Night Life (1989)
PLOT - Archie is a young teenager in a small town with hopes of someday leaving it far behind. Working part time at his uncle's mortuary, he's constantly harassed by a group of popular kids from his school. One stormy night he learns that the same group that used to bully him have all died in a terrible car accident. Left alone for the night to prep the bodies, a freak lighting storm hits causing the dead to rise!
LOWDOWN - Critters has been one of my all time favorite little gems of the 80's ever since I was little. I still remember when I was super into the TV show ER and being stunned that Bradley Brown was playing one of the new doctors! Bradley Brown is of course played by the ever likable redhead Scott Grimes who has been in the business for over thirty years as a character actor. We were treated to his character returning in the odd ball Critters II, his role on the short lived Dee Wallace Stone TV show Together We Stand, and more recently The Ridley Scott version of Robin Hood. Well, right around Scott's Critters' 2 era, he appeared in another horror movie. This one of course being Night Life. Not to be confused with the vampire film of this same name. Night Life was released at the tail end of the 1980's, and I FINALLY ended up watching the whole entire thing yesterday when I popped in my tape into the VCR while I was working on my office prepping for Rock & Shock. I honesty can't remember when I got this tape, it was a while ago and I do remember being completely sparked when I found it since the film is currently out of print and impossible to find. I have read up on this film before when I picked up a back issue from the 1980's when it made the front cover. Curious about it, I finally decided that nothing would quite put me in the October state of mind more than a nice cheesy 80's zombie movie.
The 80's was splattered with zombie movie (Return Of The Living Dead, Day Of The Dead, ect.) Some wonderful, some not so wonderful. Long before all of this Walking Dead bullshit, the 1980's truly were the heyday of the living dead thanks to 1984's Thriller. This film sadly got swept up under the rug since zombies and horror were slowly dying out as the decade ended (pun intended.) For some strange reason, this movie reminded me of a film that was released the very same year called Deadly Weapon (maybe it was the setting, or the fact there were asshole teenagers in it picking on the lead.) Whatever the reason was that made me think of this, I could see Night Life and Deadly Weapon making a great double feature!
Now I really do want to give this movie a second watch since I was working at the desk the entire time it was on. Still, I got the basic idea and really did enjoy this movie. It captured the fun old fashion feel of the late 80's, and brings me back to a more simple time when I used to be brought to the video store to rent movies like this. With a great setting of the mortuary, and some truly awesome gross effects (the axe to the head was great!) The transfer on my tape was pretty fuzzy (which means I would love to see this movie get the DVD or blu-ray treatment someday (wishful thinking, I know.) Still, as hard as some scenes were to see, this film was fast paced, and had some real intense moments. The sort of film you might show some preteens at a sleep over to warm them up getting into horror. All and all, it's a few favorite of mine and a must to watch around this time of year!
3 1/2 stars!