REVIEW: LATE NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE (2014, TetroVideo)

Late Night Double Feature is a Canadian horror anthology which brings together the directorial talents of Torin Langen, Navin Ramaswaran and Zachary Ramelan. Shot from a TV channel perspective, we are shown a double feature of short films (Dinner For Monsters/ Slit) as part of Dr Nasty’s Cavalcade of Horror.

The film kicks off at a frantic pace, throwing us straight into the action by introducing us to Dr Nasty and Nurse Nasty who are the hosts for tonight’s late night double bill. The presentation is very much 80’s B-Movie nostalgia with over the top acting and bonkers character design. We are very quickly immersed into the TV shoot delivery by being shown a series of short horror themed trailers and commercials before the first film starts…

The first short film is called ‘Dinner For Monsters’ and sees a chef recruited to join a lavish, wealthy household where he will be catering for an table of eccentric guests. While entering his new workplace, the chef doesn’t fully understand the type of cuisine he will be expected to serve up but he very quickly (and shockingly) discovers the order of the day is ‘human flesh’. This film perfectly combines comedy with horror as an interesting tale of cannibalism unfolds. Visually, the short is extremely well produced with crisp visuals and stellar acting. This segment is very much in the tone of Parents (1989) and Delicatessen (1991); it doesn’t take itself too seriously but is highly entertaining. I found this to be a very strong appetiser for things to come and it left me wanting a further serving…

After a short interlude, we are then shown the second film ‘Slit’ by Torin Langen. A man works as a professional ‘cutter’, providing a service to those who seek self-mutilation for pleasure and relief. Abruptly, and very much unexpectedly, this short film knocked the smile off my face as the comedy of the previous segments was trampled on with a very dark and ‘extreme’ boot. I guess it caught me off guard at first but after a short while I sussed out the direction where this segment was going and eased myself back into the film. Much like the first short, Slit is very well made with high production values and original storytelling but it ramps up the gore and violence. The practical effects were magnificent and it really delivered in terms of shocks and squirm moments while also giving integrity to the subject matter. We see the ‘cutter’ visit one client he would later regret meeting and the tension was managed perfectly right up until its epic finale. The placement of strong subject matter after a comedic start actually provided a very smart juxtaposition and added variety to the proceedings.

After the two films had been ‘screened’ the focus moved back to Dr Nasty’s Cavalcade of Horror as we are exposed to all kinds of debauchery. Dr Nasty is portrayed as an out of control, violent and drunk chauvinist who tries to exert power over his co-host Nurse Nasty. This segment baffled me alot as it switched between ‘comedy’ and ‘serious’ sporadically and I didn’t really feel that it was all really necessary. The story evolved into chaos as several members of the production characters began to fall-out and this is went things got really interesting again. Just when I thought things were slipping away, they managed to save the story with a convincing ending which worked as a neat wrap-around.

Late Night Double Feature was a real surprise. It managed to cover alot of ground and combine alot of different styles within its run time. It was great to see a film dare to do things differently and it provided a unique and unpredictable experience.

Score: 3.5 / 5

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s