One Hour to Die: You Have All Been Poisoned DVD Review
Directed by Philip Gardiner
Written by NOBODY (and it shows)
2011, Region 1 (NTSC), 80 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on August 28th, 2012
Anna Batho as Toni
Robert Knowles as Father
Rob Ireland as Nate
Jessica Messenger as Jessie
One Hour to Die: You Have All Been Poisoned infuriates me to no end. An interesting premise and good performances bogged down by lack of self-restraint, total abandonment of the concept of editing, and a complete and utter disregard for the intelligence of the viewer. Quite frankly, I cannot remember when the last time a movie pissed me off this much. In fact, I’m rather convinced that if I were to watch a snuff film starring my own mother it wouldn’t irk me as much as One Hour to Die.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a group of pretty twenty-something’s decide to throw a surprise party for their… priest? It’s OK though, because he’s a hip and young pastor, so it’s cool to drink and swear and flash your tits in front of him. After eating cake and playing a few inane party games, the priest finally gets around to opening his birthday gifts. One of the cards contains what appears to be a bad joke, stating that the cake they all just ate was poisoned and they have one hour to live unless they play MORE inane party games that will eventually lead to an antidote hidden somewhere in the house. Hey, do you know what I hate more than going to a never-ending birthday party for someone that I don’t know? It’s watching a never-ending birthday party on DVD for someone that I don’t know. I say this because it takes forty minutes to get to the crux of the plot. FORTY! For a movie that is only eighty minutes long, to spend exactly half of it watching people idly chit-chatting, munching on cake, and playing blindfolded party games is inexcusable and torturous.
Pacing aside, my biggest issue with One Hour to Die is how stupid it expects the audience to be. Everyone eats the poisoned birthday cake except the one guy who also just happens to be toting around an old-school goddamned VHS video camera during the entire fucking party for no apparent reason whatsoever. Even when they politely ask him to put down the rig and join in on the “fun”, he ignores them and continues filming. While everyone starts to succumb to the effects of the poison, Steven Spielberg over there is capturing it all on film, showing no signs of ill-effect, shoving the camera into their faces, getting the best angles, and not doing a damned thing to help out. For anyone with a working cerebral cortex, wouldn’t this be an obvious clue that he’s behind the poisoning? And before you’d get too weak, wouldn’t you beat the ever-living piss out of him until he gave up the antidote? Nope, not these nitwits. It’s not until the sole surviving victim’s last breath does she piece it all together, and even then no motive is given.
Apparently One Hour to Die: You Have All Been Poisoned was shot in one take, and with only a mere skeleton of a concept acting as the script, likely to promote ad-libbing and a more conversational and real life interaction between the actors. Cute concept if it works, but miserable and embarrassing when it doesn’t. Like now.
Video and Audio:
Both the audio and video for this release are unremarkable. The picture is adequately clear, and the dialogue track is well preserved. Your surround speakers will be nonexistent.
None. Nada. Bupkis. Zilch.