I love Halloween. I love the 80’s. There is not a more perfect marriage between these two things than the 1985 made-for-TV movie, The Midnight Hour. It is the Holy Grail of 80’s teen Halloween horror.
Despite all that, this movie lives in relative obscurity. The Midnight Hour only had a limited DVD release back in 2000, and copies of it go for around $150 and up on places like Ebay and Amazon Resellers (and no I did not pay that much, in case you are wondering, but then again I’m also not sure that my copy is 100% legit).
The Midnight Hour takes place on Halloween in a small New England town (which isn’t Salem, but might as well be). Five high school classmates, including geeky Phil (Lee Montgomery–hey, anyone remember him from Girls Just Want to Have Fun?) are throwing a big Halloween party and decide to steal costumes from the town’s Witchcraft Museum. In the process, the teens disturb some ancient artifacts and unintentionally awaken a centuries-old curse that brings the town’s dead back to life, including a 300-year-old witch. Unaware of what they just did, the teens all head to the Halloween party but it isn’t long before the undead start to crash the place. And because this is a goofy Halloween movie, everyone thinks they’re regular party guests wearing really good costumes. Phil isn’t having a good time and decides to head home early. He meets Sandy, an undead cheerleader who died in the 50’s, but isn’t aware she’s dead. She warns Phil that the whole town is in danger. Meanwhile, back at the party, the witch begins turning everyone into vampires. Phil and Sandy work together to stop the curse, which has to be done before midnight, hence this movie’s name.
I’m terrible at writing movie reviews and synopses, I know, but the below screenshots were a bitch to take, it’s almost the REAL midnight hour, and I’m drained. But before I go, here’s some other stuff you NEED to know about this movie:
1) It is one of the Halloween-iest damn Halloween movies you will ever see.
2) In addition to Lee Montgomery (who despite being the main character isn’t mentioned once on this DVD cover), this movie stars Harry Belafonte’s daughter, Dom DeLuise’s son, and Michelle Pfeiffer’s sister. So basically a bunch of almost-famous people. Oh, and LeVar Burton.
3) It has a great oldies-infused, Halloween-appropriate soundtrack.
4) It is more funny than it is scary, in case you’re one of those people.
5) For no apparent reason (except perhaps to capitalize on the popularity of Michael Jackson’s Thriller) everyone breaks out in an exceptionally cheesy 80s-tastic song & dance number in the middle of the movie. Watch the video below and see for yourself. (You’re welcome.)
I’m dead, you’re dying. Everybody should try it.
Take it away, Wolfman Jack.
What is 31 DVDs of Halloween?
As a special feature for the Halloween Countdown, I’m showcasing 31 Halloween DVDs from my personal collection. I have a lot of Halloween-related and horror DVDs in general, but for this year’s countdown I’m only going to focus on my absolute favorites–the ones I consider 100% essential for my enjoyment of the holiday.