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Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut - DVD - OMG Print E-mail
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Saturday, 07 September 2013
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DVD cover art from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema
Buy Midnight Movie on Amazon.comBuy Midnight Movie on Amazon.ca
Buy Midnight Movie on Amazon.co.uk

AKA: Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut

Directed by:
Jack Messitt
Written by:
Jack Messitt, Mark Garbett
Produced by:
Kacy Andrews, Liam Finn, Jacques Thelemaque
Cinematography by:
Ruben Russ, Clyde Smith
Editing by:
Kristoffer Villarino
Music by:
Penka Kouneva
Special Effects by:
Dalton Kutsch, Myles O'Reilly, Brian Hicks, Nathan Frizges, and more
Cast:
Arthur Roberts, Rebekah Brandes, Daniel Bonjour, Stan Ellsworth, Mandell Maughan, Michael Swann, Lee Main, Greg Cirilnick
Year:
2008
Country:
USA
Language:
English
Color:
Color
Runtime:
1h 20min

Official Website:
Midnight Movie
Distributor: OMG
 

Every now and then a slasher movie attempts something a little different, perhaps aware of the conveyor belt genre there's a neat twist applied that may or may not work.  The situation with "Midnight Movie" is it does work and introduces some genuinely likeable characters due to the fact that there's a mix of teens and adults in peril.  I'm personally a sucker for found film plots like John Carpenter's short "Cigarette Burns" (Masters of Horror series 1) or a hunt the book which may destroy the world, such as "The Ninth Gate."  I like anything that uses the device of something not seen or used for a long time getting its first appearance and all chaos breaks loose.

In "Midnight Movie," the writer, producer, director and star of a lost seventies underground horror flick The Dark Beneath, Ted Radford, is residing in an asylum due to a breakdown.  His doctor decides to shut him in a room and show him his own masterpiece, despite warnings from another doctor, Dr. Wayne.  The orderly who is guarding Ted is called out briefly as the movie begins.  Chuckling, Ted bites into his wrist and paints blooded symbols along the floor.  Moments later, the doctor enters and finds him gone.  By the morning the whole building is a slaughterhouse.

Five years later, a local theatre decides to run The Dark Beneath.  The staff lament the lack of patrons.  Kenny points out it is because the owner is keen to find cheap films that no one has ever heard of.  Saying that, a few teen couples arrive, along with a biker and his woman, a cop Detective Barrons investigating the murders, staff member Bridget's younger brother Timmy who hides in the theatre due to being under-age and Dr Wayne.  Both the cop and Wayne are totally convinced that Ted Radford will show for this small premiere.  (Surprised to see the lack of a pimp -- or was I expecting a "Demons" rerun?)

The Dark Beneath is a "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" clone filmed in black and white featuring a tripping blonde, a spectacled geek girl and assorted friends lost in the back roads of America.  They find a traditional killer's house and are picked off by a mask wearing murderer played by Ted Radford and his mother.  Meanwhile, Kenny goes into the basement of the theatre and is attacked by the same mask wearing madman.  As he dies, the film actually shows him die in black and white whilst the audience wonder how the scene fits into the movie.  When one of the teen couple lads is killed on screen, as he visits the toilet they are convinced it's a practical joke, the biker, Harley gets mad because they are so loud.  Barron breaks up the face to face confrontation.  Then as Rachael, another staff member, is killed by the lobby, the rest are becoming uneasy, especially since the victim is dragged along a corridor of the house in the film.

They all have to team together, use the film as the killer's eyes, find a way out and basically try to keep it together.  The phones and mobiles are dead, all the doors are locked and an open window slams down on teen Samantha's fingers as Ted Radford approaches from behind.

Ted Radford is a curious masked villain; a dungaree dressed hillbilly wearing half of a human skull strapped to his head.  His tool of choice is a blade twisted into a large corkscrew type thing with a handle.  The idea of having him leap from film to reality signalled by cigarette burns on the screen is genius.  The trouble is that there is a lack of explanation... well it's all to do with the bloody symbols he sketched on the floor at the start, but something extra could have been added to give a clue to the power of his supernatural abilities.  For instance, there is the scene where a patrolling cop stands outside the doors in clear view of the trapped teens and bikers, but he cannot see or hear them because on his side all he can see is an empty lobby.  As interesting as he is, he doesn't deserve the dumb tag-line 'The New Face of Horror'.

What spoilt the film a bit for us is when main character Bridget is tied down and tortured, before Ted starts cutting her toes off, he talks to her.  All the while he had been silent and his voice really sucks, truth be known.  Some villains are meant to be silent like Jason, Michael Myers, etcetera.  Others speak too much like Freddy and Pinhead (in part 3 anyway).  Others have an aura of sinister menace such as Mahogany in "The Midnight Meat Train" that is shattered upon hearing words uttered.  Ted Radford falls into the latter category to join Vinnie Jones in shame.

That's the only negative, apart from you do get a sense of seen-it-all-before now and then, but the plus points make up for it.  The gore and murders are staged well and some of the characters are solid which makes their deaths more impactful.  After an unexpected revelation about the victims throughout the film the grand finale is a bit sudden.  Though it is set up loosely for a possible sequel, nothing has ever emerged.  Cool.  A one-off in the field of slasher films is a unique and rare species.  Thank you director and co-writer Jack Messitt who it seems hasn't directed since but is known as a cinematographer and camera man more than anything else.

The UK release on OMG is a basic affair with no extras at all apart from a trailer.  The USA release has a commentary, deleted scenes, outtakes, cast bio's and trailers.  This review is from OMG.

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

DVD screenshot from "Midnight Movie: The Killer Cut" on Severed Cinema

 RATING:
 VIDEO: 1 
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 AUDIO: 1 
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 DVD: 1 
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 MOVIE: 1 
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 DVD SPECS:
 Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 16:9
 Region: PAL R2
 Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0


 SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL:
 - Trailer

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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Saturday, 07 September 2013 )
 
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