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10 to Midnight (1983)

 -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  11 March 1983 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 3,580 users  
Reviews: 73 user | 33 critic

A LAPD detective is on the trail of a very handsome young man who had been seducing and slashing many young women to death.

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Title: 10 to Midnight (1983)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Nathan Zager (as Robert Lyons)
Bert Williams ...
Iva Lane ...
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Ola
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Doreen (as Kelly Palzis)
Cosie Costa ...
Paul McCallum ...
Jeana Keough ...
Karen (as Jeana Tomasina)
June Gilbert ...
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Storyline

In Los Angeles, the rookie Detective Paul McAnn teams up with the veteran Detective Leo Kessler to investigate the murder of Betty Johnson and her boyfriend that were stabbed by a naked serial-killer in a park. Detective Kessler recognizes the victim, who lived in the same neighborhood many years ago and childhood friend of his daughter Laurie Kessler. The killer Warren Stacy goes to the funeral and overhears Betty's father telling Detective Kessler that his daughter had a diary. Warren breaks in Betty's apartment and stabs and kills her roommate Karen Smalley trying to find the diary. But Karen had already delivered the journal to Detective Kessler. Leo Kessler is sure that Warren is the serial-killer and her plants a false evidence in his apartment. However, Warren's defense lawyer presses Detective McAnn accusing him of perjury and Warren is released. Now the Warren is stalking Laurie to revenge against her father. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Bronson ...is in town. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 March 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bloody Sunday  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,520,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Trade Paper 'Variety' said of this movie: "J. Lee Thompson's direction, borrowing from [Alfred] Hitchcock's editing in Psycho (1960), creates the full horror of blades thrusting into naked bellies without the viewer ever actually seeing it happen". See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie, McCann pulls up in a beige car. After Kessler shoots Stacy, the camera pans out and now there are black and white police cars everywhere and McCann's beige car is nowhere to be seen. See more »

Quotes

Leo Kessler: [referring to a masturbatory device found in Warren's apartment] You know what this is for, Warren? It's for JACKING OFF!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Box: Christmas Evil (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
They really don't make 'em like this anymore!!...
22 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

10 TO MIDNIGHT

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Sound format: Mono

A world-weary LA cop (Charles Bronson) plants evidence on a young man (Gene Davis) suspected of the serial homicide of several beautiful women, but the plan backfires and Davis subsequently targets Bronson's grown-up daughter (Lisa Eilbacher)...

One of a series of gritty urban thrillers inspired by the success of DEATH WISH, J. Lee Thompson's 10 TO MIDNIGHT is a fair addition to this much-maligned subgenre. Bronson plays a well-meaning (though hopelessly misguided) cop desperate to apprehend a psychopath who strips naked before murdering his (primarily female) victims. The explanation for this glorious, gratuitous beefcake is that the killer avoids detection by washing the blood from his body before getting dressed again, though it's surely no accident that the actor playing the role is a grade-A stud of the highest order! Further, Davis' extensive nude scenes lead to a number of curious plot developments (because he was naked when he committed his crimes, Davis knows that Bronson must have planted blood on his clothes, but he can't use that as a defence without... well, you get the picture), though cinematographer Adam Greenberg (GHOST, RUSH HOUR, the "Terminator" series) turns visual cartwheels to avoid full frontal nudity (and a potential X rating).

Thompson - who gravitated towards Hollywood after forging a successful career in the UK, where he directed a number of popular mainstream entries like YIELD TO THE NIGHT and THE GUNS OF NAVARONE - takes enormous pleasure in foregrounding the more exploitable elements of William Roberts' lively screenplay, though an unpleasant sequence near the end of the film evokes queasy memories of Richard Speck's true-life killing spree in 1966, when several nurses were slaughtered in a Chicago townhouse in a fashion similar to the killings depicted here. For all its excesses, however, the movie is conservative in thought and deed, depicting the criminal justice system as a playground for the likes of Davis and his equally sleazy lawyer (a typically scene-stealing turn from Geoffrey Lewis). When Bronson confronts his nemesis during the inevitable climactic showdown, the audience is literally compelled - through dialogue and editing - to invite brutal retribution on Davis' irredeemable bad guy. It's cheap, manipulative and cynical, but it's also undeniably effective, and Bronson's closing line of dialogue is guaranteed to arouse guilty fascist impulses within even the most liberal viewers.

Davis is the spitting image of his actor brother Brad (the late and much lamented star of MIDNIGHT EXPRESS) and is quite effective in a difficult role, though his subsequent career appears to have gone nowhere, which is a shame. Co-star Andrew Stevens made a brief splash in movies like this one (including Brian DePalma's THE FURY) before becoming a producer on a wide range of Hollywood pictures (everything from 'erotic thrillers' such as NIGHT EYES to blockbusters like DRIVEN and BALLISTIC: ECKS VS. SEVER, etc.), and Lisa Eilbacher enjoyed a momentary spotlight on the big screen before returning to TV (where she had begun her career in the likes of "The Texas Wheelers" and "The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries") before fading from the business altogether. Word has it that the title 10 TO MIDNIGHT (a meaningless phrase) had been announced by Cannon for another film which ultimately failed to materialize, but someone obviously liked the sound of it and simply re-used it here! The 'TV version' is a laff riot, featuring alternate takes with Davis in black briefs. In the original, however, you get to see (almost) every inch of his fabulous, sculpted body. Drool, slobber...


6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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