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MIDNIGHT MOVIE: KILLER CUT
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Jack Messitt

Starring:
Rebekah Brandes
Daniel Bonjour
Mandell Maughan
Greg Cirulnick
Stan Ellsworth

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
A dude made a scary movie a long time ago. Apparently, it was his vehicle to display his love of scaring people. Unfortunately he also went crazy and was committed to a hospital, because of his obsession with the film. One day he is forced to watch it again as a part of his treatment. He kills himself and apparently everyone in the hospital. Now a theatre full of 7 teenagers, a biker couple, a detective and a doctor are watching this midnight movie for the first time in ages. Could the killer be on his way back for more?
Is it good movie?
In case you don't remember or this review seems overly familiar to you, you have a great memory and notice that I have indeed reviewed this movie before. And if your memory isn't so sharp, you can see my original thoughts on the original cut of this film here. I liked the original cut of the film and thought that despite a few genre pitfalls and cliches, it was an enjoyable and bloody watch that paid homage to its slasher roots.

And here we are again, three years later with a new "Killer Cut" of the film, which I'll do my best to report on. My only issue here is that I don't have the original cut anymore, so I can't be as specific as I'd like, so bear with me.The main plot is still more or less the same. The filmmaker is still locked away in a mental asylum for the film he's made, and manages to turn the doctor who's attending to him on his side. The whole crew at the hospital is still torn to shreds and this scene undoubtedly works. This opening scene feels different and is better realized. In terms of the main meat of the film, it remains almost exactly the same, from what I remember.

There are still all kinds of stereotypical characters, like Harley the rude Gus biker (who really had my in stiches), alongside the two 'anchor' couples, Bridget and Josh (the superficial jerks) and our heroes Mario and Samantha. Also showing up to get offed are the nerdy Sully who feels unwanted and knows all about the movie, and the detective who's eagerly awaiting the arrival of the crazed director, Detective Barrons.  My criticisms, I think, are still pretty valid. I had originally complained a bit that the movie should have stayed closer to slasher roots, rather than becoming a ghost story when it seems most convenient. On top of that, the killer does still use that unwieldy hand drill thing, but he undoubtedly still makes good use of it when the time calls for it. The kills are great, full of gore and nastiness. Our murderer is still the same killer with the same scary half skull-mask deal, and he still comes out of the whole Texas Chainsaw-esque movie.

In terms of the things I did notice, I can undoubtedly say that this movie simply looks and feels like a more professional effort. Some gore effects have been enhanced (from the looks of things, anyway), as well as a lot of the other effects. This really helps a lot because some of my previous criticisms came from poor effects surrounding what I thought were poor plot decisions (and I'm not talking solely about gore, but about 'coming out of the film' effects and other such things. From what I understand, there were some editing decisions made to help smooth out the film and to be completely honest, I didn't notice a ton of them. The movie did feel like a far more finished package, but there wasn't a ton of stuff going on that I pointed out as being super different. And yes, the little kid brother in this film still makes me cringe. Oh, and Rebekah Brandes?...Still super hot.
Video / Audio
Video is presented in 16:9 widescreen and looks really good, almost like they reshot the whole thing. To be fair, the last copy of this film I had was a screener, so I notice a big difference but even if I'd never seen it before this picture looks great.

Audio is mixed in Dolby 5.1 and packs a clear, crisp punch. Love it!

The Extras
First up is a brief 7 minute featurette with the Creative Team of the film, interviewing the director, producer writer and other people involved with the film. It's totally promotional material and is essentially trying to sell you on the film rather than display any real meat. They do discuss a sequel though!

Following that, you've got a matching 8 minute featurette with the film's cast, again discussing the plot and what interested them in the project. Still not much substance here, but fun enough to watch once.

There's also a storyboard comparison which talks about re-shooting some of the footage that the director wanted to bring it all together for this killer cut. This was a cool featurette that talks about how the director was able to shoot all the extra stuff he needed in one day, although the storyboards are crude and somewhat hilarious. Director Jack Messitt is fun to listen to though so it's all good.

You'll also find a storyboard/vfx comparison that does essentially the exact same thing that the last featurette does, except with the movie's gory effects sequences. More fun stuff.

Destroying the illusion is more effects details that essentially does just that, it destroys the illusion. This is some detailed stuff that goes through some of the nastier scenes of the flick and is helpfully once again narrated by Messitt. If there's anything I love about horror extras, it's effects stuff so I found this enjoyable. It runs about 15 minutes long.

There are also some outtakes, but they only run a little over a minute and detail only what happens when a door just isn't working. One's scary and the other's kind of funny, but this isn't much.

A couple of deleted scenes featuring the original Kenny (who got replaced after the movie got halted in production) are included for posterity's sake.

Finally, there's a director's commentary with Jack Messitt. The guy's really honest, entertaining and candid about his film and that makes for an interesting and compelling commentary, for the most part.

Rounding out the disc are some trailers for Aphrodisiac, Grind, Gore, The Killer Cut and The Dark Beneath (the fake film in the movie).
Last Call
If you want to get my full opinion of Midnight Movie, check out my original review here.. This version is the way the director intended people to see it and it seems to work a bit better, but I'm not certain it warrants a full re-release. If you don't have this film, you should certainly pick up this version of it as it is fully featured and simply looks and feels better, just don't expect a radically different film.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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