Midnight (1982) (BLU-RAY REVIEW)
DIRECTED BY: John A. Russo
STARRING: Melanie Verlin, Lawrence Tierney, John Hall
RATED: UR/REGION O/1:66/1080P/NUMBER OF DISCS 1
AVAILABLE FROM Severin Films
A decade after co-writing NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, writer/director John Russo gathered members of George Romero’s Pittsburgh crews to film a new shocker fueled by equal parts grisly grindhouse jolts and ’80s satanic panic: Fleeing her pervy alcoholic stepfather (Lawrence Tierney of RESERVOIR DOGS infamy), a hitchhiking teen (Melanie Verlin) is abducted by a family of crazed homicidal rednecks for an ordeal of graphic butchery, shag carpet and devil worship. John Amplas (MARTIN) co-stars in this “greasy, grimy guilty pleasure” (DVD Talk) featuring gore effects by Tom Savini and executive produced by Sam Sherman (DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN) – released in some US markets as BACKWOODS MASSACRE and seized in the UK as a Section 3 ‘Video Nasty’ – now scanned in 4K from the negative of the long-rumored uncut version with all-new Special Features.
Midnight is a movie I heard about for a very long time and I always did want to see it, but I never got around to it. I’ve always heard about John A. Russo being the Night of the Living Dead fan that I am, but I never did pull the trigger on that old DVD regardless of now interested it all seemed. I’m happy I waited now having the brand new Severin Blu-ray in-hand. From a technical point of view, this is an amazing looking disc. It was shot many years ago and if you watch the exrtas you’ll see that it didn’t have the biggest budget, but it still looks very nice here. Probably better than it has any right to look. It also comes with some cool interviews from people like Russo and effects master Tom Savini. All of that and more makes the extras from Red Shirt very cool, but while it seems neither here nor there, Russo himself seems a little bit like a bit of an onry old man at times. Again, that’s neither here nor there but I did notice it. Anyway, let’s talk about the movie…
I feel like this movie is trying hard to be along the lines of such edgier films from the time like The Last House on the Left or perhaps mainly The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but it does fall very short of being anywhere near that area. The movie gives off the vibe of such things as Chainsaw, but it mainly just gives off the vibe of trying too hard. Yes, we have a relgios battle of God vs the Devil here at the core and Russo is trying to preach with his own values and it all comes at you with a gritty tone, but it just doesn’t have the substance it needs to go along with all of it. Midnight is an interesting enough movie. It packs a couple good moments, but it’s mostly a bit dull and is guilty of dragging its feet way more than it has to. Still, I’d say it’s worh a watch. But this isn’t by any means a timeless classic I’m afraid.
- NEW 4K RESTORATION OF THE FILM FROM THE ORIGINAL CAMERA NEGATIVE
- Interview with Writer / Director John Russo
- Interview with Producer Samuel M. Sherman
- Interview with Actor John Amplas
- Interview with SFX Artist Tom Savini
- More TBC
- Optional English SDH subtitles for the main feature
QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 91%