Midnight Movies

Movie Review by Neil Sadler

Starring: George Romero, John Waters, David Lynch, Alexandro Jodorowsky

Director: Stuart Samuels

Any documentary that attempts to define what a cult movie is could set itself up for a fall. This thoroughly enjoyable doc manages to sidestep this potential fault thanks mainly to its light tone and the great mixture of films and interviews it covers. It doesn’t really tie itself down to any definition but looks at how a few maverick directors have managed to bypass the main studio output and create their own genre-bending films and find an audience.

From horror to musicals to the gross-out bizarreness of PINK FLAMINGOS, this makes a feature out of the sheer diversity of the material covered. What is always obvious is the passion that these mavericks have for what they produce and their determination to produce films that were informed by their love of cinema and yet also utterly unlike the mainstream films being produced at the time.

It helps that directors such as John Waters and Richard O’Brien are such fun interviewees – even though their enthusiasm isn’t always matched by their talent or budget but this is a great introduction to a vast mix of films and genres.

Although this may not necessarily warrant repeated DVD viewing included with the DVD are both NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and REEFER MADNESS – both very good examples of the type of MIDNIGHT MOVIES discussed. The inclusion of ERASERHEAD and PINK FLAMINGOS (or even the first EVIL DEAD) would have perhaps have been the true icing on the cake though.

5 out of 6 stars

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