Locker 13: Film Review

This wan anthology provides further evidence for the number 13 being unlucky.

This "Twilight Zone"-style anthology film delivers five ominous episodes involving moral choices.

Five directors and eight screenwriters collaborate to wan effect in Locker 13, a Twilight Zone-style anthology film whose individual segments add up to less than the sum of their parts. Despite a couple of mildly arresting vignettes, this philosophy-minded effort doesn’t offer enough genuine thrills to compensate for its pretensions.

The film is anchored by a wraparound segment, The Other Side, set in a Wild West theme park whose new janitor, ex-con Skip (Jason Spisak), is being shown the ropes by a talkative supervisor (Jon Gries) fond of referencing Plato and James Baldwin. In the course of a long night, he shows Skip various objects that introduce a series of episodes tenuously revolving around moral choices and a locker numbered 13.  

In Down and OutRick Schroder plays a washed-up fighter who discovers that his new boxing gloves have transformed him into an efficient killing machine, with predictably fateful results. The Byzantine Order, the most entertainingly witty segment, involves a young man being prepared to be initiated in a Shriners-like secret society populated by fez-wearing members. The rollicking proceedings, including an appearance by a gregarious stripper with a baby in tow, inevitably take a dark turn.

Suicide Club concerns a despondent young man intent on throwing himself off a building who is interrupted by a card-carrying member of the titular organization whose nonstop banter forces him to reconsider his options. And in the most egregious segment, The Author, a menacing hit man (Rick Hoffman of Suits, adopting a cartoonish Spanish accent) takes notes for his memoirs while trying to decide which of the three young women he has chained up in his loft is supposed to be his intended victim.

Things finally come back to The Other Side, when Skip, left alone by his supervisor with strict instructions not to open the ominously titled locker, proceeds to do just that, only to come face to face with a doppelganger who may provide him the opportunity to change his fortunes.

Despite the presence of such familiar faces as Curtis Armstrong, David Huddleston, Jon Polito and Krista Allen in small roles, the film is a decidedly low-rent affair that fails to provide an effective showcase for its young creative team. Suffering from tonal inconsistency and all-too-familiar thematic elements, as well as an absurd framing device whose logic is not even consistently maintained, Locker 13 hardly deserves being opened.

Opens March 28 (Arc Entertainment)

Production: Brothers’ Ink Productions

Cast: Ricky Schroder, Jon Gries, Rick Hoffman, Krista Allen, Tatyana Ali, Jason Marsden, Curtis Armstrong, Bart Johnson, Jon Polito, Jason Spisak

Directors: Bruce Dellis, Jason Marsden, Matthew Mebane, Adam Montierth, Donovan Montierth

Screenwriters: Bruce Dellis, Jason Marsden, Adam Montierth, Donovan Montierth, Jose Rosete, John Waldron, Jason Walters, Cameron Young

Producers: Ricky Schroder, Jason Marsden, Matthew Mebane

Directors of photography: Russell Carpenter, Matthew Boyd, Adam Devaney, Frank Di Bugnara, Wesley Johnson, Webb Pickersgill

Editors: Erik C. Anderson, Wayne Leonard

Production designers: John Goldsmith, John Waldron

Costume designers: Connie Dellis, Elizabeth Few, Darragh Marmorstein, Tracy Shrier

Composers: Paul Cristo, Jasper Randall

Rated R, 90 min.

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