WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Oh dear, another interesting concept that never quite reaches the level you want it to. Late Fee is an anthology collection of gruesome torture shorts that are meant to come together to shock the audience with a final twist ending. The ending itself is quite clever and, admittedly, I never saw it coming but something about this movie in its entirety just isn’t quite right. You can plainly see what it was going for but the problem is that you’re never actually frightened or completely grossed out or shocked by what you’re seeing and that’s where it all falls a little flat. Pity, because it had all the potential to be a really good movie.
It’s Halloween, a night for everyone to indulge in their most frightening of fancies. A couple (whose names are not given to us) decide that their Halloween is going to be spent at home watching the most gruesome and disturbing horror movies they can find. They head out to a video store that’s supposedly notorious for the films they are willing to carry on their shelves. The two settle on ‘The Pick-Up’ and ‘Damnation’, although the owner of the store quickly comes in to say that those two particular movies are banned in most of the world and shouldn’t have been placed on the shelf. After much begging and pleading the owner eventually relents and allows the couple to rent them with the caveat that the movies have to be returned by midnight. The store has a very strict late fee and warns the couple that they do not want to incur it. Not taking him very seriously the two head home to begin their evening of terror.
The first movie the couple watch is ‘The Pick-Up’. This is a delightful tale of a woman who will literally walk a hundred miles to meet up with her next client. Being a relatively high-class hooker the woman only picks the most distinguished gentlemen with which to share her company. This evening’s particular gentleman is a rather shy and reserved little thing whose wife just isn’t giving him what he needs. One look in his briefcase full of knives, razor blades and a dildo with nails in it may explain the wife’s reluctance but, since this is his first night together with this particular hooker, he decides to leave his toys out of it and save that for when they’re better acquainted. Without his toys, however, the man is rather dull, something that his Tarzan loin cloth does little to save. Insisting that the hooker get down to business because he has to be somewhere else in an hour sex is initiated. What he’s about to discover is that it’s a whole different kind of sex and he’s going to meet an end that still isn’t as weird as Tokyo Gore Police.
‘Damnation’ is a completely different kind of movie but not at all lacking in its own pleasures and gory delights. Out for a drive one day Justine is pulled over by a cop that arrests her for no apparent reason. Her car is stolen and she is dragged before a less than reputable judge to be tried for something she isn’t told about and berated for not being able to defend herself. Before you know it Justine finds herself at the centre of some bizarre medical and judicial Satanic cult punishing anyone who crosses their paths because, inherently, every human is guilty of something. There are strange wardens, police women, doctors and cannibalistic brain-dead women running around that Justine will need to contend with if she has any hope of making it out of there alive.
Needless to say once the couple finishes watching the movies it’s after midnight and they’re about to learn just what the late fee they’ve incurred is.
LIFE’S LESSONS LEARNED:
- Some men are always open to a good brain suck.
- Some men are quite willing to exchange their girlfriend’s breasts for banned DVDs.
- Hitchhikers are more than happy to make sweeping statements about your personal life.
- Top quality motel managers ensure there isn’t a DNA sample left behind after an adulterous liaison.
- There’s nothing quite like being in the capable thighs of an experienced call girl.
- The Law of Claw and Fang is still observed by some of the more archaic and brutal law courts.
- In some parts of the world a cannibal eating a pregnant woman is seen as a viable form of birth control.
- For hardcore criminals tracking devices now come fitted with plastic explosives.
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