Saturday, October 31, 2009

In short: Midnight 2 (1993)

Abraham Barnes (Matthew Jason Walsh), the youngest member of the Satanist serial killer family we saw in Midnight, has somehow survived the events of the first film. He has changed his personal style from "country bumpkin" to "insanely annoying guy with a video camera" and is using said camera and a bunch of horrible pick-up lines that would get people much more attractive than he is punched in the face to finagle women into his house.

Theoretically, he is on the look-out for the one special woman to bear his children and clean up his act (and kitchen), but in practice he's more about killing the women who don't stand up to his standards (aka every woman). Exciting times lie ahead when he murders the friend of Rebecca (Jo Narcia). She has seen him and his camera and uses her script-derived charm to talk a cop (Chuck Pierce) into helping her investigate Abraham.

If I can believe the Internet, then John (A.) Russo's belated nominal sequel to his Midnight has "been sold both individually and as part of a "Young Filmmaker's Career-Starting Package" along with John A. Russo's book Cheap Thrills, legal forms, and the four volume videotape set "John Russo's Filmmaking Seminar"". It' was probably included as an example of how crappy a film can get, with big red warning signs reading "Don't do it this way!".

While the first Midnight sure had its share of problems, it was at least an honest effort at filmmaking on a budget. This shot on video sequel is just a lazy bunch of nothing, padded out with about ten minutes of footage from the first film. Those ten minutes are the best that's on offer here, really, the rest is sub-porn acting, painfully bad dialogue, cramped sets and the neverending monologizing of the insufferable Walsh. His performance, consisting mostly of mumbling and sounding like a badly behaved child, just screams for a very special award as the worst acted psycho I have ever seen on film or video. I hope he is proud.

Technically, it's all catastrophe all the time - the interiors are somebody's hobby cellar, the camera just points vaguely into the direction of the "actors", not even the synthie soundtrack (which sounds very very familiar) is any good.

Usually, I try (try is the important word here) not to take bad films personally, and this even is the sort of film whose ineptness might be somewhat endearing coming from someone with no prior filmmaking experience, but from an old pro like Russo, Midnight 2 amounts to the director suddenly appearing smirking in your living room and screaming "fuck you!" right into your face.

So, unless you just need to hear what Abe does with his throbbing hot camera, you'll be better off watching a Polonia Brothers movie. Those guys at least don't hate the people watching their films.



Todd said...

Your closing comment sent me searching TH!? in vain for reviews of Polonia brothers movies. Hopefully we can look forward to some reviews of the Brothers' work from you in the near future?

houseinrlyeh said...

Not in the too near future, unfortunately. I'd have to watch a Polonia Bros. film I already have again for that or try to acquire more. Both aren't prospects that make me enthusiastic.

Todd said...

Of course. No one with any decency would expect you to go to those extremes.

houseinrlyeh said...

But rejoice! At least there's more late period Roberta Findlay on the way.

Todd said...

Which is definitely one of those "You watch them so I don't have to" situations.