DOA CASE NUMBER #104
This time wandering through the unmarked graves in the Land of DOA, one discovers this strange (not necessary in a good manner) anthology film Midnight Macabre, a solid title, but with numerous technical issues and a rough storyline from director and writer Joe Haugh, for his studio Messenger for the Damned Entertainment. Now Haugh, also in that same year of 2017 created Rain River Falls and Haunting of Leslie, though previously did Sensei Tumbleweed (2016) a sci-fi (ish) comedy movie, this reviewer personally met the filmmaker at the NJ Horror Con and Film Festival in September 2017. As one tries to understand the basis for this movie, they need to know a bit of history concerning the independent market before it actually became the indie market, a company entitled Alternative Cinema with a sub-division known as Seduction Cinema, ultra low-budgeted movies with a lot T&A. The filmmaker, noted he mentioned the name Misty Mundae (Erin Brown) to the patrons who stopped by his table at this and other conventions and learned that if one was under 30-years old they had no clue of the actress nor those flicks she had done in the past as well as about many seeking VOD interests only. Midnight Macabre is not a parody nor a horror comedy of those films, which had titles such as Vampire Strangler (1999), Night of the Groping Dead (2001), Lust for Dracula (2004), although she since appeared in Bill Zebub’s Dickshark (2016) and Manny Serrano’s Theta States (2017). Oh how one wishes it was, instead of this nightmarish disaster.
AUTOPSY OF THE FILM
Although the film clocks in at 73-minutes, it doesn’t flow at a crisp rate, rather staggering to the finishing line, like that of a famished zombie, though that’s a bit of an insult to zombies in general, the movie falls beneath that of Seduction Cinema, as those movies had some depth to them. Midnight Macabre follows the general theme of an anthology film, a very brief intro by the host Mistress of Macabre (Kerri Taylor, who starred in Kill the Scream Queen (2004) and The Family (2011)) and a quick finale, finishing with 5-minutes of credits and all on a DVD-R disc. The three tales all take a dark path on the supernatural side, though none of them are very good, in fact the first story drags on the longest and just hurts the horror mentality. Also, speaking of horror, none truly exists, no actual blood loss, what does exist a lot of T&A for no apparent reason.
The first story entitled ‘Midnight Macabre’ has three women retelling a local legend of a group people who played a game involving the goofiest séance ever, but not funny, and they all ended up vanishing. As they talk about it they drink to pay a more authentic dedication to the original storyline (HUH?), as the dark forces of reject spooky world await their arrival or departure or whatever. Seriously though, trying to make sense of this beginning of the tale is very difficult, but that’s sometimes the task of a reviewer, one character named Jamie, who wears Nightmare Before Christmas’ Jack Skellington homage items sits between Connie and Maria, who drink what appears as CIROC Vodka. The short version of what occurs, telling the story, showing the story, flashing naked breasts, cut back to the telling, cut to showing, and then flashing again, repeat and repeat, before finally nestling into the actual story which never makes any sense. Now let’s break that down further, Danielle (Nadia White) awaits the arrival of her friend Lisa (B.J. Wolfpuncher), while sitting in a room identical to the room that Jamie and her friends were telling the story in. After a brief chat with Lisa, Danielle states she’s going for a shower, cut to a close up of her showering, revealing full frontal nudity for no reason, (whoopee). She returns to the couch quick and dried off too, one hears the knock, cut to the front door and sees John and Chris knock for the first time as they approach the door (yes, a minor continuity issue). More jump cuts and editing issues continue from a dog magically appearing on a couch to another friend Melanie weird sitting and shifting, then lots of drinking, weird cam angle, the guys keep getting up to get more booze, weird metal overlay music, girls all doing breast flashing. Wait stranger yet still try to follow this then suddenly appearing test tube shooters which Lisa and Melanie mouth grab out of Danielle’s cleavage and she then gets a shooter from Melanie’s breasts. Then cut back to Jamie telling of the story then girls flash each other their bra cover breasts and cut to story #1 with Danielle and Melanie flashing again, more drinking close up goes out of focus. Basically, it becomes T&A, drinking, cut scene, jump cut, T&A, drinking, cut, jump cut and repeat… Spoiler alert, ending with weird growling voices, demonic glowing eyes and the Jamie and her friends finding evil through another séance.
The first story takes the longest to complete the second called ‘3 AM’ which is clearly a reference to many other horror movies at the time the demonic forces become the most alive for it inverse with the crucifixion of Jesus. However, not so with this story where television ghost hunters visit a home supposedly haunted and document the paranormal events. The 2-man team enters without any equipment but once inside they adjust their equipment to record (another continuity error, but who’s counting). The homeowner Wayne has ghosts the hunters called a psychic name Nikolai, meanwhile the story contains cut scenes to a confessional camera, why no reason for it, can’t the ghost attack them too. A weird fog sfx on screen ends the ghost hunting series, thanks to the Mistress of Macabre’s insight on this. Finally, the last storyline called ‘A Soul was Sold’ basically about selling your soul to the devil for a cheap price, not for fame or fortune, rather a naïve reason, but it does contain a scene of Nora showering with the curtain wide open, for no actual reason, another cheap thrill of T&A.
CAUSES OF DEATH
The numerous jump cuts, and continuity issues all assist in the downfall, if they were intentional and done to parody films like it perhaps then a success, but it all lacks cohesion and a general storyline, hence dragging a movie downward further. The performances easily forgotten, no award-winning hits here, not even a Razzie, as the dialogue fails miserably and while an abundance of nudity is shown on screen none of it worthwhile.
SUMMARY FROM INVESTIGATOR:
First don’t try to lump the film into the exploitation market of erotic horror, definitely not there, no eroticism included in the production, just because a film contains shower scenes and breast flashing, does not qualify in that category. While horror, especially the slasher subgenre had the typical T&A, it had some reason for it, herein none exists, if you seek this venture over to Tumblr or countless other sites which cater to those desires, but for the rest which seek horror look elsewhere immediately. Therefore, time to return this flick back to the blackness of the unmarked grave in the Land of DOA.
IMDb Rating: -/10
Baron’s Rating: 1.7/10