CATS Review: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here” by Scott Wampler

In his review of Cats (2019), Scott Wampler titles his piece “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here” to signify the negative contents of his review. Wampler writes:

“The cats are introducing themselves, by the way, as a means for auditioning for death. We learn early on that one of them will soon be selected to die and ascend to The Heavyside Layer (which is basically the cats’ version of Heaven), and the entire movie is about finding out which of these gigantic assholes will win the Big Prize. Along the way there are pratfalls, screaming, terrible puns, bullying (again, these cats are giant dicks to each other) and a truly shocking number of crotch shots. Whatever circle of Hell this is, it’s an incredibly unpleasant place. At first it’s kind of funny – you honestly can’t believe what’s happening onscreen, that anyone would have spent roughly $100M bringing this abomination into the world – but soon enough its commitment to sensory overload becomes overwhelming. At a certain point, I felt like I was going insane.” [. . .]    –Scott Wampler, Birth. Movies. Death., December 20, 2019.

Contributed by Su Ertekin-Taner (The Bolles School, ’22)

Dante’s Inferno Panini & Pizza (Toronto, ON)

Dante’s Inferno Panini & Pizza can be found in Toronto, Canada. See their website (including photos and complete menu, which is full of Dante-related references and puns) here.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, S03E01

“It sounds insane to say but Sabrina’s journey through hell merged both The Wizard of OZ and Dante’s Inferno and it worked perfectly. Sabrina’s journey ends with a dash of Milton’s Paradise Lost and it’s all rendered is horrifying, beautiful images that would make any Renaissance poet swoon.

“It stands to reason that Dante, who took the most famous journey through hell in literature would get a shout out in Sabrina. She’s assigned to read it by her poor, formerly possessed teacher Miss Wardwell and from that gets the idea of finding a backdoor into hell, so she can save her boyfriend. Just doing Dante would be fine here, but we get the first hints of Oz as Sabrina gathers three friends to join her. And to get through hell, they need special shoes. Not ruby slippers though, but shoes of the dead. I guess the Ruby Slippers technically belonged to a dead person too, so well-played.

“After a spell that directly quotes Dante’s version of the inscription on the gates of hell – ‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here’ – Sabrina, Harvey, Roz and Theo arrive in hell on the ‘Shore of Sorrow’ which sounds a lot like the way Dante arrives in hell himself, on the shores of the river Acheron (yes, Acheron is a term we hear in Sabrina for a trap for a demon). [. . .]”   — Jessica Mason, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Journeys to a Hellish Oz by Way of Dante’s Inferno,” Review (with spoilers!) of Season Premiere of Part Three of The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix, 2020) on The Mary Sue

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (S02E09, 2014)


The ninth episode of season 2 of the superhero-spy television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is called “Ye Who Enter Here.” The episode aired on Dec. 2, 2014.

Contributed by Su Ertekin-Taner, The Bolles School ’22

Cheaters, HBO Films (2000)

Cheaters-HBOFilms-2000-Dante-Abandon-Hope[JOLIE] “Pride, that’s what it’s all about. Lucifer was too proud to play runner-up to someone he felt superior to, so he set up his own shop.”

[MR. PLECKI] “And what did Dante say was written on the gates of Lucifer’s shop?”

[JOLIE] “‘Abandon all hope ye who enter here.'”

[UNNAMED GIRL IN CLASS] “That’s what it should say on the door to this school.”

The HBO Films movie Cheaters (2000; dir. John Stockwell) is currently available to view on YouTube here (last accessed February 15, 2020). The quoted exchange happens 3:35-3:52.

Contributed by Sarah Scherkenbach (The Bolles School ’22)

Hell Passport Notebook

“You’d think that getting into Hell would be easy. It USED to be – but like airport travel and filing tax returns, everything is more complex these days.

Have no fear! The Hell Passport notebook can make your passage into eternal damnation a piece of Devil’s food cake. It looks and feels just like an actual passport with a place for personal information, a passport photo, and useful travel tips. And if you don’t have any immediate plans to go to Hell, it also functions as a handy and cool little notebook to jot down your most devilish thoughts. (Warning: the pages are not flame retardant, so keep your passport a safe distance from the burning brimstone, okay?)

Ruled pages to keep track of all the goings-on in your circle of Hell.”    –The Unemployed Philosophers Guild, Philosophers Guild

Smokin’ Guns Hell

“4th Circle – Motiveless Kickers: Condemned to obsessively kick each other.

[. . .]

9th Circle – Wallhackers: Condemned to play against invisible opponents, and completely surrounded by fog.”    –Biondo, Lame Clan, June 19, 2011

Learn more about the first-person shooter video game, Smokin’ Guns, here.

Theme Park World – Halloween World

“Abandon hope all ye who enter here.”

Theme Park World, Bullfrog Productions’ 1999 construction and management simulation game. Upon selecting Halloween World, the Adviser references the inscription upon the gates of hell.

Learn more from Theme Park World‘s Wikipedia page here.

Nathan W. Pyle’s Comic

Nathan W. Pyle is an author and illustrator based in New York City. He is best known for his book NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette (2014), and his comic series Strange Planet.

You can check out more of Pyle’s work by following him on Instagram, Facebook, and by visiting his website. Additionally, Pyle is releasing a book of Strange Planet comics later this year, which you can check out on Amazon.

Contributed by Dariella Fonseca (Florida State University ’20).

The 9 Circles of Hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy based in Malta

“A lot of people are familiar with Dante’s Divine Comedy. A great masterpiece written by a guy who was either really creative or was really high.

The Divine Comedy tells the story of Dante as he travels through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven in order to find both God and his dead girlfriend Beatrice.

“Anyway, this guy stumbles upon the deceased poet Virgil who was kind of just chilling about. These two walk around the woods for some time until they come upon the gates of hell, which state ‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here’ which should totally be Tigne Point’s car park’s slogan, but whatever.

“Here are the nine circles of hell in Dante’s Divine Comedy reimagined in Malta.” […]    –ChiaraM, Lovin Malta, August 10, 2018