Thursday, 21 April 2016

☴ MJM Film Review: THE LAST NIGHT

Originally part of a double bill with Invitation to Hell, this film The Last Night shares technical issues associated with its age. No formal previous archiving beyond what can be found on the recent Murlyn channel, founded almost a year after the director's untimely death (he was 64). Sadly this means what the kids would today call "potato vision" where high-detail is non-existent. The technical issues are compounded by lo-fi audio limitations and a production issue with the camera itself which Murphy explains in a later interview.

The story revolves around two escaped convicts who hide in a theatre during the last night of an amateur stage production of Murder In The Dark but invariably get discovered by the staff and cast.

The convicts obviously have to ensure their own freedom endures by murdering various people in (some very) cold blood. Some of the methods of dispatch really are grisly and bear Murphy's unmistakable signature - as does the production design, particularly the convicts' appearance after re-appropriating a blazer, waist-coat and tie they find.

If you can see past the technical limitations of what's thought to be the only surviving version of this film (likely originated from a 240P Scorpio Video pre-cert VHS transfer) it's an enjoyable, disturbing, psychologically terrifying film - with a great synth soundtrack like only that 1980's pre-cert video nasty era can deliver.

Watch the film embedded below or head over to the main channel for a browse.

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