"Satan, sweet Satan, give me breath during in death."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 10/23/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I try to find something positive to say about nearly everything I review, which can be a difficult task at times, but I will say this about the film Night Visitor (1989)...the DVD cover art is dramatic and eye catching...too bad it had almost nothing to do with the actual content of the movie. Directed by Rupert Hitzig, whose primary credits list him as producer on such films as Wolfen (1981), Jaws 3-D (1983), and The Last Dragon (1985), the movie features Derek Rydall (Popcorn), Allen Garfield (The Brink's Job, Beverly Hills Cop II), Elliott Gould (MASH, American History X), and Richard Roundtree (Shaft, Maniac Cop). Also appearing is Shannon Tweed (Hot Dog... The Movie), Teresa Van der Woude (Killer Workout), Michael J. Pollard (Bonnie and Clyde, Dick Tracy), Henry Gibson (The Blues Brothers), and former playmate turned adult film star Teri Weigel (Cheerleader Camp, Predator 2, Droppin' Loads 2).
As the film begins its night, we're in the city, and the working girls are out in force...look, there's Teri Weigel wearing very little and provocatively sucking on a lollipop (has anyone ever noticed that movie hookers are much hotter than the one in real life? Watch the TV show "Cops" and you'll see what I mean). A big, black, late model car pulls up and she gets snatched off the streets...the next morning we see Billy Colton (Rydall) late for class again...oh Billy, Mr. Willard (Garfield), your uptight, creepy history teacher is not going to be pleased. You better have one of those famous excuses ready...and he does, but Billy's penchant for lying is well known, enough so that few, if any, believe him anymore. Seems Billy and his mom (apparently Billy's father passed away some time ago), who live in the `burbs, have a new neighbor...a hot blonde named Lisa (Tweed)...oh mama...around this time Billy re-discovers his interest in gazing at heavenly bodies through his telescope, and learns Lisa is a working girl, but of course, neither of his friends believe him. Hoping to get some proof, Billy sneaks over with a camera, climbs the roof and spies into a window...where he sees Lisa brutally murdered in ritualistic fashion, by someone he knows. The police show up and find the body, but of course no one believes Billy (because he's known as a lying sack), and now the murderer is coming after Billy...kind of...Billy seeks the help of an old, family friend named Devereaux (Gould), who was once on the police force, hoping to find the evidence he needs to prove his claims, which coincides with about the time Billy's girlfriend Kelly (Van der Woude) is abducted by the killers, possibly the next victim if Billy and Devereaux can't make the scene...
Considering this was Hitzig directorial debut, the film isn't that bad, but it does have it's faults, the main one for me being the character of Billy, who I just really didn't like...here's a smarmy, snotty kid who lies all the time, and then when he's actually telling the truth, no one believes him, and he gets all upset about it...what did you expect, nimrod? You're a lying sack with voyeuristic tendencies who sneaks on his neighbor's roof to take pictures of her while she's engaged in intimate activities. He then gets his girlfriend Kelly tangled up in things, which ends up putting her in danger, that is if one took the threat seriously (which I didn't), given the comically antagonistic characters. In Billy's defense, the police, especially Captain Crane (Roundtree), whose catchphrase seemed to be "Why don't you let me do my job?", were borderline criminally negligent as they had something like 18 unsolved homicides of streetwalkers, all linked to the same serial killer, and now here's a witness to which they just about blow off completely because they've heard he had a history of stretching the truth. Given that his new neighbor was a know working girl and murdered in same ritualistic fashion as the others, I would have thought that had been enough to take Billy somewhat seriously to at least get a search warrant for the home of the accused, to which they would have found ample evidence to support Billy's claims, but I guess I was wrong...and then there's the Satanists, made up of two brothers, one a complete idiot, the other a respectable member of the community who just happens to wear his Satanic accoutrements in public, namely his necklace with the gaudy pendant and ornate ring, along with hanging bones of animals from the trees in his yard (apparently Satan isn't all that picky about his disciples)...how these two managed to elude the police for as long as they did would have been a mystery had I not seen the police in action, or inaction, as was the case. And I loved Henry Gibson's brief appearance as the expert called in by the police to give them some insight on the killer. All be basically said was it could be just about anybody...thanks for your invaluable expertise, a-hole. As far as Gould's character of Devereaux, the retired police detective, I saw little point to him being in the story. Had his role been removed, the film would have managed well enough, which is tied to the other main fault of this film and that's the writing. A majority of the cast is fairly experienced, but all suffer from a poor script and an amateurish storyline. Seriously, I thought this was a comedy up until the final ten minutes, which featured an awkward confrontation between Billy, Devereaux, and the satanic duo (who apparently got their training in the dark arts from the book `Satanism for Dummies'). I will say Shannon Tweed did well, for her limited time on the screen...I was disappointed she didn't reveal more, but her heaving cleavage was nice to look at, and I'm sure there's other movies out there where one could see more. Ms. Weigel, however, did come through with the goods, showing us the wondrous advancements in plastic surgery, particularly in the field of augmentation. All in all this is a horror/thriller film for the indiscriminate, one with a lame chainsaw/shotgun show down (guess who wins?) followed by a completely silly, upbeat, musical montage ending.
The picture quality, presented in both anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) and fullscreen, on this DVD looks very good, and the Dolby Digital Stereo Surround audio comes through cleanly. The only extra included is a theatrical trailer.
If I learned anything from this film it's that if you're trying to get a shotgun away from someone, it's probably best not to pull on it with the business end pointed directly at you...
This film will take you by total surpise.
firstname.lastname@example.org | 10/16/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Night Visitor" is one of those strange little underrated CULT films that incorporates a tremendous amount of sickness with a limited amount of blood. This movie is packed with familiar character actors (Elliott Gould, Richard Roundtree, Shannon Tweed, Allen Garfield, Michael J. Pollard and Henry Gibson, just to name a few) and relies on strong storyline and performances instead of gore. Allen Garfield's portrayal of a Satanic Serial Killer is worthy of an Oscar. The sight of Michael J. Pollard attacking Elliott Gould with a chainsaw has to be seen to be believed. I highly recommend this film for anyone with a warped sense of humor."
Matt Kocik,from Parker ford, "Night Visitor'
email@example.com | Pennsylavina | 07/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was really a well done film that holds your intrest.Watch out your teacher may be a killer to, well acted movie with good acters, and should be recommended to every viewer on the street even your worst enemy."