With Holy Hell, LaPlante owes a clear debt of inspiration to Hobo with a Shotgun (2011), both in terms of the same demented cartoon grindhouse style and the same basic plot of a downtrodden man rising up to take exaggeratedly ultra-violent revenge. In this case, the protagonist of the film is not a hobo but a Catholic priest (LaPlante comes from a Catholic background). Imagine a less-than-serious version of Nude Nuns with Big Guns (2010), a similar cod grindhouse vigilante-revenge film that had a substantial axe to grind against the Catholic Church, made with the comic-book aesthetic of Hobo with a Shotgun.
As such, Holy Hell is a film that is determined to offend as much as it possibly can with scenes of LaPlantes priest blowing away sinners with a big gun, resisting (not very well) the sexual advances of Alysa King (who later goes into combat on her wheelchair in a bra with crosses emblazoned on it) and the gleefully outrageous mania of the MacFarlanes. LaPlante has outfitted Father Bane with a series of wildly over-the-top one-liners and everything culminates in a massive bloodbath. LaPlante made Holy Hell on a low-budget this is a film that wears its sometimes chinzty amateurism with pride, while a large streak of pure dementia and outright bad taste carries it the rest of the way. The performances particularly those from LaPlante himself who plays Father Bane and Shane Patrick McClurg as the cross-dressing Sissy have been ratcheted up to a level that regards completely over-the-top as merely a warming-up ground.
Holy Hell should not be confused with Holy Hell (2016), the documentary about an L.A. religious cult that came out not long after this. (Where I live, both films had their premiere screenings within a week of each other to some confusion).
(Screening at the Shivers Cinemafantastique Film Festival)