Imagine two period films about WWII – the European Resistance thriller “5 Branded Women” (1960) and Clint Eastwood’s opus “Kelly’s Heroes” (1970), where Americans and Germans share a Nazi gold awards – mixed, and you We have the basics of Jesse V. Johnson’s unsavory but thrilling combat epic “Hell Hath No Fury” (*** OUT OF ****), a chronicle of poise over betrayal in WWII.
This hair-raising B-movie borrows its title from a 17-sentencee century, the English playwright William Congreve coined in his tragic 1697 play “The Mourning Bride”. The phrase “Hell has no fury. . . “embodies a woman’s anger after suffering bitter rejection and betrayal.
In Paris, an attractive secret agent of the French Resistance, Marie DuJardin (Nina Bergman of “Doom: Annihilation”) poses as the mistress of a despicable German officer, Colonel SS von Brückner (Daniel Bernhardt of “Atomic Blonde” ), who stole a satchel of gold bars. Incredibly, he doesn’t know anything about Marie’s betrayal. Nevertheless, our heroine’s best-worked plans failed.
The Nazis arrest him and send him to Ravensbrück, Hitler’s infamous concentration camp for women. Emerging three years later, she is being punished by her own people for collaborating with the enemy! The hermetic security of Mary’s undercover mission meant that the fewer those who knew, the better. Since everything Marie said was treated as a lie, the French shave her head and paint a Nazi swastika on her forehead.
A shaved head symbolized a traitor. Although she survived Ravensbrück, Marie finds herself in great danger in the face of her own compatriots. Ideally, US Army Major Maitland (Louis Mandylor from “The Debt Collectors”) and three soldiers in a jeep come to his aid. Notice, Maitland saves Marie mainly because she can take them to the contraband gold.
“Hell Hath No Fury” takes place briefly in France in 1941, then advances three years until 1944 after the liberation of Paris. “Avengement” director Jesse V. Johnson orchestrates an ambush in the woods to warm viewers for the upcoming fireworks display. Several French resistance fighters riddled Colonel von Brückner’s limousine and shot his driver dead.
Sneaking behind them, the sniper colonel eliminates the resistance fighters one by one. Then, this story of avarice and ingots is played out over an afternoon in an anonymous cemetery. Marie had hidden the treasure here.
In addition, our heroine had shot von Brückner in the face and then concealed what she imagined to be his corpse in a crypt. Unfortunately, the bastard is not dead. Today, three years later, the disfigured SS colonel storms the cemetery with twice as many troops to recover his gold. Marie finds herself stuck between a gravestone and a hard place. Worse, she doesn’t have anyone she can trust.
Chaining up the Americans, Marie claims that she cannot remember the exact location of the gold because there are many more graves. Notice, our calculating heroine is lying between her teeth. She knows where exactly is, but refuses to give in to Major Maitland as her patience crumbles. In the meantime, Americans are unprepared for the complications that ensue.
Two seasoned French resistance fighters in the cemetery refuse to accommodate Maitland. Clement (Dominiquie Vandenberg of “The Mercenary”) and George (Charles Fathy of “Purple Heart”) refuse to cooperate with the motley quartet of Americans, and two of Maitland’s men bite the dust in an exchange of gunfire .
When the dust clears, only Maitland and one of his men, Jerry (Timothy V. Murphy from “Green Street Hooligans 2”), remain standing. Tying Mary to a graveyard cross, Maitland repeatedly tugs at her, narrowly missing, in a vain effort to untie her tongue. Meanwhile, these nasty Americans learn that a Nazi column is approaching. In addition, they learn that von Brückner is in charge.
As you might expect, this revelation surprises our incredulous heroine. In a last ditch effort to level the playing field, Maitland asks a few US Army Air Force B-25 Mitchell medium bombers to fly and flatten the graveyard.
This slam-bang, high-octane, R-rated, 94-minute action refuses to romanticize war. Nina Bergman gives a performance of bravery in the role of Mary. Usually, when actresses shave their heads, they wear a wig that conceals their own hair. Several actresses turned down the role of Marie because they didn’t want their heads cut off. Indeed, Bergman, a Method actress, accepted the role unscrupulously.
You can watch in horror as his head gets shaved on camera by an angry French mob. Nina dominates “Hell Hath No Fury” from its first scenes when she walks in Paris with the villainous von Brückner until her state of abject destitution. Later, after Maitland rescues her, Marie is not only shaved, but our haggard heroine curls up in a pathetic slip. Mary is the role of a lifetime.
Finally, when the dust settles on the cemetery, you will be as relieved as Marie from the fierce outcome. Nothing in “Hell Hath No Fury” is glamorous, and our heroine suffers despicably at the hands of the Germans, the French and the Americans. Marie de Nina gets slapped, shot and suffocated as her captors struggle to extract the gold for her.
An uncompromising Mary refuses to let anyone, including herself, control the gold. The Nazis confiscated jewelry and fillings from Jewish victims of concentration camps and melted the merchandise into gold bars. Spectators with wiry eyes can spot the conflicting rank insignia on von Brückner’s uniform. Worse, cigarettes have filter tips, and these didn’t exist in the 1940s. Quibble aside, “Hell Hath No Fury” is considered a violent and nihilistic WWII saga on a Amazonian woman wading through a quagmire of blood, sweat and bullets.
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