This comedy-horror movie with social commentary on the abusive behaviors of men in power in the entertainment industry may sound like satire, but maybe it isn't. It's worth a few laughs and 80 minutes of your movie watching time.
Too Late Movie – Review
Set in the Los Angeles indie comedy club scene, Violet Fields works multiple gigs as a stand-up comedy show booker—one as the head of a tiny club and one as the assistant to famed comedian Bob Devore—trying to make it in the industry.
Devore is the namesake and host of the live variety show that everyone seems to want to get in on. Only, Fields seems to be the only one who knows the monstrous secret of being on the show and that it might not be all it’s cracked up to be. As Devore’s personal assistant, Fields not only books shows, but she also books his meals.
Fields meets comedian Jimmy Rhodes one night and thinks everything is about to change. She’s falling in love, Rhodes is actually good, and Devore seems happy…until he decides he isn’t sure he can trust Fields to choose him over Rhodes at a moment's notice.
Too Late Movie Review: What Works
Within the first 10 minutes or so, Too Late gives off serious “Tales from the Crypt” vibes. Any minute you expect the Crypt Keeper to show up. This could have been a two-part episode from the early 90s.
During the intro with the film's director at Seattle International Film Festival's (SIFF), Thomas mentioned being inspired by “fantastical classics” like The ‘Burbs and An American Werewolf in London. You can absolutely see some of that inspired fantasy melded with reality. The use of practical special effects is relatively impressive, especially considering budgetary constraints and filming limitations. The added physical comedy really makes it feel campy.
Too Late has a great cast, and especially the leads. Alyssa Limperis is great as Violet Fields. Ron Lynch is ridiculous as Devore. He’s not terrifying in the least, yet, he’s creepy. However, through Thomas and Becker, Limeris and Lynch deliver a timely social commentary on the behavior of monsters (men) and the power they impose on others (predominantly women). The allegorical representation of abusive men in Hollywood is simply icing on the cake.
Too Late Movie Review: What Doesn’t Work
It is challenging to watch professional comedians work at being unfunny. While mediocre stand-up comedy is to be expected from some of the comedians at the venues Fields’ is booking, it seemed to slow down the overall pace of the movie. For obvious reasons, the best stand-up doesn’t work in the story, but a few better-landed jokes could have made the movie less disjointed at times.
The use of practical effects was so limited that while what was use was quite good, it felt unbalanced. Devore certainly required the heavy lifting of the practical special effects and makeup but where he was the extreme, effects felt obviously lacking other times.
About Too Late
This cozy horror comedy set in the Los Angeles indie comedy scene features Violet Fields who works a thankless job as the assistant to Bob Devore, famed comedian, and host of the live variety show, Too Late. But what only Violet knows is that Bob is a monster both literally and figuratively. Resigned to her fate, Violet is caught by surprise when she meets aspiring comedian Jimmy Rhodes and sparks fly. But as her feelings for Jimmy grow and Bob starts to doubt her loyalty, she and Jimmy could end up as Bob's next meal.
TOO LATE is the debut feature film from director D.W. Thomas and writer Tom Becker. It stars Alyssa Limperis (Aunty Donna's Big Ol' House of Fun), Ron Lynch (Bob’s Burgers, Adventure Time), Will Weldon (Comedy Central’s This Isn’t Happening), Mary Lynn Rajskub (24, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Fred Armisen (SNL, Portlandia), Jenny Zigrino (Bad Santa 2, 50 Shades of Black), Jack De Sena (Avatar: The Last Airbender), and Brooks Wheelan (SNL).
Director: D.W. Thomas, Tom Becker
Release Date: in select theatres and VOD Jun 25, 2021
Runtime: 1h 20m
Too Late premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) April 9, 2021.