Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Midnight (1989)

Directed by:
Norman Thaddeus Vane

Lynn Redgrave hits a career low as a thoroughly unlikable actress who works part-time as a horror movie hostess called Midnight (rising from a coffin and screeching like The Crypt Keeper) and full time at being a stupid and obnoxious bitch named Vera. Even more shocking than her tacky get-up (ghost-face, outrageous eyeliner, black crimped wig and spandex jumpsuits) is how she manages to keep a job with her third-rate act and flagrantly irritating demeanor; degrading her fans on a regular basis, telling a female reporter “How would you like it if I sat on your face?” and getting mouthy with the producer of her show. One day, Midnight notices that dim, motorcycle-riding, “hunk” and aspiring actor Mickey (Steve Parrish) is following her around (“I’m your biggest fan!”), so she reacts to this stalker by screwing him and letting him move into her large L.A. mansion the same day. Tony Curtis (who has also seen better days) is Mr. B, a slimy TV mogul usually surrounded by bikini-clad starlets. He currently has an “oral” (har har) contract with a hot blonde named Missy Angel (Karen Witter). After Midnight threatens him (“I’ll give you herpes on your pecker!”) and refuses to sign over the copyright of her name and image, he cancels her show and soon after a series of murders begins. Missy and Mickey also start an affair and get the lead roles in one of Mr. B’s productions. Midnight, Mickey, Mr. B and Missy are all pissy for various reasons, so when people start disappearing you’ve got your line-up of obvious suspects right there, so I guess I won’t give anything away by saying that Midnight’s at-home staff includes a faithful, near-mute and extremely bizarre chauffeur named Ziggy (Gustav Vintas).

There’s a drowning, a hanging, a nightmare sequence, a scene of Midnight fake poisoning herself on her TV show and plenty of terrible dialogue and one-liners. Stunning former Playboy model Witter (a 1982 Playmate) is the only thing worth watching in this offensively awful wanna-be cult film (and failed Hollywood satire). Also in the cast are Wolfman Jack, Rita Gam, Frank Gorshin, Kathleen Kinmont, Robert Miano and Tiny Lister.

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