Monday, January 18, 2010
Late Fee Review
The horror anthology film is dead, or is it? I loved Creepshow 2, and of course the original, and I like anthology films. I even kind of liked Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror, in terms of the story telling. Remember Tales from the Hood? That was another anthology of horror, kind of. Well that's what you need to remember before renting "Late Fee".
The main storyline revolves around a couple wanting to rent a horror dvd on Halloween night. The owner of the store claims that he's closing down for the night, but they beg and get their way and eventually get to rent a couple of films. But before they can check them out, they have to sign a lengthy contract with the instructions to return the movies before midnight, or else. They then sign the paperwork and head home to watch their two films.
We move from that main story line to the actual film they are watching. Somewhat like "Tales from the Crypt" this dvd exists to showcase two stories, and an additional third which is not part of the interior storyline. So it's like watching a film within a film, and that's not too bad.
The first film the couple sees is called "The Pick Up", which follows a "john" and a woman to a seedy motel, in what seems to be hell. This story is ok, nothing too crazy happens, but the attention fetish is definitely a plus. The mild mannered business man is a freak, and is waiting to enjoy a night with a woman of the evening. As the scenes progress, things get a tad more strange, as this place seems to be on the edge of hell somewhere.
The camera work is shotty at best. The editing doesn't help at all. The movie is just odd, and while it has some solid interesting points, the overall film is dry and boring. There seems to be a throwback to "Psycho" as a voyeur is shown looking at our "couple". The movie goes into overdrive as the two start enjoying themselves together, the lights go out and the prostitute really goes nuts, in a way that you'll never believe. The gore effects get a major shout out here, with some nice REAL effects, no CG to be seen. It's something that I could only imagine Lovecraft would create, as this film goes from paltry to gore filled insanity. For that, I liked the film, creating a mood of sexiness and making it completely sickening.
The second film is "Damnation" and it's interesting in a lot of ways. The movie showcases a young woman and her plight of being arrested and drugged, then thrown into a court of sorts, where she is tortured. The second film is a bit slower, and focuses more on "torture" and prison as a selling point. It's not half bad, but it's really just a throwback to the 70's and 80's "women in chains" exploitation style films.
After the couple watches these two films, they realize that it's past midnight and they haven't returned the tape. That's when things really get bad for them, as the owner of the video store and his friends decide to collect on their goods!
Is Late Fee Scary: No.
This film, if it can be called that, is a straight to dvd romp through anthology horror. It's not completely terrible, but it seems to drag on in the second and third act. I liked the first short film, as it featured some good gore effects and dare I say, tentacle porn. Other than that, this film really doesn't do a lot to make me want to watch it again.
You might enjoy it though, it has some good points, it's just painfully obvious that this thing is straight to dvd. Late Fee tries to make a splash, but really it's just a drip in an over saturated bucket. Check it out as a rental, and if you're a huge collector, go for it. The poster art is cool, I do admit that.
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