‘An Hour to Kill’ (2018): An Anthology of Crazy Crime and Horror Movie Review

Anthologies can offer clever ways to craft together several short tales, a strategy that has been used within the horror genre time and again. From simple narration by the morbidly quirky Crypt Keeper to carefully interwoven stories in the feature film Southbound (2015), there are many forms an anthology can take. Aaron K. Carter’s (Dead Kansas 2013) second feature film, An Hour to Kill, takes a unique mobster angle as two hitmen swap stories before executing a target.

Mobster films and horror aren’t two genres I normally associate with one another. With the opening scenes of An Hour To Kill playing out as a low budget crime story, my skepticism ran high. However, no sooner did I began questioning where the horror element would fit in when Mr. Kinski (Mel Novak: Game of Death 1978, Syndicate Smasher 2017) orders mob enforcers Frankie (Frankie Pozos: LA 143 TV series) and Gio (Aaron Guerrero: Dead Kansas) to eliminate a target in exactly one hour.

New to the game and with a love of talking, Frankie tells Gio about an urban legend concerning a Nazi hideaway in a segment called “Valkyrie’s Bunker.” A WWII SS structure in California seems a bit far fetched… but the weed supposedly harbored in said bunker isn’t difficult to believe. California is the land of marijuana, after all. In search of the mythical stash, five girls venture into the forest on a mission for this historical high. Of course, being a brief homage to slashers, the girls split up before being killed off screen by a fascist creep in a gas mask. While this first story falls flat and feeling a bit random, it does offer a touch of ’80s slasher nostalgia and an easy transition into the horror element I was waiting for.

Jola Cora, Amanda Rau, Alexya Garcia and Stephanie Strehlow in “Valkyrie’s Bunker”

Stopping for food, Frankie goes into another story. Cue my kind of comedic tale of grotesque horror in a segment called “Assacre.” Entering the El Jefe eating contest at the Mucho Mas mexican restaurant of North Hollywood, Vlogger Brendan Mitchell, portraying himself, loses miserably. Conspiring with the former El Jefe champion, Gabe (Gabriel Mercado), the duo sells a mysterious legendary pepper to the new winner of the eating contest. What ensues is a mess of gasoline piss, shit and a scene that gives new meaning to the word “bloodbath.”

Brian Reagan as Jake O’Toole in “Assacre”

With a little more time to kill after Frankie stuffs himself like a pig, Gio tells the last story called “Hog Hunters.” Raising the bar in the weird department, this segment involves a perverted hog farmer, rednecks, bestiality and mutants. In an attempt to initiate Lenny (Joe McQueen: Dead Kansas), their newest bowling team member, a group of rednecks embark on a mission of hogging. Unbeknownst to these backwoods debauchery seekers, they are the ones who are about to get stuffed in unspeakable and hilarious ways. Previously released as a short film, we reviewed this fun segment before its inclusion in An Hour to Kill, which you can read here.

Joe McQueen as Lenny in Hog Hunters

While all performances were decent, it was Pozos and Guerrero who helped the film’s transitions from one segment to the next. As their characters casually conversed, nothing seemed too forced as the two assassins gradually grew on me throughout their wild storytelling. This helped put an edge on the film’s first twist, even though I saw it coming from a mile away. However, this was quickly followed by another turn of events that was a blindsiding surprise, with one last moment of hilarity just before the credits began to roll.

Co-written by Carter and newcomer Ronnie Jimenez, An Hour to Kill is a fun, genre-blending, micro-budget anthology that packs in a few commendable crazy Troma-esque moments. Though it began in the tone of a low budget cheesy action flick, this feature transcends into an entertaining mixture of genres that somehow works. Fans of B-movie horror comedies who have an hour and a half to kill will enjoy kicking it with these two mobsters and hearing their outlandish stories. Catch An Hour to Kill now on Amazon VOD.

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