ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Night (2004)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Byron C. Miller

Starring:
Shawn LaTang/Jimi
John Hardy/Mike
Melanie Ginnett/Tonia
Ronny Vega/Luther
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
David Boreanaz Light look-a-like Detective Mike Jericho (Hardy) is turned into a vampire by a sexy sucker (Ginnett). It’s up to his best pal and partner (LaTang) to save his now "fanged & loving it" derriere. A problem solved in a hail of fists and bullets? Well some…
THE LOWDOWN
I get this re-occurring nightmare every 3 months or so. It’s about a delicious looking Big Mac resting on a silver plate within an empty room. I stroll into the room butt naked, pick up the gorgeous sandwich, sink my choppers into it to then find out that…there’s no meat or any of that addictive “Mayo” inside! HOLY, I BE SCREWED RIDDLER! I usually wake up in a cold sweat, right there! Watching NIGHT gave me "Nam Flashbacks" to that peculiar reverie.

NIGHT was a low budget flick that sported an interesting premise and ambitions beyond its means. Although a "low budget" can often weaken a film's impact, in this case it wasn't the lack of che-ching that hindered my viewing. More on that later. On a positive note, running at a brisk pace, I can’t say that this sit down was ever tedious to live through. Thankfully the ship’s Captain, writer/director Byron C. Miller didn’t pull any punches in his visual execution of his tale. Result; the look of the affair often compensated for the lack of “Puppy Chow” within the narrative. Enthusiastic, kinetic and colorful; the images at hand made it all painless to sit through. When the story or the characters weren’t talking to me, I’d just marvel at the clever use of quick cuts, respected the striving camera shots, grooved to the slick montages and tripped out to the slew of bright color tones that were spread about. This baby looked good! Think Goth/MTV! I'm happy to report that Miller also wrangled the low budget horse to submission when it came to the goods! Although the gore and physical get-downs were at times a bit “off” due to low coin, I easily forgave the flick for that, too busy being impressed by the red slosh, the fisticuffs choreographies and the flashy “gun play” that were pulled off none the less. Good work to all!

So what was the snag then? For me? Mostly the script and the players at play. This bat out of hell was fairly talky and character driven but sadly for all its hefty bla-bla, I didn’t get much, if anything out of it. It didn’t help matters that I never got emotionally involved on any level in the bond that both lead cops shared. Since it was the driving force behind the story; I felt cold throughout. Our protagonist’s character arc was also wasted, where he turned into a blood sucker and started killing in the blink of blink. There was no gripping transition, no momentum to the crucial turn, no real inner conflict… it just happened "oh hum", hence I just didn’t a monkey's ass. The same can be said about the latter's relationship with the Vamp broad that started it all. Their “lovey-dovey”, “I wanna bang you” routine was never delved into far enough for it to affect me one way or another and their shared chemistry was flatter than Kiera Knightly stuck under Roseanne Barr after one of her visits at those all you can eat buffets. Lastly, the vampire pack that populated the film failed to leave an impression on me. Apart from a select few (Luther and Nathaniel stood out), most of them were criminally boring while lacking presence and acting chops. This was no Near Dark gang that’s for damn sure!

So when was all said and sucked dry, NIGHT didn’t have me gander at the emergency suicide gun resting on my dresser where its fly visuals and high energy thankfully saved me from that. But at the same time it never succeeded in hooking me into its substance, resulting in a somewhat detached viewing from yours truly. So you gonna chomp into this or you just gonna stand there with your dick in my Ex?
GORE
We get some vampire bites, an axe in the head, an impaling and blood here and there. Nothing major but enough to please.
ACTING
Shawn LaTang (Jimi) was on and off in terms of his delivery but his endearing presence kept him likeable throughout. John Hardy (Mike) did okay in most places but I just couldn’t buy him as a “tough cop”. Wasn’t virile enough for me and he a held a gun in an awkward way! Melanie Ginnett (Tonia) had her seductive and deadly part down pat! Good show girl! Ronny Vega (Luther) really impressed me where his part wasn’t much on paper but his charisma and focus turned him into a compelling character. Kelly Wheaver (Nathaniel) performed smart; he underplayed it while retaining the “intent” behind his lines. Get the guy a beer!
T & A
A pierced Goth like chick shows us her tetons and the crowd goes wild! The ladies get John Hardy’s butt/chest and Shawn LaTang (great name) shirtless. NOTE: I was let down by the key sex scene where the girl kept being covered up but the male bum kept popping up to say hello. Not my brand of TV Dinner!
DIRECTING
Byron C. Miller covered all of his bases and showed much promise! I’m talking: filters galore, quick cuts, inventive shots, a far out use of colors and editing tighter than a virgin’s yap! As Darth Vader said to Luke in Empire Strikes Back: “Impressive, most impressive, Obi-Wan has taught you well.”
SOUNDTRACK
The score was comprised of tight Techno/Industrial tunes by bands of the likes of: God Module, Hocico and Grendel. Me likey a lot!
BOTTOM LINE
Now that I think of it, NIGHT was at its core a lot like Near Dark. Guy gets turned into a vamp, joins bloodsucker club-house while somebody that loves him is trying to find and save him. Difference is, Near Dark capitalized on its key plot turns, its love story, its vampire gang and its many relationships, NIGHT didn’t. It just glazed over everything, with the occasional shoddy acting popping up to make matters worse. Thankfully the engrossing visual style, the random tight action scenes and the leg tapping tunes barged in to often save the day. I’m maybe half and half on this helping of Nosfera-guns but one thing is for certain; Director B. Miller has talent and is one to keep tabs on. Now somebody give him some real money! Let’s see what he can do with his Berretta fully loaded!
BULL'S EYE
The flick was shot on the Cannon GL1.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL NIGHT WEBSITE

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