Sunday, April 18, 2010
The Midnight Hour (1985)
On Halloween night, some teenagers who earlier had stolen attire and a trunk from the local witchcraft museum, head out to the cemetery to randomly read a parchment found within the trunk. Despite the fact that one of them had done an oral report just hours before highlighting the history the town has with witches raising the dead, they stand around for about three seconds, decide nothing it going to happen and leave. Well, the dead do rise, in all kinds of shapes and sizes and slowly the town starts to get taken over.
Made for television back when networks still did that sort of thing (though strangely Joanna Kerns is nowhere to be seen), The Midnight Hour is at times deadly serious, at times kid-friendly comedic and packed to the gills with way too much going on with way too little explanation. The teenagers (a term loosely used here, Shari Belafonte being the worst offender, clocking in at 31 years of age at the time of filming) return to their homes after the cemetery incident to prepare for the big Halloween bash. Meanwhile, the undead are working their way into town and this is where my initial confusion surfaced. While some are highly decomposed as you would expect, others like the 300 year old witch that initially tried to doom the town and the 1950's cheerleader who was buried in her uniform (Now, that's school spirit!), are fresh faced and completely intact. Also, there's a random werewolf...and the witch is also a vampire. Yeah, they don't bother explaining any of this.
So the teens go to their non-alcoholic, chaperoned by teachers, house party (the TV influence I might expect though apparently there is no issue with kids being savagely murdered on camera) and dance the night away at a safe distance from one another. A handful of zombies crash the party and don't try to eat anybody. This is sort of explained by the 1950's cheerleader who seems to randomly have essential information as to all the glaring questions that arise throughout The Midnight Hour. In this case, some of the dead wish to feed on the living while others simply want to experience things they missed out on in their own lives (like neutered, Christian-friendly parties). She also knows exactly what needs to be done to stop the madness down to the most intricate of details and with the help of the lone remaining teenager they set about reversing the curse.
And I think everyone dies. The entire town has been infected by either zombie/vampire/werewolf when they finally do send the demons back to hell and in an instant, everyone vanishes, including the dead cheerleader. This leaves one kid in the middle of town surrounded by vast expanses of nothingness. I guess you could still consider that a victory.
In the midnight hour, I cried no more, no more, no more...