Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 7th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2011
Production Company: Time Machine Films
Approximate running time: 61 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Director: Jay Jennings
Writer: Jay Jennings
Cinematographer: Jay Jennings
Cast: Charles Santore, Rob Young, Pauli Macy, Cherie Gossin, Anise Labrum, Warren Hughes
Many films and filmmakers proudly wear their influences on their sleeve. Case in point Hell to Pay, a modern day take on the Film Noir genre.
The film’s narrative revolves around Teddy Greene and the low life scum that he encounters in his everyday life as a debt collector. And when he is not cracking skulls or getting blow jobs from hookers. He is often butting heads with the underworld crime boss that he works for. His family life is not much rosier. His estranged wife and deadbeat father only come around when they need money. The only person is his life that he trust is former underworld criminal, who even gives him a chance to get out before things get anymore out of hand. Of course Teddy does not takes his friends advice and this also leads to the most stable person in his world being knocked off by the people that Teddy works for. This act also sets in motion the film’s climatic showdown between Teddy and those who are trying to change him.
Visual the film’s black and white cinematography does a superb job capturing the grittiness of the story at hand. Pacing wise everything moves along at a breakneck pace. Outside of a calmer moment in which Teddy encounters a female street singer and tries to engage in a conversation with her. There are really not any other moments that allow the viewer to catch their breath.
Performance wise the entire cast are all very good in their respective roles. With the film’s most dominating presence coming from Charles Santore in the role of Teddy Greene. And what makes this performance all the more impressive is how he manages to exude sympathy, even though his character spends the majority of the film brutalizing everyone who comes in contact with him. At just over an hour in length, Hell to Pay is an engrossing tale about a man who ultimately succumbs to his surroundings.
You can find more information about Hell to Pay here.