You’d be forgiven for thinking than Aaron K. Carter’s sophomore outing behind the camera; An Hour To Kill is just another low budget, off-the-wall movie, with actors who appear to be running off their lines without any connection to the audience and cinematography that just about scraps the viewing experience over the line.
But if you look past the cracks and crevices that are blatant for a movie of its kind, something begins to happen that lures you in… namely the screenplay. Carter wisely breaks up the narrative of the film into various sections that are either flashbacks or stories told by our leads. This change allows the script to shift gears with each section and push the audience forward, whilst never feeling stagnant or spend too long on the sparseness of the captured footage. This is definitely a testament to Carter’s writing and direction to be able to transport the viewer into the world and not be too distracted by its obvious flaws.
Whilst the opening scene is obviously influenced by Tarantino, using a blend of peppered dialogue and crime, especially with rookie hit man, Frankie played remarkably convincingly by Frankie Pozos. It could be easy to dismiss Frankie’s performance at first, but as the story unfolds the audience finds themselves integrated into his character and his interaction with veteran hit man, Gio (Aaron Guerrero). Guerrero also teamed up with director Carter in his debut feature, Dead Kansas and also seems quite relaxed in his character on-screen.
The crux of the story is centred on an ongoing conflict between crime lord Mr. Kinski (Mel Novak – Game of Death) and Arash. When the former suspects Frankie as a mole, he charges Gio with the task of bumping him off. Gio asks that he be given the opportunity to do it his way. Kinski agrees but gives him the ultimatum to enact his deed within the hour. So with an Hour To Kill, Gio and Frankie exchange stories to pass the time.
Each story that is presented goes from the bizarre to the downright deranged and sucks you in deeper into the insanity. The first story, Valkyrie’s Bunker, a typical slasher style short story, presents a group of girls who drive to a Nazi bunker for a group project only to find out they are not alone.
The second story actually suits the style that the movie has been shot in, resulting in numerous pieces to camera monologues. Assacre focuses on an eating contest that has 5 entrees competing to eat a fairly substantial burrito. When the reigning champion is defeated, he teams up with fellow loser to seek revenge and produce a powerful pepper. The results are more than anticipated and one of the best and hilarious death scenes in recent times.
The last segment, Hog Hunters is the most crazed of all when a bowling team goes in search of some entertainment only to get more than they bargained for. Words cannot do this segment justice, just sit back and let the wild times unfold.
Yes it’s low budget and it doesn’t hide the flaws, but Carter creates grindhouse-style deliverance in his direction that highlights his writing abilities and the acting credibility of the lead hit men. If you simply allow the story in An Hour To Kill to wash over you, you’ll be pleasantly entertained.
- Saul Muerte