Actors: Krista Allen, Rick Hoffman and Tatyana Ali
Directors: Bruce Dellis, Jason Marsden, Matthew Mebane, Adam Montierth and Donovan Montierth
Studio: Brothers’ Ink Productions
Running Time: 95 minutes
Our Score: 0.5 out of 5 stars
I’d never heard of “Locker 13”, but after one grueling hour and a half, I still wish I hadn’t. After a doing a bit of research, I found out that “Locker 13” is the baby project of five misguided directors who took their dreams to Kickstarter, in the hopes of finding some s̶u̶c̶k̶e̶r̶s̶ contributors. It’s ironic that they raised the bare minimum ($25,000) and that’s how much of an effort I feel they put into this. I really hate to rag on an independent movie with good intentions, but “Locker 13” is simply one of the worst anthology movies I’ve ever seen.
“Locker 13” features four short stories with a wraparound story. So like most anthology movies, what’s the common running theme in all of them? It’s a haphazard ethical argument about making the correct life decisions. The wrap around story involves a newly hired janitor at an Old West themed park (a story that’s been begging to be heard *eye roll*) being told multiple stories about the random items they encounter that all gravitate towards a mysterious old locker. The enveloping tale doesn’t ever really tell us why this sagely old employee is recounting all these stories or how he even knows about them. He just does.
Our stories include: A boxer with lethal gloves, but he doesn’t seem to regret the deadly powers they give him. We have a secret society that tells bad jokes and smokes cigars and like all standard exclusive clubs, there’s an initiation process. There’s a random suicidal individual on a rooftop, whose choice to end his own life is interrupted by an arbitrary stranger. Then there’s a misogynistic story that I won’t even bother you with. One after another, they play like a string of rejected “Twilight Zone” episodes.
It feels as though each individual director/writer built their story without any perception of what everyone else was working on, nor did they seem to concern themselves with tying up their pieces to boost the overall wrap. This is evident by the third story where a man threatens to kill a suicidal individual to show him how much he actually values life. I actually re-watched it thinking there was some meta-commentary on this preposterous situation, but I was wrong. It’s just terrible writing.
I wasn’t going to fault the acting in a movie with a $300,000 budget, but once Jon Polito (Miller’s Crossing and Barton Fink) showed up, I felt the directors could have at least gone big or just stayed at home and refunded their Kickstarter faithful. I’m sure there are other fantastic cameos in this movie, but they’re crammed in between so many disposable dime store performers, their skills are hindered.
I feel like there’s a poor salute being made to other anthology films as well as B-movie storylines. While some material is tongue in cheek, the majority of it feels like unwanted short stories or art school projects used to help hone the craft of filmmakers. Simply put, the stories never engage the audience or seem concerned about constructing a storyline that can thrill, scare, and intrigue or even amuse the audience. Instead of just going back to the