Thursday, November 13, 2014

Night Vision - Viciously Haunted VCR

Night Vision
D: Michael Krueger
W: Nancy Gallanis, Michael Krueger, Leigh Pomeroy

S: Stacy Carson, Shirley Ross & Tony Carpenter
Not Rated - 102 Min

 - A Window To The Future And A Gate To Hell

Alternate Titles:
A Última Sessão (The Last Session) - Brazil
Vaarallinen video (Hazardous Video) - Finland
O aetos tis nyhtas (The Eagle of the Night) - Greece

"Do you know what we do to kids like you?  We lock them up in the back and make up watch Seasame you can't learn the alphabet!"

* This screen cap comes courtesty of KinderTrauma

October is done.  Halloween has come and gone.  It was quite an epic month and I would like to extend a slightly delayed, but very heartfelt THANK YOU to Brandon Early from Movies At Dog Farm for inviting me to participate in his Pre'Ween: 2014.  It was an absolute blast and I was in fantastic company with the myriad of other personalities contributing.  I can't wait for next year!

I know I've been away for a little while, but coming back from our trip to Sleepy Hollow, we kinda walked into a mini shit-storm of which I will not bore you with the details.  Suffice to say Midnight Cinephile had to take a spot on the back burner for a bit.  Things are more or less back on track now, however,  so let's just pick up and act like nothing happened!

Jill rings up Nazi Rectal Roundup for a customer (I'm not making that title up!)

Right, so....Night Vision.  This was backlogged on my DVR from the beginning of October.  I have absolutely no recollection of recording it and I was even more surprised that it said that it was recorded off of Turner Classic Movies.  Now, I really had no idea what the film was going to be like and I know that TCM will show some newer stuff every now and then....but it's description  (A would-be writer finds nightly inspiration from a satanic video tape) to be rather odd for them.....though they do show some out-there stuff on TCM Underground.  This may be the first time that I've seen an SOV horror flick however!

I digress.  Night Vision completely lived up to it's one-sentence synopsis.  A young writer named Andy moves from Kansas to The City.  To be honest, I don't think that they ever mention the city by I have to assume it's supposed to be New York or looks kinda chilly there.  Anyway, he arrives and moves into a flea bag motel with some colorful characters.  The owner is your typical tough-as-nails-take-no-bullshit-loudmouthed-with-a-good-heart-deep-down kinda woman.  You know the type.  There is also prostitute with a southern accent.  Just to keep us off guard, the prostitute is played by a man.  It's never made clear if it's supposed to be a drag queen or if the character is simply played by a male (like John Travolta playing the mother in Hairspray).  

This is Andy.  He's like a low rent Clark Kent...only no glasses....and he doesn't turn into Superman.

It's not long before Andy starts looking for a day job and applies at a small Mom & Pop video store (you KNOW this film automatically gets bumped up for featuring a Mom & Pop shop!).  There he meets Jill, a street-wise and crusty video clerks who's seen what the city can do to a wide eyed kid.  Speaking of kids, there's a kid trying to steal porno tapes from the store and when Jill catches him she threatens to tie up in the back room and make him watch Sesame Street in reverse!  Needless to say the dialog is really wonky, but that works in the film's favor and adds to the bizarre dream-like quality. 

On the way home from the video store, Andy saves a street hustler named Vinnie from two hooded figures who were threatening him.  Apparently, he stole something they want.  As a way of saying "Thank You" for the rescue, Vinnie steals some beer and invites Andy back to his place, where he gives him a stolen TV and VCR.  Nice guy, that Vinnie.  

That's not a leotard.....Vinnie's got matching undies and top!

This is where shit starts heading south for our poor nebbish hero.  See, Vinnie stole that TV and VCR from a local satanic cult.  What he didn't know was that there was a VHS tape (you remember those, right?  Be Kind....Rewind!) in the VCR.  Turns out the cult had been filming some of their rituals and the tape was imprinted with evil.  Every night Andy ends up watching the pulsing green screen intertwined with bizarre images.  The next thing he knows, he wakes up with a horror story completely written.  Unfortunately these horror stories are also mirroring terrible killings that are happening around the neighborhood.  Is Andy having visions?  Is he linked psychically to the satanic cult or even Satan himself?  Is he becoming possessed by a VCR?  This my friends, is drama!

I've gotta tell you that I was downright surprised by how much I enjoyed this one.  I went in not knowing what to expect and I came out pretty darn entertained.  Another win for the SOV movement of the 80's.  I'm sorry I didn't have time to pull my own screen caps for this one, but I did manage to find a few stills from around the net.  The stills I pulled were labeled as coming from You Tube and Vimeo so I don't have any names to give credit to.

There's a little bit of the red stuff splashed around, but not too much.

There's also a li'l bit o' skin on display as well during the obligatory love scene between Andy and Jill.  Oh yeah, and Vinnie in his underwear.  I'm still trying to forget that though.

Creatures Featured
No creatures...but we do get a satanic cult and a haunted VCR......that's something ya don't get to see too often!

Final Thoughts
This is a slow-burn type of film.  Not a lot happens for long stretches of time, but you won't even notice because you will be completely caught up in the surreal world of this characters and you'll want to just hang around with them.  As near as I can tell this is a VHS only title....but I really don't think that this flick needs a DVD release.  It breathes and bleeds analog and that's pretty damn amazing.

Final Rating 
Three out of Five Pizza Rolls


  1. Thanks, Matt, for accepting the invitation to participate in Pre'Ween this year! We'll do it again next October!