I kind of see what Aaron K. Carter is going for with “An Hour to Kill.” What his film tries to be is a basic meshing of the gangster politics of “Pulp Fiction” with the horror tales of “Creepshow.” I don’t begrudge him for trying something completely different and unique, it’s just sad that “An Hour to Kill” never comes together as a coherent or even entertaining horror comedy anthology. Even taken as a silly horror comedy, it’s tough to find any real redeeming aspects here, as Carter seems to work hard in keeping his film together as it falls apart from minute one.
“An Hour to Kill” focuses on Gio and Frankie, two wildly different mobsters and hit men that are given an hour to kill before their next kill from their mob boss Mr. Kinski. To pass the time, Gio and Frankie spin yarns of horror to one another, all the while trying to figure out what their next hit is, and are presented with some conflicts involving their partnership and overall relationship. One of the main problems with “An Hour to Kill” is that there isn’t a real overarching theme when it comes to the tales that unfold.
With “Creepshow” they were demonstrations in classic EC Comics tales about morality, revenge, and karma. With “Tales from the Hood,” the overall themes involved racial themes like domestic abuse, police corruption and racism. “An Hour to Kill” doesn’t have a theme with its tales and just peppers them in every twenty minutes. This makes Carter’s framework narrative feel very barebones, almost like he didn’t have enough material for an all out crime thriller, and just decided to toss in horror stories at the last minute. There isn’t a single good story to be found here, either, which is a shame because I was holding out hope for at least one good tale.
“Valkyrie’s Bunker” is an abrupt and poorly edited tale of five female stoners that go exploring in an abandoned bunker and become the victim of a predator. “Assacre” is about a Mexican food eating contest that ends in grue and gore. The final “Hog Hunters” is at the very least, bizarre, in its story of a men’s club who become victim of a bunch of hog faced mutants. “An Hour to Kill” leaves a lot to be desired and needs some heavy nipping and tucking in editing, and pacing. The crime story feels slim, and the short tales aren’t creepy, or even funny, for that matter. The final scene feels like an effort to bring the entire film crashing together, but it lands with a thud. Aaron K. Carter is a solid director, but I’d be hard pressed to recommend “An Hour to Kill” to anyone, when all is said and done.