Monday, 23 March 2015

LATE NIGHT DOUBLE FEATURE - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Horror Spoof not scary or funny

Late Night Double Feature (2015)
Dirs. Navin Ramaswaran, Zach Ramelan, Torin Langen
Starring: Jamie Elizabeth Sampson, Nick Smyth, Jeff Sinasac, Colin Price, Caleigh Le Grand, Sandra Da Costa, Brian Scott Carleton, Rich Piatkowski

Review By Greg Klymkiw

The noble tradition of comedy and horror omnibus films has generated a cavalcade of genuinely good and even great pictures - everything from the 1945 Ealing Studio masterpiece Dead of Night to the stylish 70s Amicus E.C. Comics adaptations which yielded the Freddie Francis-directed Tales from the Crypt and Roy Ward Baker's Asylum. These were classy portmanteaus featuring several cool short horror snappers held together by clever wraparound stories.

The 70s saw a new hybrid enter the omnibus arena - perversely dark and lovingly satiric items which attempted to recreate a typical indie TV station's broadcast day. Delivering a variety of commercial, news, gameshows and drama (usually of the exploitation variety) these portmanteaus of hilarity included the immortal John Landis laugh-fest Kentucky Fried Movie and Ken Shapiro's glorious celebration of idiot-box cheese in The Groove Tube. The humour was often played so straight that the humouous jabs came close to the thing being satirized, allowing a window to open upon the social and cultural events of the day.

Late Night Double Feature attempts to climb up a step or two further, but on its way up, it plunges to the nadir of this genre hybrid. It offers us one fateful night in a small town indie TV station which is unspooling “Dr. Nasty’s Cavalcade of Horror”, aimed the insomniacs of the Kawartha Lakes inbred country surrounding Peterborough, Ontario

We get to see commercials, trailers, station IDs and host segments involving a mad scientist and a buxom babe sidekick in full nurse regalia. Just below the programming itself, we're delivered a wraparound plot involving abuse, exploitation and eventually, a mad orgy of violence.

On paper, it sounds just fine. In execution, Late Night Double Feature is a nasty, unfunny and incompetent mess which lacks anything resembling style or tone. The trailers and commercials are strictly bottom-feeding spoofs and the two features, “Dinner for Monsters” (involving a chef corralled into preparing a meal out of a dead human body) and “Slit” (an ugly bit of torture porn) are neither scary, nor funny. They do serve up plenty of violence and gore for those craving that and that alone.

The wraparound story is a cliched affair involving the female hostesses's dissatisfaction with the on-camera-and-off abuse she must put up with by the crazed host and the sleazy producer-director of the late night production. The tone of the pieces on-air seems rooted in a never-never-land which exists only for the film itself and the wraparound is obvious and bereft of any narrative interest whatsoever.

Late Night Double Feature has direct-to-VOD written all over it, though frankly, I suspect word will spread quickly amongst the geek brigades about how lame it is that the woeful film will find its way easily enough to illegal torrent downloads for less discriminating fans of gore for the sake of gore.

The movie might think its being clever, funny and fun but that's one of its biggest problems - just conjure up the most denigrating antonyms for the aforementioned words and you'll have a more than apt description for this steaming platter of viscous faecal matter that it attempts to force-feed us with.


Late Night Double Feature plays at the Canadian Film Fest 2015.