bloodsuckers originating from Saudi Arabia have taken over the world!
No, we're not talking about the Saudi royal family here. Or any of the oil
sheik buddies of George W. ("most of the terrorists
including bin Laden
responsible for the September 11 World Trade Center attacks were
Saudi citizens, so let's invade Iraq then!") Bush.
We're talking actual vampires here, in a low, low budget movie titled
This is the type of movie that would result if you and your student
buddies all got together and over a few beers decide to make a movie.
I can imagine the film-makers arguing whose family members and friends
would star and at whose house they'd film a particular scene.
No, seriously. You think I'm being nasty here, but Midnight Mass
most resembles a high school play, one staged by the Goth kids and Marilyn
Manson fans who usually get blamed for high school shootings and the like.
This suspicion is borne out by the very cheap making-of featurette
included on the DVD: the director and most of his crew
are the folks that would run your local comic book store or tattoo
parlour. The ones you'd see in mosh pits on Friday nights, head banging
away to Metallica.
Strangely enough the movie's attitude towards Goth kids and the like are
quite negative. (Don't look at me: I used to hang out with them in my
youth. These are my people, damn it!) In Midnight Mass, Goth kids
are the villains, riding around in an old 1970?s car in day time, picking
up victims for their vampire overlords.
heroes include a priest who resembles Gary from thirtysomething
(the long-haired dude who resembled Bjorn Borg, remember?) and his female
sidekick, described in some of the publicity material as a ?militant
You can be sure by the time the movie's over that she would have realised
her mistake and have realised there is a god after all.
Who is really behind this movie? The Christian right, or what?
The hot-looking priest and his sidekick return to his old church. It has
been taken over by a group of vampires who drink the blood of human
victims in ritualistic fashion. Our heroes decide to reclaim the church
and soon the scene is set for a climax straight out of Night of the
Living Dead . . .
Now, don't get me wrong: I've never been one to disparage movies because
of their low budgets. Heck, among my favourite movies are cheapo efforts
such as Dark Star (a film student movie, fer
out loud!), A Boy and his Dog and so
But most movies made independently of the Hollywood system are made that
way because they try something that safe Hollywood would never even touch.
Mass however has nothing new to say: it is The
Omega Man, Night of the Living Dead with the cast of The
In the post-apocalypse people will still have time to keep water features
running, hoisting flags, going to the beach and the like. Also, in a
world overrun by deadly vampires people
would still go around cycling alone at night!
In fact the movie is way too ambitious for its own good. The actors can't
carry the overly dramatic scenes and end up being unintentionally camp.
"Fu&*ing drama queen,"? a character snarls towards the end of Midnight
Mass. I couldn't have said it better myself . . .
Midnight Mass just screams for a real budget, real actors and a
real screenplay. Maybe then it wouldn't have been so patently amateurish
and ridiculous (it is REALLY like a high school play!). Or if it had
displayed the same sense of humour that helped the Evil Dead movies
to transcend their cheapie horror roots.
There are no Sam Ramie's, Bruce Campbell's or John Carpenter's here: I'd
recommend everyone involved with this movie to stick to their day jobs.
Oh yeah, except for whosever naked boobs
we got to see during the movie (hence the one star rating instead
of a zero). They were quite nice . . .
THE DISC: Image is okay for such a cheap movie, except for the dark
scenes in which some visible compression artefacting can be seen. The
sound is muffled or tinny at times. The ?making-of? featurette was
probably made on someone's handheld video cam: the picture is grainy and
there are some vertical stripes typical of video tapes. There is also a
production commentary ? at least there are some extras I suppose. The
outtakes and bloopers are also moderately funny.
WORTH IT? No amount of boobies, no matter how nice they are, can
make up for the time you'd lose on this movie.
RECOMMENDATION: Buy a copy of Big ?n? Bouncy instead . . .