One Dark Night: Collectorís Edition [Blu-ray]
(Meg Tilly, E.G. Daily, Adam West, Melissa Newman, et al / Blu-ray / PG / (1982) 2021 / MVD Visual)
Overview: World renowned psychic Raymar is found dead after announcing that he had uncovered the secret of how to become even more powerful in death by the use of telekinetic powers.
At the same time, two high school girls plan an initiation night for their friend Julie (Meg Tilly, The Big Chill), who is determined to shed her goody-goody image. Her test is to spend the night locked in the crypt Ė the same one that Raymar has been buried in that very day.
The crypt soon becomes a battlefield of horror involving unmated special effects with vaults cracking and exploding open, coffins sliding out and splintering open to release decayed corpses at Raymarís bidding.
The climatic surprise ending will chill the audience and consume them with terror in this shocking tale of horror from writer/director Tom McLoughlin (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives) that takes you beyond fear!
Blu-ray Verdict: As noted, famous and mysterious recluse Raymar, whoís some kind of lethal telekinetic psychic vampire, abruptly dies under bizarre circumstances.
Nice girl high school student Julie Wells (a warm and sympathetic performance by the lovely Meg Tilly) wants desperately to be accepted by the snobby clique the Sisters (played to sublimely bitchy perfection by Leslie Speights, Robin Evans and the ever-cuddly Elizabeth Daily), so she agrees to spend a night in a creepy mausoleum where Raymarís body has been interred as part of an initiation rite.
Naturally, Raymar still has his extraordinary powers, so itís going to be a very long and harrowing night of pure nerve-wracking terror for poor Julie.
Director/co-screenwriter Tom McLoughlin (who later gave us the enjoyably tongue-in-cheek Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives) eschews graphic gore in favor of creating a brooding and eerie atmosphere, but fails to pull this particular feat off because the first hour is way too slow, talky and uneventful to be remotely scary or suspenseful.
However, I nonetheless still found this flawed fright flick to be oddly appealing and entertaining. The big poofy hairdos, a goofy music montage sequence, badly timed false scares (including the ubiquitous hand on the shoulder gag!), a scene at a glittery video game arcade, kids gleefully smoking pot, and the hilariously dumb teen slang (nerdle brain!) give this picture a certain endearingly quaint 80ís period charm.
Hal Trussellís handsome, polished cinematography (I especially dug the smoothly gliding Steadicam tracking shots), Bob Summersí spooky, yet funky hum íníshiver synthesizer score, and Tom Burmanís splendidly ghoulish make-up f/x are all up to snuff.
The ever-stolid Adam West of TVís Batman fame merely takes up space in a nothing secondary part. The mausoleum makes for an impressively vast and unsettling main location.
The grand finale with a bunch of ghastly rotting corpses popping out of their coffins and floating about qualifies as a marvelously macabre shock set piece.
Sure, this baby definitely ainít some unjustly unsung gem, but it still delivers plenty of pleasingly silly and diverting cheesy fun all the same. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with this slew of Special Features:
High Definition (1080p) presentation of the main feature in 1.78:1 aspect ratio
Audio: LPCM 2.0 Mono
Audio commentary with Director & Co-Writer Tom McLoughlin and Producer Michael Schroeder
Audio commentary with Director & Co-Writer Tom McLoughlin and writer Michael Hawes
Interview with Director Tom McLoughlin
Interview with Actress E.G Daily
Interview with Actress Nancy Mott
Interview with Cinematographer Hal Trussell
Interview with Production Designer Craig Stearns
Interview with Producer Michael Schroeder
Interview with Special Effects crew member Paul Clemens
Alternate Directorís Cut / Work Print Version of the film (SD, 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio)
Behind the Scenes Footage
Paul Clemens Photo Gallery
Original Theatrical Trailer
Official Movie Trailer
Official Purchase Link