Movie Review: Dead By Midnight (11pm Central) (2018)

May 11, 2018

Written by DanXIII

Daniel XIII; the result of an arcane ritual involving a King Diamond album, a box of Count Chocula, and a copy of Swank magazine, is a screenwriter, director, producer, actor, artist, and reviewer of fright flicks…Who hates ya baby?

A mysterious monster movie hostess (Erin Brown; Misty Mundae herself!) begins broadcasting her haunted Halloween hootenanny from within an abandoned studio owned by a doomed rural television station. As the night progresses we are treated to a cadre of creepy cool tales each inexplicably starring a different, and suddenly missing, member of the station’s staff!
First up we get the ’80’s set creature feature Jersey Devil which concerns the misadventures of pre-teen Emma and the battered waitress that showed up on her doorstep going head to head with the legendary cryptid of the Pine Barrens. The comedic interplay between Avri Bartolozzi as Emma, and Davi Crimmins as the beleaguered waitress Dani is absolutely fantastic, the story is high on camp, and the creature suit is Grade-A fuckin’ badass…this is a solid gold winner in my beastly book (and if your listening, how about turning this one into a feature)!
Next up is Creepy Dolls, in which a trio investigates an allegedly haunted house only to discover it is filled to the rafters with menacing dolls…dolls that are considerably more than mere children’s playthings. This segment had a nice aesthetic and was enjoyable enough…but so far ol’ J.D. is in the lead for best in show.
Following that comes Lost Laundry, a yarn featuring a young woman who’s clothes keep turning up missing from the laundry. She of course blames her shit heel of a roommate, but alas it appears the real culprit was a monster…but what secret does this beast harbor? This entry features a fantastically surreal story and absolutely genius stop-motion style creature effects (with nice nods to Harryhausen’s work on Medusa for the fantasy classic Clash of the Titans)…I adored the ever-loving shit out of it, and it is every bit the equal of Jersey Devil for my arcane affection!
Day Three comes next, and relates the story of a woman that really wants an abortion…so much so that she attacks a Doctor and ends up under house arrest. Well, wouldn’t you know it; that baby in her belly is making her into some sort of truly F’d up monster. This was a cool segment, and brought to mind things you’d see on Tales from the Darkside or Monsters in ye olden days.
Finally we have Blind Side, a tale in which a woman that can’t see for shit finally sees the light about someone near and dear to her with suitably macabre results. This was a nice little paradigm shifting tale, well shot and competently told…a fine, if somewhat sedate way to end the stories at hand.
Which brings us back to our wraparound…where…you’ll just have to see Dead By Midnight (11pm Central) to see how it all ends up…and see it you should! While uneven in regards to content, every story presented is a fun lil’ bite-sized horror nugget that will leave you satisfied (yup, this is one of those rare anthologies with zero clunkers)!



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