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Old 06-17-2004, 05:27 PM
Scored: 10
Views: 14,452
Default Midnight Hour, The

Reviewer: Dave
Review Date: September 18, 2000

Released by: Anchor Bay
Release date: 9/19/2000
MSRP: $24.98
Region 1, NTSC
Full Frame 1.33:1

The Story

inline Image Phil Greenville (Lee Montgomery) and his friends Melissa (Shari Belafonte), Mitch (Peter DeLuise), Vinnie (LeVar Burton) and Mary (Dedee Pfeiffer) decide to break into a local museum and steal some 300 year old costumes for a Halloween party their having that night. In the museum they find a trunk which they end up taking, using it to store the stolen costumes.

inline Image The group of teens drive to a local cemetary to try on their costumes. When they arrive at the cemetary they open the trunk and discover a ring and a scroll. The scroll is sealed with a patch of wax that contains an imprint of the same symbol that's on the ring. Mitch takes the ring and decides to wear it for the night. Vinnie opens the scroll and Melissa, who happens to be the great, great, great, great granddaughter of a famous witch named Lucinda (Jonelle Allen), decides to read the scroll aloud. Nothing immediate happens so the teens leave the cemetary, not realizing they just unleashed the demons of hell and the dead from the grave. The group heads for their Halloween party, and sure enough the dead begin rising from their grave. Also risen from the grave is Lucinda, the ancient witch who is the leader of these undead creatures.

inline Image No one pays attention to the demons and undead walking around. Most people simply think they're are regular people dressed in Halloween costumes. When Phil becomes bored at the Halloween party, he decides to leave. On his way home he sees Sandy (Jonna Lee), a girl he met earlier that seems out of place, talking and looking like she's from the 1950's. The two spend some time together and begin to fall in love, ending up in Phil's back seat kissing. All that ends when a werewolf jumps on Phil's car. Sandy soon puts two and two together and realizes what Phil and his friends have done. Now the two lovers must recover the ring and seal the scroll again, using bones from an ancient witch hunter, by midnight. Otherwise, all that have been touched by evil this night will remain evil forever.

inline Image I didn't remember this at first, but I saw The Midnight Hour when I was just a child. There's only a few things I remembered about the movie. One being someone using maple syrup to try and take a ring off someone's hand, the other being a pretty zombie that I had the hots for as a kid! All and all it was quite enjoyable for me. Partially for it's nostalgic value I suppose, but also because I enjoyed the implementation of the story. It's a mix of comedy and horror that works. There's a few zombies that are quite funny, eating popcorn, dancing, talking and kissing one another. All of the monsters were done with wonderful make-up effects, which is very impressive for a TV movie from 1985. The movie definitely has an 80's feel to it, especially with its "zombie dance" that may remind some of Michael Jackon's Thriller, but I didn't find that at all. I liked the music, and I especially liked all of the oldies that were on the soundtrack.

inline Image The Midnight Hour isn't a classic by any means, but it's a fun film that you could throw in on Halloween night to watch with family and friends who aren't really horror fans. And for horror fans, who can complain about a movie that has werewolves, vampires, witches and zombies? Well, if you're one of those horror fans that are just a straight out gore fiend, you'll probably complain. But if you enjoy a movie that's light in horror with a nice mix of comedy thrown in, definitely give The Midnight Hour a rental. You won't regret it.

Image Quality

inline Image Anchor Bay presents Midnight Hour in a full frame 1.33:1 transfer. This was a made for TV movie so it's no surprise it was shot in full frame. The transfer is quite good, containing a sharp image quality with decent colors given the age of the film. There are some white specks that appear and the occasional print blemish. Some light grain appeared in a few scenes. No compression artifacts of any sort on this DVD. An excellent job done by Anchor Bay.


Midnight Hour is presented in Dolby Digital Surround sound. Not much usage from the surrounds, but a decent presentation nonetheless. No distortion was heard.

Supplemental Material

No extras are included on the DVD. The only thing I would've liked to have seen, besides a commentary from the "pretty zombie", are the TV spots, but those are probably long gone by now.

Final Thoughts

A fun movie that should be seen by all. For me, it's a classic. Though it's unlikely all will agree. Give it a rental and decide for yourself. For those that remember is from TV, I'm sure you'll be buying the DVD. Anchor Bay did a good job on the audio/video portion of the DVD. While there are no extras included, minus some liner notes, the disc is still a steal at $24.98.


Movie - B+
Image Quality - B+
Sound - B+
Supplements - N/A

Technical Info.
  • Running Time - 1 hour 34 minutes
  • Color
  • Not Rated
  • 1 Disc
  • 21 Chapter Stops
  • English Dolby Surround

  • N/A



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