02 September 2014

Violent Midnight (1963)
90 min.
Directed by Richard Hilliard.
With Lee Philips, Shepperd Strudwick, Jean Hale, Lorraine Rogers, Margot Hartman, Dick Van Patten, James Farentino, Kaye Elhardt, Sylvia Miles.
This low budget slasher from 1963 is certainly worth viewing.

Having killed his father in a hunting accident, disturbed painter Elliot Freeman (Philips) is unquestionably a troubled soul.

So, when young women from nearby Belmont College begin turning up cold dead at the hands of a black-gloved knife-wielding killer, Elliot seems the most likely suspect.

But what about hot-headed local hood Farentino?

Or Freeman's shifty attorney Strudwick? Is there more here than meets the eye?

Mixing a moody '60s drive-in vibe with a formula that prophesies the popular '80s bodycount subgenre, Violent Midnight is well acted by an adept cast including early turns from Farentino (1981's Dead & Buried) and Miles (1977's The Sentinel).

A tad rough in spots, this still has more going for it than most, namely a surprisingly nasty offing for Dolores (Elhardt) and also a well done revelation/climax.

Special mention goes to Rogers for her spunky performance as the bitchy sex kitten Alice.

Also known as Psychomania.

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