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Because his family has a history of mental illness, Elliot Freeman, a war hero turned portrait painter, is suspected of sadistically murdering two beautiful young women. Freeman knew both of the victims--Dolores Martello, an artist's model, and Alice St. Clair, a student at a nearby college--and he sets out to find the killer. At different times during his unofficial investigation, Freeman comes to suspect four men: Professor Melbourne, a peeping tom; Charles Perone, a motorcycle hoodlum; Adrian Benedict, a sophisticated lawyer; and a deaf-mute chauffeur. Freeman finally learns that his own sister, Lynn, jealous of the attentions that he paid to other women, committed the murders. Written by
I watched this film because of oddly good reviews and repeated claims that it depicted axe murders. Being made in 1963, I was curious to see how this was handled. I was in for a huge disappointment, because...
There are NO axe murders in this film. Not one. The first murder is by shotgun and all the others are via kitchen knife. Period.
Essentially, this is a mystery/slasher wannabe. The plot is very crude and amateurish--you will know who the killer is before the first five minutes of the film, literally. Even so, the film's producers plant incredibly large, obvious, deliberate "clues" as to the killer's identity two or three more times during the course of the movie.
They could have saved themselves the trouble. A child could guess the killer and the killer's motive is insanely improbable and doesn't really make sense.
Another distraction, is how ineptly photographed and lit the film is. Very bad angles, etc. make it actually difficult to watch.
And don't get me started on the script. The whole film revolves around teenage nymphets constantly throwing themselves at the male lead character. Everywhere he goes, they hit on him. This is pure fantasy on the producer's part. The only time women act like this in real life is when money is involved. Females have no libidos whatsoever in real life and do not try to seduce men everywhere they go just for the hell of it.
There are two good things about "Violent Midnight." One is lead actor Lee Phillips, who had come along way (down) since 1957's "Peyton Place." The other is James Farrentino, who is quite hot in his tight tee shirt and Brylecreemed hair.
For die-hard fans of the genre ONLY.
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