Review: An Hour to Kill

Any one out there know the official length of time a film has to endure before it is considered ‘cult’? I got to say, Aaron K. Carter’s killer anthology is already there, right out the gate.

An anthology of 3 shorter unconnected films bookended by a gangster themed subplot, ‘An Hour to Kill’ mixes Tarantino inspired dialogue and hitman themes with some 70s-esk throwback exploitation horror.

The plot revolves around two gangsters, one with an hour to wait before offing the other. Rather than sit around and let things get awkward they engage in some healthy one-up-man-ship telling each other ‘horror’ stories, each hoping to best the one which came before. Naturally the conclusion to the hitman story line follows our viewings of their three stories essentially forming a forth in its own right.

The three stories aren’t really horror in the creepy sense, but they most certainly offer nods towards subgenres of cult movies. The first, for example, entitled ‘Valkyrie’s Bunker’ follows a gas-masked ‘Prowler’ whom we are told is a surviving member from Hitler’s own entourage. In true slasher movie fashion, we see a group of girls ripe for the slaughter entering the bunker as part of the group’s misguided plans to take drugs and generally be clichéd bad-girls. Unfortunately for them the local nutter doesn’t like visitors and takes the opportunity to continue the Nazi’s murderous legacy. Unfortunately for us, much of the violence takes place off-screen and despite the segment’s great build-up and potential, the content was notably blood-less.  Still, the writing was good (which is a strength of the whole film if I’m honest), and the characters and style of the segment feels as if it could have been lifted straight out of the golden-decade – despite its rather lacklustre conclusion.

Enjoyable, but the best was yet to come.

Following this, two unique and standout segments, which, in true spirit of the hitman’s game, do indeed disgust and entertain in equal abandon. The first, ‘Ass-acre’ follows the progress of a group of competitive eaters, one of whom is gifted an opportunity to try out the worlds most ferocious chili for his YouTube vlog by a fellow competitor. Needless to say, there is a prank to all of this, and whilst initially the chilli seemed somewhat benign, the effects later on, are somewhat explosive.

This section made me laugh so much I thought I was going to shit myself! Carter has truly captured something of a rectal exorcism in this segment – brilliant. That said, credit where credits due, even before the bloody breach in the segment’s final scenes the dialogue and onscreen antics provide equal amusement. Think Troma and an anal period and you’ve got the gist of ‘Ass-acre’

Rounding off the trilogy of segments ‘Hog Hunters’ gets the award for the most bizarre segment. Opening with some weird bestiality/homo-erotica the segment only gets more absurd as time ticks by. Cut to a bowling alley and we see a bowling team comprised of big hairy biker types recruiting their latest team member, a somewhat reluctant black guy. After some male bonding the group head off into the night to indulge in some hog hunting. Call me naïve, but I wasn’t sure what on earth they were getting at but given the hints in the opener, and what had come earlier in the anthology, I had to give the room a quick glance over to ensure none of my kids had crept downstairs to find out what dad had been laughing at some ten minutes before!

Sure enough, picking up where ‘Deliverance’ left off what ensued did not disappoint although I will spare you the details as the content of this segment is probably enjoyed without spoilers.

Without divulging too much, this segment will have you asking yourself two questions, ‘What the fuck am I watching?’ and, more crucially, ‘Why am I enjoying it so much?’.

So, overall, if you are in the mood for some exploitation madness which will repulse, amuse and likely to offend in one sitting then you’ve found your film. Honestly, for fans of cult films in general this one’s a must watch. I will admit, I would have like to have seen more gore throughout (no doubt limited by budget), but seriously solid writing, great style and 100% commitment from cast makes up for it in every other way.

Its available on Amazon now, make sure your watching this weekend.

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