Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream (2005)

TV-14  |   |  Documentary  |  5 August 2005 (USA)
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From 1970-1977, six low budget films shown at midnight transformed the way we make and watch films.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Barenholtz ...
Himself (as Alexandro Jodorowsky)
Alan Douglas ...
J. Hoberman ...
Himself (as Bob Shaye)
Himself (as George Romero)
Jonathan Rosenbaum ...
Bill Quigley ...
Larry Jackson ...
Seth Willenson ...
Chuck Zlatkin ...
Perry Henzell ...
Jim Sharman ...
Himself (archive footage)


Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream tells the hidden history of these landmark films, El Topo (1970), Night of the Living Dead (1968), The Harder They Come (1973), Pink Flamingos (1972), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and Eraserhead (1977). The documentary includes in-depth interviews with the directors, producers, writers and actors who were part of these low-budget, yet monumental productions, the exhibitors and distributors who played them, and the audiences who viewed them. Written by Steve Belgard

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Release Date:

5 August 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kultfilmens mestre  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 671,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Waters: [about Pink Flamingos] I was high when I wrote it. I was not high when I made it.
See more »


References Scarface (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

This documentary is better than the movies it discusses
2 August 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While I have not watched EL TOPO (and probably never will due to its extreme violence), I have seen the five other films discussed in this documentary about so-called "midnight movies". While I have reviewed nearly 5000 movies and have an appreciation for all kinds of films, the ones shown in this documentary aren't ones I particularly like and that isn't super surprising, as the films definitely are counter-culture--films that appeal to a very select group. In spite of this, I still enjoyed this documentary and found it well worth seeing because of all the fascinating background information it gave. And, because I was not a fan of the films but the documentary made me appreciate them more, you know it must be a pretty good film. Think about it--creating excitement about a topic I normally would not care about--that's the sign of a good film.

By the way, the films discussed were EL TOPO, PINK FLAMINGOS, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, ERASERHEAD and THE HARDER THEY COME. I am a bit surprised they also didn't mention MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL, as it, too, made a killing at midnight showings and was a cheap independent film as well.

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