Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Midnight Hour - Get Dead!

The Midnight Hour
D: Jack Bender
W: William Bleich

S: Lee Montgomery, Shari Belafonte & LeVar Burton
TV Movie - Approx 94 Min.


Alternate Titles: 
 -La noche del baile de medianoche (Prom Night Midnight) - Spain
 -Halloweenin hetki (Halloween Time) - Finland
 -La Notte di Halloween (The Halloween Night) - Italy
 -Creeps - Eine unheimliche Geisternacht (A Chilling Ghost Night)- West Germany

 -Halloween - Besuch aus dem Jenseits (Visit From Beyond the Grave) - West Germany

"I'm Dead.  You're Dying.  Everyone should try it.  Get Dead!"

There are some films that just perfectly encapsulate certain holidays.  A Christmas Story will forever be branded (in my mind) as the quintessential Christmas film.  It simply is not Christmas if I don't watch Ralphie on his quest for an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle at least 10 times.  It's not Thanksgiving to me unless I've watched Home For The Holidays at least twice.  Halloween is a tricky time for me because I have many favorites that must be watched throughout October.  While Garfield's Halloween Adventure is still at the tip top of the list, The Midnight Hour is a very close second.

Skull Kid riding a bike, delivering newspapers.  I think that's about as Your Town USA as you can get!

The gang heads to the local cemetery to try on the clothing of dead people.  Super idea.

The Midnight Hour is a fairly obscure ABC produced TV-Movie about a group of teens living in the fictional New England town of Pitchford Cove (or PitchFORK Cove as their ancestors called it in the late 1600's called it).  Some of the students are the direct descendants of witches and witchhunters from the town's beginnings.  Some of their ancestor's clothing is on display at the local witchcraft museum.  The kids think it would be a swell idea to break in and "borrow" the costumes for their big Halloween party.

After a successful clothing heist (that includes stealing an old trunk), the head off to the local cemetery to try on the costumes.  Cause, why not, right?  Inside the trunk they find an ancient scroll which appears to be written in blood.  One of the girls decides to read it out loud as a joke....since her great-great-great-great-great grandmother was an evil witch and all.  What's the worst that could happen?  Well, as fate would have it, she unleashes a curse that awakens the dead.  It seems that some of the dead are evil, some are confused and then there's Sandy.  A 50's era cheerleader who just wants to fall in love before she has to go back to the grave.

I loved this guy in Thriller.....

I have no idea what the hell he's supposed to be, but I dig it!

As the zombies roam around town causing havoc, it would appear that there is also a werewolf on the loose.  It would also appear that the evil witch is back as well.....and she's a freaking vampire to boot!  Damn!  If you're into Thriller-style zombies then you're going to feel right at home with this.  Especially when everyone at the party breaks into a song and dance number titled "Get Dead"!  It is pure 80's cheddar that tastes oh-so-good!

The ladies are about to get it on in the wine cellar.....but not in a good way.

Zombies love to party.

For an ABC TV-Movie, this has some surprisingly effective scenes in it, including the evil vampire witch attacking her great-great-great-great-great granddaughter in the wine cellar of the house where the party is being held.  Everything kicks into slow motion during the attack as corks pop off of wine bottles and red wine jettisons forth like streams of blood, all while The Smiths' "How Soon is Now?" plays with some spooky overlays in the background.

There's a lot of great actors to keep an eye out for while you're watching this one:  Kurtwood Smith, Kevin McCarthy, Dick Van Patten are just some of the familiar faces that you'll see here.  Not to mention a very young,  LeVar Burton & Shari Belafonte (Harry Belafonte's daughter!)!

Sandy...the hot, cheerleader ghost.

Shit!  Clarence Boddicker is a goddamn zombie!

There's a little bit of the red stuff on tap, but not much.  This is less about gore and more about the nostalgic Halloween feel.

No skin, kiddies.  This is a made for TV-Movie.

Creatures Featured
You get zombies, ghouls, vampires, ghosts, werewolves and witches all under one roof!  What's not to love about that?!

Final Thoughts
It's a crime that this film doesn't have it's on Blu Ray release with an isolated soundtrack and a ton of Halloweentastic extras.  This should be on everyone's must-watch list for Halloween.  I cannot recommend this film highly enough!  Seek it out and enjoy!

Final Rating
Five out of Five Pizza Rolls

1 comment:

  1. I agree, this film should have it's blu ray debut. Classic Halloween movie that's a must watch!!!