Friday, May 23, 2014

Home Before Midnight (Redemption/Kino Blu-ray) - BEWARE... Sexy Eight Tracks Afoot

Sometimes I read the back cover before I watch movies. Other times I leave it all to chance. With Home Before Midnight as directed by the great Pete Walker in one of his last movies and now brought you by Redemption/Kino I did not read anything about it. I loved the title and the cover art that featured a Roman Polanski looking fellow in a pair of aviators alongside a rather suspicious looking dark haired lady. So I ventured out into the wilderness of Blu-ray-hood alone and with absolutely no idea what I would be watching this morning. Redemption likes to do this to me. Even when I believe I’m going to be watching a sadomasochistic sex orgy from an obscure French filmmaker I end up in a surreal world of strangely choreographed images that end in murder and behind with the end. So there was a surprise in Home Before Midnight, certainly indicative of the kind of classic film that Pete Walker would deliver and the kind of artistic awakening that few can provide, especially under the Redemption label. 

Synopsis from Redemption:

Michael (James Aubrey, Lord of The Flies) is a successful songwriter, living the good life without a care in the world. Then along comes a hitchhiker named Ginny (Alison Elliot). Michael gives her a lift and a connection is made. Over time, they fall in love and everything seems perfect - at first. Then their age diiference comes to light. It turns out the Ginny is only fourteen years old. Soon, Ginny's parents get wind of this relationship and immediately call in the police.

And what is it I would peruse… Lo and behold on the screen before me this A.M.  a genuinely interesting picture about a hitchhiker and a guy with a ass eight track player meeting up to form a romantic tryst that is sexy and fun and full of mystery… until of course they get caught and our “hero” gets BUSTED. Not exactly the Folger’s in my cup moment I expected from a pre-breakfast movie, but it’s truly enjoyable.  I think the synopsis honestly gives too much away, but if I had read the box this morning I would have been privy to all the melancholy well in advance of my private screening. No awesome softcore sex and boobie show can make up for a trial involving an underage girl and a well intentioned cavalier knight in automotive armor. So I was disappointed only in that the eight track had to end, and  the powerful theme song based around the song title gave way to moments of drama that were frustrating and maddening.

The entire thing is a real gem in the horror eye of Pete Walker who often creates visions of pure terror rather than really real world melodramas about relationships that end up as social critiques of well intentioned social mores. It shows just how versatile Walker really can be and in 1978 nearly ten year after the summer of love gave way to a culture of fear, you might ask if it’s 10 o’clock, where are your children, and how experienced can a fourteen year old hottie really be. Home Before Midnight is certainly just as relevant today as it was in the 70’s though I might imagine a movie like Home Before Midnight might favor the argument against the songwriter cum pedophile.

The Redemption Blu-ray release comes with the trailer for this feature and a couple other Pete Walker release as well as an interview with Walker as conducted by Elijah Drenner entitled “Promiscuous Behavior”. The disc itself looks good with a few scratches and some dust but overall a fine presentation. The poster featured on the back cover is more indicative of the movie you will see. I wish they would have kept it as an alternative cover on the reverse of the one they had chosen.

Note: 1920 x 1080p 1.66:1 AR.

Definitely pair this up with Teenage Mother to give yourself the ultimately heart attack, parents. Where is your daughter tonight? Lock ‘em up. Make sure there home WELL before midnight. Fans of Pete Walker, this is something a bit different from a man who brought you the Flesh and Blood Show and Frightmare. It’s kinder. Gentler. Racier in some respects. Give it a chance though. It’s a good movie all around even when it turns from light romantic romp to the trial of the century with a magistrate who makes you wish you had aimed your Nerf gun at the screen a few seconds earlier.

-Doc Terror

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