Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Night Shadows - 1984

Also known as Mutant.

I had an awesome day the other day.  Work was a breeze, went by fast, then I came home, had good sex with the wife, bought a different and tasty dinner, watched the rest of Jupiter Ascending (I'd give it 3 stars for trying) and the wife went to sleep.  Then I cracked a King Cobra 40, and chose a film directed by John "Bud" Cardos, the guy behind the phenomenal The Day Time Ended - my first choice was Dan Dohler, but I didn't wanna see the other movies of his.

It was a set clear contender for "best day ever" except this movie was just so boring.  I mean, it's not like this ruined my day, I just wanted it to be so much better.  Mutant / Night Shadows is one of those movies where, clocking in at 99 minutes, it felt like a good 20 minutes could've been cut off.  It's a long slow build to the last 30 minutes, which was spectacular, but you just gotta stick with it.

Night Shadows did surprise me though.  Incompetent pacing aside, the movie had good actors, good effects, a tight and realistic script, and a lot going for it.  I was genuinely surprised by a few of the plot turns, including a death that comes at about the 30 minute mark.  It helped that going in I did not know which actor was Wings Hauser, so I did not know who the main character was.  I think if you don't know, don't look it up - this is a rare case where the main character is not who you think it will be as indicated by the first 20 minutes.  I think so, anyway.

Night Shadows is the typical plot of a couple dudes rollin in on a small town, and taking up with some local weirdos.  Turns out the town has an infection going around and just about anyone could secretly be a mutant.  Hold on, wait.  Wings Hauser....deadly infection....anyone could be infected...homicidal crazies....that's the exact same plot AND star as Nightmare at Noon!  Is that a remake?  I don't know.  But since both these films are kind of unknown, it probably doesn't matter anyway.  Who cares, in other words.

The premise was sound, the build up slow but in the end the movie was good.  It's kind of a classic "take the good with the bad" scenario here I suppose.  But honestly, the movie is worth it, you just gotta wait.  It doesn't help that because of the script we know what's going on way before the main character, so watching him slowly uncover it feels incredibly tedious.

Not much else to say except that I loved the ending as well, and the general rating I formulated in my head was higher than expected.  I give it points for being riffable, drinkable and smoke-able as well.
In the end, 3.5 stars.

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