Red Midnight DVD Review

Written by Peter West

DVD released by Cinema Image Productions

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Written and directed by: Ray Schwetz (segment 1 "Anathema")
Brian Michael Finn (segment 2 "The Creation of Dr. Grecoz")
Giovanni Pianigiani (segment 3 "Pilgrimage")

Starring:
Joe Zaso as The FBI Man (episode 3 "Pilgrimage")
Roxanne Michaels as Anathema
Roger Wu as John Kitano
Stephanie Roy as Leigh
Giada Vadala as The Nun
Peter Kim as Detective Einjuru
Maurizio Rapotec as The Master
Michele Marie Traina as Sarah
Brianna Shaughnessy as Christie
Tara Magalski as Tanya
Riccardo Calvanese as The Concierge
Barbara Russo as The Policewoman
Karen Cognato as Mrs. MacKenzie
Patrick Tierney as MacGregor (as Pat Tierney)

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Review:

About a minute into the DVD I didn't know if I was going to be watching a modern version of the 1945 exceptional thriller Dead of Night or Herschell Gordon Lewis' The Wizard of Gore. Fortunately Red Midnight is much more like the former...

The Red Midnight story is more or less just a little fluff to combine the three short films presented and, like Dead of Night, has a surprise ending. That's all I'm going to say about that part of the film.

"Anathema" is a neat little short by Ray Swertz about a guy who after the death of his wife and child is having a hard time adjusting to getting on with his life. His big problem is that he's moved into a haunted apartment and the ghost inhabiting it wants him all to herself! The main character's name of John Kitano is a little tribute to Takeshi Kitano who is known as the Clint Eastwood of Japan for his acting and directing. While John has well meaning friends trying to help him, sometimes there are no happy endings...

"The Creation of Dr. Grecoz" is a thankfully very short film by Brian Michael Finn, about a father so possessive of his son when his marriage falls apart, takes drastic action with disastrous consequences.It's the weakest of the three shorts and seriously I wonder why it was even included in the film.

"Pilgrimage," by Italian director Giovanni Pianigiani, is the gem of the film! The story of an FBI agent (Joe Zaso) going to Rome to find his missing best friend is filled with action and some great plot twists. It's a little on the theme of End of Days in a way, but with some different plot twists. This is also some of the best work I've seen Joe Zaso do. His character is a no-nonsense FBI agent, who despite the threats from local authorities is going to find his friend no matter what! If you have seen any of Joe's previous work, this is unlike any character I have seen him play. An excellent performance in my opinion. Director Pianigiani should really consider expanding "Pilgrimage" into a full length feature. It's a solid story, that has an ending that will catch you totally off guard.

Regular readers here at HorrorTalk know that indie films are our bread and butter, and Red Midnight is a solid indie worthy or your consideration. Cinema Images once again shows why they are some of the best indie filmmakers in the Tri-State area. I'm dropping "The Creation of Dr. Grecoz" from the mix for my overall rating since it's such a short part of the overall film.

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Video and Audio:

Presented in a 1.66:1 non anamorphic aspect ratio, Red Midnight has varying degrees of picture quality dependent on the episode. While the wraparound story Red Midnight and "Pilgrimage" have excellent picture quality, "Anathema" and "The Creation of Dr. Grecoz" are not up to the same level. This is to be expected since this is three short films that were probably shot on different mediums.

A Dolby 2.0 stereo soundtrack highlights the episodes. "Anathema" has the solid dependable sound of Cinema Image staple Function Zero and "Pilgrimage" has an exceptional track by Romauldo Cirillo. I found the track on "The Creation of Dr. Grecoz" to be less intriguing.

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Special Features:

Cinema Image does not disappoint in the extras category and this release is no exception. There's director and producer commentaries on all of the short stories. Ray Swertz and Joe Zaso as usual provide an interesting look into the independent film business along with their insight into the film's production. Also included is behind the scenes footage and photos. There's trailers for all of Cinema Image's current DVD releases as well.

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Grades:

 
Movie: Fourstars
Video: Threeandahalfstars
Audio: Fourstars
Features: Fourstars
Overall: Fourstars
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