ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Night Flier (1997)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Mark Pavia

Starring:
Miguel Ferrer/Richard
Julie Entwisle/Katherine
Dan Monahan/Merton
7 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A bitter and “take no prisoners” Tabloid reporter (the amazing Miguel Ferrer) gets more than he bargained for when the story he’s hunting down (a vampire who flies his plane from victims to victims) winds up being true and starts haunting him!
THE LOWDOWN

“Never believe what you publish...never publish what you believe.” -  Richard Dees

Based on genre pimp Stephen King’s 1988 novella of the same name, The Night Flier was a distinctive and riveting horror/mystery that had me hung by the “Hackey-Sack” most of the way, even with its shortcomings in tow. You see, much like getting a B.J. while watching The Little Mermaid, originality goes a long way for me and Night Flier bit the mark in that department. Although it sported some familiar genre conventions (like you know…a vampire doing what a vampire does) they were more often than none, played with a fresh hand .

Now, I hope you living dead guys and dolls enjoy build-up because this flick was 1 buck 30 of it! But what an easy flowing and engrossing game of “Jenga” it was! I was beyond slam-dunked by the infectious mystery, the well staged frightening scenarios (all about that bathroom scene…brrr), the straight razor ideas, the ample gory treats and the twisted chain of events. In fact, I was so freaking consumed by the macabre proceedings that I was right there in soul alongside arrogant lead, Richard “f*cking” Dees. Yup…me and Dees were real tight during this fang party! We were friends, confidants, booze partners and smoking buddies. I was backing him up like a hooker with a paddle via my undivided attention as he strolled through the valley of death. To be frank (or Pablo), Dee’s wouldn’t have been such a compelling prick/bastard to follow around if it wasn’t for actor Miguel Ferrer playing him. The dude excels at playing self-centered jerks and since I’m a bigger a-hole in real life than all of his characters put together on film, I was never turned off by the lad’s cocksure attitude. I was actually rooting for him to be a bigger jack-off than he already was where he had me in freaking stitches wholesale! WHAT A PISS ANT! LOVED HIM!

Regrettably, Night Flier didn’t bite deep enough into its own flesh for my liking. For all the knob teasing and slew of questions tossed out there, when all was said and chomped, I can’t say that I got enough answers to fully quench my hunger. I craved to know more on the vamp’s history and his motivation behind the whole plane spiel (what the subway was out that week?). And what was up with that tacky gear he was wearing? For a blood sucker that wanted to remain inconspicuous, dressing up in a generic "Dracula" get-up maybe wasn’t the best way to go! With that lifted up collar/black cape thing going on, he looked more like a drunken frat boy at a Halloween Keg Party, than the terrifying creature of the night he was supposed to be. Silly costume man…silly I say. Who dressed you up, your Mommy? COME ON!

Overall though; The Night Flier rocked n' killed as a solid chunk of genre entertainment. There were a couple of scenes in here that scarred me big time (the bathroom scene and the mammoth slaughter scene) and I thank the film for that. I was also grateful to see Miguel Ferrer (who’s usually a second banana on the big screen) lead the film with his novel brand of pizzazz. Arrow sayz: Bend this “night” over and teach it some “flying” lessons it won’t soon forget! Arrow Sings: "Sky rockets in flight... POOOO... Afternoon delight... Afternoon delight!
GORE
We get some red turbulence on this flight! Severed heads, nasty vamp bites, a groovy slashed open throat, mucho blood splashes and one hell of a slaughter aftermath (body parts all over the place).
ACTING
You’re either a Miguel Ferrer (Richard) fan or you’re not. I sure am! The man is KING at playing total “a-holes”; I actually don’t think anybody out there does better than him! So it’s no surprise that he carried this flick admirably, with presence and intensity galore! GREAT SHOW! Julie Entwisle (Katherine) looked the part, acted the part and looked the part. She worked! PORKY’S alumni Dan Monahan (Merton) relished his ‘prick redux” part and I adored watching him do it. WE LOVE YA PEE WEE!
T & A
Young Phoebe Cates knock-off Julie Entwisle should’ve taken off her clothes for the benefit of mankind; alas she didn’t so I had to resort to “imagining” her naked throughout…it worked for me! The ladies get the blood suckers lamo cape!
DIRECTING
Pavia directed with a firm hand, with a delicious axis towards gloomy atmosphere, bluish tints, clever scene transitions (loved the cape effect) and a couple of wild "embrace the gore" shots (all about that 90 degree pan around the slit throat). I dug it the most! Where is this guy at? DO MORE HORROR BRO!
SOUNDTRACK
The morose score by Brian Keane hit the horror G-Spot! Furthermore I was real happy to hear a ditty by My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult boom out! GOOD SHITE!
BOTTOM LINE
The Night Flier experience was akin to hitting one of those Asian “massage parlors”, paying that extra 20 beans for “special services” and getting the best damn, lubed up hand-job that you can think of. It was pleasurable the whole way but with one major snag; the climax was too thin and swift. I wanted to rain mountains when all was said and done, not driblets. Hopefully for the sequel they’ll give us more answers and have the vamp lose the tacky Count Chocula outfit. With that aside; this underrated fanged snack was definitely worth my time via its originality, unnerving bits, red wet moments, a smooth pacing and a wondrous lead player (Ferrer owns!). Highly recommended!
BULL'S EYE
The Night Flier Part 2 is presently in development

The flick was shot in North Carolina, USA.
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