Junesploitation 2021: Midnight (1989)

June 26: Junesploitation’s topic of the day — as suggested by F This Movie— is 80s horror.

Midnight (Lynn Redgrave) is a horror hostess who wears low-cut outfits, makes bad puns before the movies she shows and looks like an undead mistress of, well, the night. Pretty much exactly like Elvira, which seems weird, because they could have just hired Elvira to be in this movie.

She’s fighting station owner Mr. B (Tony Curtis) for the rights to her name, who keeps throwing things in her way to screw up her life, like trying to lure away her boytoy Mickey Modine (Steve Parrish, Scanners III) by introducing him to Missy Angel (Karen Witter, Playboy Playmate of the Month March 1982, as well as Mortuary Academy and Popcorn).

Then, everyone around our protagonist — like her agent(Frank Gorshin) — starts getting murdered and all fingers point to Midnight.

This was written and directed by Norman Thaddeus Vane, who wrote and directed Frightmare. Before that, he was a contributing writer for Penthouse, working on the letter to Forum.

I really need to make a Letterboxd list of Wolfman Jack movies one of these days. He’s in this for a bit and is a welcome addition to the proceedings.

According to Stephen Thrower’s Nightmare U.S.A., this movie was a complete nightmare behind the scenes. Karen Black was originally going to play Midnight — I am so into that casting choice — with George Segal playing opposite her. Yet when she quit the film and Redgrave came on, Segal refused to be in the movie due to “agent conflicts.” As for Ms. Redgrave. she locked herself in her trailer and wouldn’t do any ADR after the film wrapped. Then Sont cut ten minutes and barely released it in theaters.

You know what? She’s awesome in this movie, acting like she’s playing for people in space, not just the back row of the theater. It’s a role that literally defines over the top. That said, she’s still no Cassandra Peterson.

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