THE MIDNIGHT HOUR (1985)
aka In the Midnight Hour
Article 5005 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jack Bender
Featuring Lee Montgomery, Shari Belafonte, LeVar Burton
What it is: Halloween comedy TV-Movie
On Halloween night in the small town of Pitchford Cove, a group of teenagers play a prank by reading a ritual designed to raise the dead in a local cemetery. Unbeknownst to them, they’re successful, and though some of the dead are just looking for fun, others are more deadly…
I’d have to describe this one as a comic cross between CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS and AMERICAN GRAFFITI, with a common urban legend thrown in for good measure. On top of the usual assortment of zombies, we have some vampires and werewolves thrown into the mix, as well as a midget Frankenstein monster. I quite liked this one; the humor is often effective, the romance subplot is actually a bit on the charming side, and it gets positively surreal when it turns to horror, especially during a nightmarish little montage sequence in which the dead and newly dead wreck the town. To top it off, it features the voice of Wolfman Jack (and the man himself in a cameo, if my eyes don’t deceive me) and a great oldies soundtrack. It also features both Dick Van Patten and Kevin McCarthy becoming undead during the run of the film. No, it’s no classic, but it’s a lot of fun, and would make a good choice for Halloween viewing.