Movie Review: “After Midnight” Is A Top-Notch Thriller (Nah, Just Kidding)

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Review by James McDonald

When an exotic dancer is murdered at a seedy strip club, her sister Constance, a TV newscaster, goes undercover to find the killer.

The poster for “After Midnight” claims that Richard Grieco and Tawny Kitaen are the two stars of the movie. They’re not. Both Mr. Grieco and Ms. Kitaen do appear sporadically throughout the movie but each get about fifteen minutes of screen time, total. Why do I mention this? Because I’m trying to fill this review so it at least gets a few paragraphs instead of just the one line I initially formulated. What else? What else? Oh yeah, the movie was directed by Fred Olen Ray. You know him, he’s the guy who directed such gems as “Busty Housewives of Beverly Hills”, “The Teenie Weenie Bikini Squad” and “Bikini Hoe-Down.” No, seriously.

“After Midnight” tries desperately to compile the tiniest semblance of a story about a stripper who is murdered and her sister Constance (Catherine Annette), who is a newscaster at a local TV station, decides to go undercover as a strippe…sorry, exotic dancer to the club where her sister worked and was subsequently murdered. The only problem is, she’s not an investigative reporter, she is a news anchor, who sits behind a desk, looks into the camera, reads off the teleprompter and then goes home. But she is pretty so when she arrives at the club, she is immediately offered a job by Rikki (Tawny Kitaen) and she immediately makes enemies with most of the other exotic dancers because she is so damn pretty.

Gradually, some of the mean girls at the club start dying off, as well as some of the decidedly nasty dudes who frequent the club on a regular basis. Why? Because they’re mean and decidedly nasty. We then find out that Constance’s doctor Sam (Richard Grieco), is treating her for Dissociative Identity Disorder and she ends up taking on the persona of her recently deceased sister. Hence, all the mean girls and decidedly nasty dudes at the club who were obviously mean and decidedly nasty to her when she was alive, meet their demise. FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE!!! Or something like that.

Most of the movie had all of the exotic dancers prancing around topless and director Fred Olen Ray, the consummate professional that he is, obviously didn’t want to disappoint his audience and made sure he got more than enough close-ups of their breasts and girly parts. I’m sure if they took out what remnants of a story were put in there to camouflage the exotic dancing, they’d have a much better quality movie and the film would probably fare much better and as it stands, “Almost Midnight” is chock-full of some of the worst acting in cinematic history. Hey, I just realized, it does have something going for it. Way to go Fred!

On VOD October 28th

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James McDonald
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