One Dark Night


Some movies are so under my radar yet seem like they should be on the memory of ANYONE from the decade they were released, that it is shocking when a film squeaks by me without notice. Director Tom McLoughlin’s 1983 release: One Dark Night is one of those films. McLoughlin, who went on to write and direct several entries in the Friday the 13th TV series AND the Nightmare on Elm Street series, also serves as the writer in this 1980’s “Where the fuck did this movie come from and WHY haven’t I heard of it before?” flick. Check it out…

Julie (Meg Tilly) is a student at the local high school who is dating the leader of the “bad girls” gang (appropriately named The Sisters) ex-boyfriend; Steve (David Daniels). Julie wants to be a part of the gang but is a little too squeaky clean for their likes. Cut to the funeral for a psychic named “Karl Raymar” who was found dead along with several missing girls (all dead as well) and what looks like the remnants of a nuclear blast in his apartment. When Raymar’s estranged daughter; Olivia (Melissa Newman) and her Husband; Alan (Thee Adam West!!!) are approached by a friend to her father she never knew; a scientist named “Dockstader” (Donald Hotton) explaines exactly WHAT dear old dad was doing…stealing people’s energy by being an “emotional vampire” and that his “work” is what has caused his death…well…as you can imagine…what The Sisters have in store for Julie’s initiation is to spend the night in the mausoleum where Raymar has been put to rest hours earlier. So as it turns out, it’s not cruel enough for The Sisters to make Julie stay at the mausoleum all night by herself, they decide they need to fuck with her some more and spend the night there too—scaring the shit out of her while she trips out on some pills the girls gave her. All hell breaks loose as Raymar (and some his newly dead buddies) return from the grave (by living off of other people’s energy!?!) to fuck with Julie & The Sisters and make this the night from hell for all of them. It’s up to Olivia and her psychic connection to her dead dad (along with her not so supportive Bat Man husband) to save the day. Will she? Are you biting your nails yet?


Rated PG and feeling like a made for TV movie, One Dark Night is a pleasant surprise in comparison to all the Halloween copycats made in 1982/83. Mixed with a touch of hinted at nudity, subtle gore, and a score that sounds like it’s ripped from “Feelings” until the action heats up and we go into full on Goblin territory. One Dark Night still has the feel of a “haunted” movie. While at times it seems to borrow scenes from films like “Hell Night” & “Phantasm” the pacing is enough to keep any jaded viewer to keep watching and the acting is quite good considering some of the ridiculous lines they are supposed to believe in. The storyline is wild, and a whole lot of “What the fuck?” but if you are looking for a good 80’s throwback that isn’t a slasher flick, then One Dark Night will leave you with a smile on your emotional vampire face…now somebody give me a Tylenol!

Charlie “Funerals are weird” Brown


~ by exploitnation on March 2, 2008.

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