Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Film Review: "Late Night Double Feature"

When I first heard about “Late Night Double Feature”, I was interested with this film because I thought it was going to be like anthology films like “V/H/S” and “Horror Independent Eight”. Instead, this felt different from those films.

“Late Night Double Feature is about a late night horror show called “Dr. Nasty’s Cavalcade of Horror” where the films “Dinner for Monsters” and Slit” are being screened. Amidst of all this during the show, an actress can’t stand the fact that she works for womanizing boyfriend and a host who’s drunk on the job and acts crazy around her. This leads to bloody chaos and a shocking ending.

This film was very surprising to watch, as I had the expectation that this was going to be one of those campy “Grindhouse” homages with the faux trailers and over the top violence. To my surprise, this film wasn’t that. Instead, this was a very shocking and serious horror film in tone from start to finish.

The first film “Dinner for Monsters was very good. Director/cowriter Zach Ramelan does a very good job making sure everything moves at a good pace. From the way that he directs his cast to how he gets the images to be dark and twisted, everything works so well. It’s what makes this segment work. The acting was also very good. I liked how the cast made their characters interesting and stand out in the film. When characters stand out in a good way, the film is more enjoyable to watch.

The screenplay written by Raven Cousens, Kelly Michael Stewart and Ramelan was surprising good. Again, I was expecting campy here, but the writers don’t go down that route. Instead, it has more of a shocking tone. Whether it’s the dialogue or how the story was created, everything had a dark and serious tone. It helped make some of the film’s shocking dialogue work.

The second film was “Slit”. I was hoping for a little less serious and shocking tone here, but this is the most shocking of the bunch. Writer/director Torin Langen does a very good job making this segment very brutal. Whether it’s the amount blood used to the tone of the film, he does a very good making it very dark and disturbing. It gives the segment its edginess feel. The two leads in this one were very good. Whether it was the way that each of the leads approached their character to the direction that they were given, they did a very good job making sure their performance fit the film’s brutal tone. The segment’s screenplay written by Torin Langen does a very good job with making the film’s story very dark. I liked how he makes the two characters very twisted and unlikeable. It allows for Langen to make you think the main character is up to no good and does something shocking stuff with the film’s tone and twist. It really got me interested in the story, as this was the best of the three main segments.

The final main segment in the film was the film’s wraparound segment “Dr. Nasty’s Cavalcade of Horror”. This was the only segment that had a campy feel to it but it was perfect for the segment’s tone. Director Navin Ramaswaran does a good job making sure that this had a late night feel with the way that he approaches his direction. It made the segment entertaining. Whether it’s the way that he had this film look to how he directs his cast, everything felt different. It was good to see that considering the two segments that it wraparounds are very twisted and brutal. The other thing that I liked was the performances. The cast had good chemistry with each other they made sure to keep the performances at the tone where it’s not too serious or not too campy. It also helps make the characters work.

The screenplay written by Kelly Michael Stewart was very different from the rest of the film. I liked how he does a very good job making the story interesting without becoming too campy and throwing things in the story that scratches your head. This could’ve gone that route but thankfully didn’t. The other thing that makes good was the way that Stewart develops his main character during the course of the story. Whether it was the segments that wrapped around the two other segment to the main part of this segment, it effective develops its main character. By doing that, it makes the segment not feel like a throwaway segment just to tie the two stories together. It’s something that most anthology films don’t do, but this focuses on the main character here.

I highly recommend you try and seek this film out on the horror film festival scene. “Late Night Double Feature is shockingly entertaining double feature that puts anthology films like “V/HS” and “Horror Independent 8” to shame.

Review Rating: Five Star

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