2022 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 5: Night Creature (1978)

5. CAKE IN FRIGHT: To celebrate the birth of Donald Pleasence, light a candle, eat a slice and watch one of his many.

You can read another take on this movie here.

If you want to see what Donald Pleasence movies I’ve seen, here’s the Letterboxd list. I love him because he was a working actor. Like John Carradine, he was there when you needed him. And at times, he’d show just how good he was. But he’s a workmanlike — in a good way — presence in so many movies.

Directed by Lee Madden (The Night God Screamed, the Alan Smithee who made Ghost Fever) and written by Hugh Smith (second unit director of Abby, writer of The Glove), Night Visitor has Pleasence as Axel MacGregor, a writer and big game hunter who has unleashed a deadly black panther and doomed everyone around him which is a real problem as his daughters Leslie (Nancy Kwan, Wonder Women) and Georgia (Jennifer Rhodes) have just come to town along with Ross (Ross Hagen, who also produced this movie), a guide who seems pretty sleazy.

All this movie should be about is Pleasence hunting this animal that has already hurt him and he’s brought it to his turf for one last battle. You have the great thespian monologuing and trying to imitate the big beast and man, his eyes bugging out and him snarling and that’s the best.

At times, I’m given to just yelling out Pleasence line reads, like “The evil is gone” and “I shot him six times.” I celebrate him eating at a salad bar in 90s giallo. I’ve read that he drank through this entire movie and I in no way want to judge him for that. My memories of the actor are always wonderful and he lives again every time someone watches one of his films, whether he’s playing a President, the devil or a preacher who turns into a warthog.

One thought on “2022 Scarecrow Psychotronic Challenge Day 5: Night Creature (1978)

  1. hear hear! and what about getting so drunk he either tries to wrestle, screw, or kill (he’s so drunk I don’t think even he knows) that amok teacher in WAKE IN FRIGHT? And of course, the famous lines my brother and I used to quote at each incessantly “You’re the duke! You’re the duke! Your A number WaaaahN! It’s a crime against cinema that he didn’t supply his own voice for his devil in Cozzi’s unfortunate and yet oddly triumphant Paganini Horror.


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