MIDNIGHT

year: 1982
cast: Melanie Verlin, Lawrence Tierney, John Amplas, David Marchick
rating: ***1/2

A teenage girl runs away from home, and with good reason. Her overweight, alcoholic policeman step dad tried to rape her, and he’s played by Noir legend Lawrence Tierney, ten years shy from his revamp in Quentin Tarantino’s RESERVOIR DOGS. The girl hitches a ride with two dudes in a van that eventually veers off on a back road – and like any low-budget horror film, this is a very bad mistake for the characters, but heaven to the viewer. Eventually our heroine faces a psychotic hillbilly clan ala TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Plenty of violent, gory murders served up by makeup guru Tom Savini creates an eerily hellish daytime nightmare – ultimately peaking with a satanic ritual at, you got it, midnight. Despite the anemic budget, and with the exception of Tierney and horror icon John Amplas (along with his psycho siblings), there are a few meager performances, but no matter: Here’s an exploitation that entertains from the bloody beginning to the bloody end.

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