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Late Night Double Feature
by Torin Lange, Navin Ramaswaran
Zachary Ramelan, Kelly Michael Stewart
and Jason Tannis

The horror genre, in my humble opinion, has always been the most loyal genre to the concept of entertainment. Sure, there are artsy horror films, both good and bad, and horror flicks that border on drama. But if there is any fanbase that truly appreciates having a great time while watching a movie, it's the horror crowd.

Would your average person see blood, guts and depravity as a source of fun entertainment? Probably not. But the average person kept Jersey Shore on the air for three seasons, so what do they know? Horror is about letting ourselves revel in the sinister and face our fears in an enjoyable light-hearted way.

Because of all this, I've always been partial to anthology films. I like it when a horror film goes the extra mile and has multiple projects going on within itself. I like William Castle pageantry and the Grindhouse style. As a result, I am so glad I watched Late Night Double Feature. Here's why.

Late Night Double Feature is exactly what the title promises. It contains two short films, framed by a story that is a tale in and of itself. The frame story concerns a late-night horror movie show called Dr. Nasty's Cavalcade of Horror. The show is hosted by a washed up, mean-spirited drunk and a hardworking woman who wants to see her acting career take off on it's own merit. The story of this particular night of the show's production is interspersed between the two major films that are being screened.

The first film screened is entitled Dinner for Monsters and concerns a less-than-successful chef who is contacted by less-than-normal clients. This story is easy to get into and just as easy to enjoy. You may very well figure out the major plot turn early, but it moves in really fun directions and never feels overly predictable or clichéd. It has just the right amount of humor mixed in with the violent subject matter to compliment the overall taste of the story (yes, I did that on purpose). It's always a good sign when the first story in such a film sucks you in and keeps you engaged right away. It's an easily palatable tale that doesn't go stale for a second.

The second mini-film, entitled Slit, deals with a man with an unusual job. This segment relies fairly heavily on taking the twists and turns in as they come, so I won't ruin any part of it. I will, however, say that the main character soon finds himself being the one receiving what he is used to giving. It's an interesting film that presents a twist on the age-old revenge horror subgenre. The unique thing here is that the man being sought after hasn't really done anything against the person who is only “turning the tables” in their own mind. It's quite different in tone from the first film, but this only makes the overall project seem more fun and unpredictable.


Although those are the only two installments, in the case of Late Night Double Feature, the frame story is more of it's own story than I have ever seen in this type of film. I genuinely got to know the characters in the studio and became very interested in what's going on with them, as opposed to merely seeing them as a setup. The emotional notes all hit with me; I hated the people I was supposed to hate and liked the people I was supposed to like. This was made possible because of competent writing and the fact there wasn't a single bad actor/actress in the bunch. Whether we're talking about the actors in the two mini-films or the characters in the studio, everyone does a great job with their respective roles.

Late Night Double Feature is shot in a way that never makes the film appear plagued by a small budget. I wouldn't call it a gore-heavy film, but the violence that does play out is well done and lends itself to some unexpected moments. There isn't a dull scene in the whole project and there is a lot of effort put in to making it a blast. Bonus movie trailers are sprinkled in between segments to give more flavor, an element that I loved as it made me more excited and added extra energy to the movie itself.

Late Night Double Feature was a big undertaking. If done wrong, a concept with so many moving parts can get congested and turn the viewer off quickly. With this film, however, they pretty much nailed it. It allows itself to be campy at times without ever using that as an excuse to slack off with it. A lot of effort was clearly put into this movie and it shows. I'm pretty biased, but only because it contains so many elements that I love in horror movies. I'm a huge fan of the late-night movie concept and the anthology spirit and this movie is a prime example of why.

I'm always on the look out for movies that have that extra layer of grandiosity and showmanship. Movies that know they are a form of entertainment and do all they can to make that happen. Late Night Double Feature is a fine feature in this tradition and one that I would highly recommend.

P.J. Griffin, HMS

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