The Midnight Hour
Updated: Jul 19, 2021
The 278th review overall!
Now that October is nearing its grand finale, I no longer have an excuse for being a slug. But I still have some time left! So before I get back into exercising, I still have more movies to watch. After an agonizing process to figure out what to check out, I decided on...
The Midnight Hour (1985). Youtube.
Like I said, I had a difficult time picking what movie to do. It was between this and another, more typical horror movie to review. I honestly poured over this for days as I tried to figure out my lineup. I was leaning towards the other movie, but my friend Mark has picked out some solid, offbeat movies for me in the past, and I’m a sucker for 80’s camp, so I went with the ABC movie. There’s two versions you can find online, one is a normal cut and the other is a straight VHS rip that includes commercials. I didn’t have time to watch the whole one, so I think at some point in the future I’ll sit down and check out the half hour worth of commercials for 80’s products. I’m actually kind of excited to do that.
It’s Halloween night in New England, and a group of high school friends (that all look to be in their late 20’s or early 30’s) are getting ready for a party. The jock in the group gets it in his head to steal the clothes of the town’s former Witch Hunter General and bad witch from 300 years ago for their costumes. In the group you actually have the descendants of the witch and the Witch Hunter General. The idea that a town in New England would allow offspring of a witch to live is a bit of a stretch, but whatever, stick with me here, it gets goofier. From there they take their stolen artifacts, go to cemetery and unwittingly bring back every dead soul with unfinished business to terrorize the town.
It’s weird because not all the dead are evil. There’s one ghoul that just kind of walks around reading a newspaper then munches on a whole lot of popcorn at the party. It’s hard to tell exactly what his unfinished business was because he’s so chill compared to everyone else who rose from the dead, at one point he even starts making out with another dead woman. He was my favorite character, Eventually, the witch makes her way to the party and turns every last one there into a vampire. It’s kind of silly how fast she’s able to do it without anyone realizing it, but it did end up leading to the best moment in the movie that was actually a little scary.
Mark described the movie “It's like a 1980's time capsule. Is it good? No. Is it bad? No?” He also went on to say the movie definitely tries. I’d say that’s a fair way to describe it. I mean it’s silly and a lot of the effects seem to be hampered by a small budget, but there’s a certain charm to it. It never really gets hammy and for the most part the actors seem like they’re taking it seriously. There are some fun cameos, Red Foreman plays a cop who really hates Halloween, and you have Kevin McCarthy playing pretty much the same character as he did in U.H.F., but instead of being a loud and angry news director, he’s a loud and angry judge and he’s a lot of fun.
Like Mark says, it’s not good. I complimented it earlier about how they seem to take it seriously, outside of one dance scene that’s all kinds of goofy. That also works against it though, because they play it mostly straight, it’s nowhere near as fun as it could be. There’s a lot of mileage they could have gotten from the premise and outside a cheerleader the protagonist finds, there’s not much fish out of water elements to it. Although, I did like her using 1950’s slang. “Bodacious” is a word I haven’t heard in a long time. Twist my arm, I’d say it’s worth a watch. It’s silly but it’s entertaining, and now I really want to watch the commercials...