Saturday, June 25, 2011

New Release Review - Midnight Movie : The Killer Cut


Way back in February of 2009, I watched and reviewed a flick called Midnight Movie. While the plot sounded right up my alley (a killer in a horror movie comes out of the movie and pulls people into the movie at a showing at a rundown movie house), I ended up not digging it at all. Here's what I had to say about it back then ...

"This movie pretty much represents everything that is bad about horror movies and completely lacks anything and everything that is good about them. A lame killer with a lame mask and a lame weapon. Repetitive and boring kills. Horrible acting and dialogue. Loud shitty metal music. Cliche unlikable characters. And on top of all that, there isn't even much gore and where there is gore, it's not even good gore! This movie sucks shit! Stay far away!"

Eeek. Truth be told, now that over two years have passed since I watched the movie, I really don't remember much of it, though I guess I must've hated it something fierce. That said, I always like to give horror movies a second chance and my second chance for this arrived last Tuesday on DVD, in the form of a new and hopefully improved 'Killer Cut'.



I got an e-mail a couple weeks back from the director of the film, Jack Messitt, who informed me of this new release and asked if I wanted a screener copy of it to check out. I guess he didn't read my old review of the film but again, i'm all for giving movies second chances, especially when we're talking new cuts of the film. Put out by Bigfoot Entertainment, this new cut is boasted as having "new and enhanced visual effects, extended scenes (some shot specifically for this release) and never before seen footage." A letter from the director enclosed with the screener went on to say, "There are those out there that think they have already seen Midnight Movie ... I guarantee that they have not seen it like this", going on to say that it's "a better version of the film" and that a lot had been both cut and added to the movie to enhance the experience. This proclamation combined with the fact that it's pretty damn rare for a horror filmmaker to be given the opportunity to improve their little movie, which is pretty damn cool, made me want to go back and revisit the film through a fresh pair of eyes (both mine and the director's) ... which is exactly what I did earlier today.

So is this new cut any better than the previous one I saw back in '09? Again, I don't remember enough of that viewing experience to really comment on what's been changed or added but I will say this ... I don't know if I was more cynical back then or if I just wasn't in the right mood when I sat down to watch it, but I enjoyed Midnight Movie a heck of a lot more on this viewing than I did on the last. Given that I don't generally hate a movie and then mysteriously switch over to liking it on a second viewing, i'd have to say that this cut truly is, like the director states, a far better one. Then again I really can't see how my opinion could change so drastically based upon a few edits, so I suppose it's a combination of it being better and of me being more in the proper mindset today. Perhaps i'm just less of a hater than I was when I started this blog?

As much as i'd love for this review to be a thorough one that really dissects the differences between the two cuts to try and figure out why this cut was more enjoyable to watch for me, I simply can't thanks to my poor memory. That said, the gore is definitely amped up and more well executed in this cut and the killer, Radford, seems to be more menacing and effective. Those are the two main differences that I noted, and that's really all I can about that.

Midnight Movie : The Killer Cut is a fun little meta horror movie, one that's definitely made for slasher fans and even at times feels like a throwback to the days when horror was allowed to simply be fun without getting too much criticism for that being the main focus. Yes there are cliche characters and yes it's pretty corny at times, but when can't that be said for the slasher flicks of days past? Midnight Movie is not one that you're going to find me raving about and pimping to anyone within earshot, but I definitely had a good time watching the flick today, as I often do with horror movies that take place inside theatres and center around the world of ... horror movies. Bottom line being, it's a million times better than the majority of the direct to DVD horror flicks that get churned out each and every week and for that, it deserves a viewing from anyone who hasn't yet given it one.

This Killer Cut is pretty much the cinematic equivalent to Wendy's new natural cut fries for me. I can't really tell the difference between the new and the old, unless I were to consume them both back to back, but I just instinctively know that I like the change. If you've seen the original cut of the film you're surely going to check this one out but if you saw it back in the day and didn't dig on it so much, i'd encourage you to give it a second chance with this new and improved cut. Gotta give kudos to Messitt for going back to improve his directorial debut and to Bigfoot Entertainment for giving him the means to do so. Really cool that this is out there both for fans of the film and for those who maybe didn't care for it on the first pass.


Slowdeath77 said...

I def want to see this cut. I actually liked the first version of the film so I would like to see the director's vision that was trimmed in the first release.

iZombie said...

i have been doing a handful of reviews with the cast and director this month... please check it out...
though i liked it, both versions
jeremy [iZombie]

Mike said...

I don't doubt changes were made but I'd bet you changed more then the movie did. Congrats to both you and the movie.

Johnny said...

You're probably right, Mike. Sometimes ya just gotta be in the right mood for a movie.