennis Rader, really showed off his acting chops and gave fans even more reason to love and adore him.
One common theme amongst all who were interviewed for this documentary is that Kane Hodder is always the consummate professional. He is tough and rugged, but he is also a kind and gentle man who loves what he does. He has his hand in almost 20 films a year and that love is shown in every role he portrays.
If you are a Kane Hodder fan, chances are you’ve already seen this doc from 2017. If you are a slacker like me, however, you need to remedy that and watch To Hell and Back: The Kane Hodder Story.
It is extremely well made and gives an in-depth look into the life of the man that we have been watching on our television sets and the big screen for over 30 years, and it should be in every single horror fans’ collection. It is also the perfect companion to the book, “Unmasked: The True Story of The World’s Most Prolific Cinematic Killer.”
This documentary gets 5 horror film legends out of 5.