Directed By: John A Russo
Starring: Lawrence Tierney, Melanie Verlin, John Hall
Disclaimer: Severin Films has provided me with a copy of this film free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions contained within are my own honest reflections.
As many horror fans might already know, John A Russo co-wrote the seminal horror film Night of the Living Dead (1968). Since then he has directed a dozen films including this early '80s outing. A young girl hitchhikes to escape sexual abuse from her Bert (Lawrence Tierney). She finds a ride with some guys and they find themselves in the middle of a backwoods Satanic cult and psycho hillbillies. Holy shit- the film opens with the brutal murder of a child caught in a bear trap and only gets more sick and depraved from there. This movie is certainly not for those faint of heart as topics like incest, racism and sexual abuse.
Midnight is a movie that for all its flaws does try hard. Russo clearly loves the horror genre but also tries to provide fleshed out characters and harrowing situations. Sure, the writing is overall lackluster but I will say that it feels like at least an attempt was made to say something whilst also delving into the genre's excess. Because, at the end of the day Russo knew that satire aside this movie is a non stop horror show guts, sleaze and Satanic rituals. Special effects maestro Tom Savini provides the special effects. Whilst its far from his best work it's still top notch stuff. Its also fun to see noir legend Lawrence Tierney mumble his way through a sleaze filled performance.
Utterly sick and depraved- Midnight is a top shelf slasher trash!
Picture: Wow, is what I have to say about this Severin restoration. Being nearly forty years old at this point, Midnight really looks incredible and is given a brand-new 4k scan. Colors really pop and the clarity looks fantastic with very little to no artifacts or noise present. Color tempt is also well maintained with outdoor scenes looking especially vivid and beautiful. It brings a tear to my eye to see a trashy masterpiece like this getting the A-plus treatment.
Sound: Midnight is given a really robust DTS 5.1 track. This is a great audio presentation and the extra boost is well utilized in the score and sound design. Dialogue comes through nicely as well. Also includes a 2.0 track.
Extras: Midnight has a lot of great extras including Making Midnight A new interview with John Russo, Producing Midnight Interview with Samuel M. Sherman , The Midnight Killer John Amplas Interview, Small Favors Interview with Tom Savini , Isolated Score Selections Featuring Audio Interview with Composer Mike Mazzei, Alternative Title Card For Backwoods Massacre
And rounding out the features is Original Trailer and Radio Spot