Cult Film Club Episode 21: The Midnight Hour

Welcome back Ghouls and Boils to our 2nd annual Cult Film Club Halloween Special. This year Jaime, Paxton and Shawn are covering their first made-for-TV cult flick, the 1985 ABC Special Presentation of The Midnight Hour!

Might Night Hour TV Guide 1985

Starring Lee Montgomery, Shari Belafonte, LeVar Burton, Peter DeLuise, Dedee Pfeifer, Kevin McCarthy, and Jonelle Allen, the film centers on five teens on Halloween in the city of Pitchford Cove. After breaking into a local museum to “borrow” some 300 year-old costumes and a trunk full of spooky artifacts for their Halloween party the kids inadvertently invoke a centuries old curse that opens the gates of hell and brings a horde of the living dead, monsters and ghosts descending upon the town. Can Phil and his lovely ghost girlfriend Sandy stop their murderous rampage before the bell tolls the Midnight Hour?!?

In this episode we dig into the film, discussing the great Halloween ambiance, the classic rock soundtrack, the 80s era homages, and our favorite characters and actors.

Listen now!

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(Or right-click and save this file to download -> Cult Film Club, Episode #21: The Midnight Hour)

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You can also join our not-so-exclusive but totally rad club so you can know which movie(s) we’ll be discussing next and watch along with us.

Also, we wanted to give a special shout out to a couple of our friends who also coincidentally landed on covering The Midnight Hour this Halloween season, Vic Sage with his Saturday Night Frights Retroist Podcast and Doug McCoy and his wife who cover the flick on their Never Seen It Podcast!

  • http://www.shezcrafti.com/ ShezCrafti

    I’m glad I was able to introduce you guys to something cool, finally!

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      :) This and the Worst Witch would make a pretty amazing Halloween night double feature…

      • Paxton Holley

        OMFG GREAT CALL, SHAWN!!!

  • Paxton Holley

    Wait, that newspaper ad is bizarre. How long are those zombie arms? And did that scene ever happen? Who is that chick? Is she supposed to be Sandy? I’m so confused now.

    Yes, Jaime, thank you so much for introducing me to this. I loved every 80s second of it.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Yeah, apparently Stretch Armstrong also died in Pitchford Cove at some point and was resurrected that night. And that’s Sandy’s older sister Samantha who fought Stretch in a deleted scene. At least that’s what’s in my fan fiction…

      • Paxton Holley

        If I could vote this up twice I’d do it. That sounds amazing. I think you just wrote the prequel movie.

  • http://www.junkfed.com/ Junk Fed

    So, I did my CFC homework, and sought out this movie before listening to the podcast. I didn’t think I’d seen it, but it turns out I had, Scene by scene it all came flooding back in a wholly enjoyable warm fuzzy, kind of way. It aired the year I graduated from a plastic Ben Cooper masks to a rubber and hair Wolf Man mask. I bet that I begged the adults in the house to let me watch this when it originally aired, and now I’m feeling a little guilty for that as I doubt that they got as much out of it as I did. But what a great flick for young Halloween junkies. Watching it now it certainly feels dated, though i don’t mark this as a detriment, but rather a pleasant time warp (a nod to Shawn). Great call on the parallel to The Woman in White opening, Jamie.

    Some thoughts:

    I love that the Pitchford Cove gang are all high school students in their late 20s to mid 30s. Par for the course in the 80s, I suppose.

    I feel like an ABC exec had just gotten around to seeing the Thriller video, and tasked his minions to throw together something similar. Get Dead!

    This movie offers a few great opportunities for a drinking game. Every time you hear the Wilhelm Scream, Vinnie alludes to being from New York, or spot a K-Mart fright wig, you take a drink.

    Why hasn’t Kurtwood Smith aged?

    Even for a made-for-TV-movie, it seemed full of odd character motives and weird tonal shifts. Other than meeting a number of Halloweeny requirements, not much of it made sense. Also, Dick Van Patten.

    Great episode, and great pick guys. Definitely a so-bad-it’s-good experience. I watched this over the weekend in a double feature with The Dark Night of the Scarecrow, another great (but considerably darker) Halloween-time made-for-TV gem from 1981.

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      First off, awesome :) Second, Kurtwood Smith, much like Ian Mckellan, was born as a 48 year-old man.

      I need to check out Dark Night of the Scarecrow, and I also need to rewatch those Mr. Boogity TV movies too. I also think this would pair well with Saturday the 14th.

      As for the ages, I think only Peter DeLuise was a teen at the time. Lee Montgomery was like 27!

      • http://www.junkfed.com/ Junk Fed

        Dark Night of the Scarecrow is definitely worth watching. It scared me silly when I first saw it. It’s up on YouTube

  • Pingback: 30 Things We LOVE About…The Midnight Hour! | Cult Film Club

  • Brandon Hixson

    I remastered the film from DVD and posted the entire film on youtube. One of my faves from my childhood. I remember it airing from 85 to at least 1988. I recorded it in 1987

    • http://www.brandedinthe80s.com/ Shawn Robare

      Cool! Yeah, we eventually broke down and bought the DVD, but I love it when folks like you care about keeping a film alive and upload it like that. Very cool!

  • Brandon Hixson

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCU_vEuZH3g Here is the version that I restored. I think it looks great!