6.8/10
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12 user 5 critic

Night Drive (1977)

Night Terror (original title)
A housewife is stalked by a psycho after she sees him a murder a highway patrol officer.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Carol Turner
...
The Killer
...
Man in Sports Car
...
Old Derelict
...
Walter Turner
Beatrice Manley ...
Aunt Vera Willis
...
Nancy
Damon Bradley Raskin ...
Buddy
Madeleine Taylor Holmes ...
Indian Woman
John War Eagle ...
Indian Man
Jan Burrell ...
Waitress in Diner
...
Gas Station Attendant
Gary Barton ...
Gas Station Attendant
...
Attendant's Girlfriend
Linda Lukens ...
Attendant's Girlfriend
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Storyline

A housewife is stalked by a psycho after she sees him a murder a highway patrol officer.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She's the only witness to the murder ... and the murderer is right behind her.

Genres:

Thriller

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Details

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Release Date:

7 February 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night Drive  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Killers's car is a 1969 Ford Mustang fastback in Bright Yellow. See more »

Goofs

The station wagon driven by Carol has completely different grilles between shots - revealing two different cars were used. See more »

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User Reviews

Nice Suspense but Annoying Lead Character
10 October 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Night Terror (1977)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Fairly suspenseful made-for-TV thriller about a woman (Valerie Harper) who must drive through the night alone so that she can reach her son who is in the hospital. Along the way she sees that a cop has another driver (Richard Romanus) pulled over and when she pulls up to talk to the cop he's shot in the back. Now the woman must race in her car to try and find help while this psycho is stalking and trying to kill her. A movie like this would never sit well in today's times for a couple reasons. For starters, today we'd just pick up our cell phone and call for help but that's a luxury not available here. Another major plot point deals with the woman running out of gas and since there's not any 24-hour stations this here is a big problem and leads to one of the most suspenseful scenes in the film as she stops as a rundown gas station, which is closed and she must try and find a key to the pump. I think what makes this film work so well is that director E.W. Swackhamer really makes you feel as if this woman is alone in the world with no one to help here and she has no where to turn. I think the isolation really leads to some nice atmosphere as the woman frantically searching for help that seemingly never comes. Another strong part is that Romanus is so good as the killer. We never figure out what this guy's problem is but that just adds to the fun and the mystery. He uses a voice box, which we get to hear a couple times in the film and the eerie sound just adds to the drama. I think there are some perfectly built up scenes including the before mentioned gas station and another is when the drivers get caught in a rain storm and briefly take shelter. I won't ruin what happens but it's a pretty well-directed sequence. At just 73-minutes the film doesn't have any filler and instead we're just taken on this drive and for the most part everything works. The one major flaw I had was with Harper's performance, which was just way too over-the-top and jumpy for my liking. I also thought her character was incredibly annoying and some of the dumb things she did will get on your nerves. With that said, with such a short running time it's nearly impossible not to recommend this film. Yes, it's clearly influenced by Steven Spielberg's DUEL but there's enough going for it to make it worth viewing.


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