Violent Midnight

Violent Midnight

Cast: Lee Philips, Shepperd Strudwick, James Farentino, Jean Hale

     
 

This well-crafted "adults only" thriller (which in 1963 meant it included a few brief nude scenes and suggestions of sex between some characters) gets a stronger than expected presentation in this DVD release from Dark Sky Films. Violent Midnight (aka Psychomania and Black Autumn) has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect…  See more details below

Overview

This well-crafted "adults only" thriller (which in 1963 meant it included a few brief nude scenes and suggestions of sex between some characters) gets a stronger than expected presentation in this DVD release from Dark Sky Films. Violent Midnight (aka Psychomania and Black Autumn) has been transferred to disc in its original full-frame aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the image quality is outstanding. The source materials are pristine, and the transfer is pin-sharp and shows a wide range of gray tones. The audio has been mastered in Dolby Digital 2.0, preserving the original monophonic mix, and the sound is crisp and well-detailed. The dialogue is in English, and no multiple language options are included, though the disc does include English subtitles for the hearing-impaired. As a bonus, this edition also includes a commentary track from producer Del Tenney, who claims to have also made uncredited contributions to the screenplay and handled some of the direction; unfortunately, Tenney's comments are not as interesting as one might hope, but he still offers some useful background on the cast and working with the always fascinating Sylvia Miles. Low-budget films from the 1960s rarely look this good on DVD, and Dark Sky have really gone the extra mile to give a relatively little-known film a top-shelf release on disc; genre fans will be well-pleased.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Del Tenney has some standing as an interesting schlock producer and director, so fans of his work may appreciate Violent Midnight; those not tuned in to his particular wavelength, however, will likely find it a boring mess of a film and not one that's especially thrilling. Perhaps if Tenney had directed rather than simply produced, Violent might have more appeal -- or perhaps not. In either case, Richard Hilliard's lame direction doesn't impress. Granted, the post-Psycho screenplay he's working from doesn't prove a rich lode. The gratuitous and obvious semi-nude titillation scenes are problematic, but one can accept them as being part of the exploitation package. It's the messy plot and its myriad holes, along with dialogue that tries so hard to be punchy and instead is flaccid, that is more damaging. Equally frustrating is that the killer is easy to figure out, so what little suspense the film has dissipates early on. The cast at least is game. Lee Philips is irritating in the lead, but James Farentino strikes all the right bad boy poses and Lorraine Rogers and Kaye Elhardt know how to play up the sexy angles they're given.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/28/2006
UPC:
0030306773292
Original Release:
1963
Rating:
NR
Source:
Dark Sky Films
Region Code:
0
Time:
1:32:00
Sales rank:
68,518

Special Features

Commentary with Del Tenney; Photo gallery; Theatrical trailers

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lee Philips Elliot Freeman
Shepperd Strudwick Adrian Benedict
James Farentino Charlie Perone
Jean Hale Carol Bishop
Margot Hartman Lynn Freeman
Lorraine Rogers Alice St. Clair
Kaye Elhardt Dolores Martello
Sylvia Miles Silvia
Mike Keene Inspector Grey
Mike O'Dowd Max
Dick Van Patten Palmer

Technical Credits
Richard Hilliard Screenwriter
W.L. Holcombe Score Composer
Robert Q. Lovett Editor
Louis McMahon Cinematographer
Robin Miller Screenwriter
Mann Rubin Screenwriter
Del Tenney Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Violent Midnight
1. Hunting Accident [1:46]
2. Opening Credits [1:03]
3. Dolores Martello [10:17]
4. Table's Reserved [4:18]
5. Murder! [6:56]
6. Leads [4:37]
7. Belmont College [7:08]
8. Charlie's Alibi [3:45]
9. Peeping Professor [2:09]
10. Freeman's Interrogation [3:11]
11. Laundry Room [9:35]
12. I Killed My Own Father! [4:50]
13. Swimming With Alice [14:38]
14. Chasing Charlie [6:11]
15. Abduction [3:14]
16. Just Like Father! [6:23]
17. Adrian and Elliot [2:23]

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