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One Dark Night (1983)

  Tags: 80's, Adam West, David Mason Daniels, Donald Hotton, Elizabeth Daily, hidden gem, Leslie Speights, mausoleum, Meg Tilly, Melissa Newman, One Dark Night, Robin Evans, Tom McLoughlin, underrated

Your rating: None Average: 6 (2 votes)
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Tom McLoughlin
94 minutes
Meg Tilly, Melissa Newman, Robin Evans, Leslie Speights, Donald Hotton, Elizabeth Daily, David Mason Daniels, Adam West

I've been hunting this film down for years until it was finally released on DVD. Before the release horror hounds like me would have to search for an old used VHS copy in various auction sites. The film has been described as "creepy" and "scary", which I suppose may be true to those viewing it in the early 80's, but compared to today's audience it may be described more as "dull" or "slow paced". I personally found the movie pretty slow for the first half, but when the girl finally goes into the mausoleum the pace gradually picks up. I didn't think anything in the movie was scary, but what happens towards the end to our victims is a little freaky, so I'll give it that. Also, director Tom McLoughlin captures the right mood and atmosphere during certain scenes that I'm sure would have given some chills.

The film basically follows two groups of characters -- one is a young girl named Julie (Meg Tilly), who wants to prove to a group of girls in a club called "The Sisters" that she's got what it takes to join the club, despite her not being in the "in crowed". The other group is a husband and wife couple, where the wife is a daughter of a recently deceased powerful psychic. After his death, a number of questions have been brought up, especially since his body was found with a number of others. We later learn that he discovered a way to suck the life-force out of people, which grants him great power, and after his death his power somehow grows even stronger.

Back to Meg Tilly's character, she finally has one last step to prove that she can make it in the club, which just so happens to be spending the night in a mausoleum that now houses the body of the psychic. Thinking they can scare the hell out of the eager Julie, the girls’ dawn Halloween masks and props, and set out to the mausoleum. It doesn't take long before the psychic's powers escape his coffin and awaken the dozens of rotting corpses that lay side-by-side, leaving the deceased man's daughter possibly the only one to put a stop to the madness.

For an 80's movie this film surprisingly focuses more on building the story rather than the typical cheesy deaths and T&A to keep the pace going. For those patient enough to watch the first half of the film you might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome. I know I was. I wanted to like the movie more, and I seriously considered a 7-rating, but I just couldn't get into the slow-pacing as much as I wanted to.

An underrated 80's movie that doesn't rely on cheesy deaths and gratuitous nudity to keep the audience's attention. Check this if you're looking for an above-average B-flick.

Posted on September 4, 2010 - 4:18pm | FrighT MasteR