Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
It is more than likely that most soap operas are watched by housewives, even after all these years and changes in the medium. But for most of it's existence, "The Edge of Night" was an exception to that rule. It was always near the top of the ratings for afternoon shows, from 1956 to 1970, when CBS showed it at 4:30 pm. Sadly, when CBS shuffled their daytime lineup, in the 1970 - 71 season, "The Edge of Night" was shown earlier and lost ground. The show was a murder mystery serial and was great at showing the inner workings of both crime organizations as well as showing the inner workings of both the police and the courtroom. It had some really great names going through it's door, as alumni, including Dixie Carter, Larry Hagman and even John Travolta as a delivery man. The show was edgy, just as the name applied, and had a great ability to show whodunits. Actress Talluhah Bankhead was an early fan of the show and not even a call from President Harry Truman could get her away from the show. It even had the balls to kill off a really popular character, Sara Karr very early on.
I remember watching the first two episodes of the nighttime soap and thought it had potential, but it turned into a rather boring mess. Mainly the plot involved Terry Mears (played by Meg Tilly) move to a suburb of Chicago, Oak Ridge and her trials and tribulations with her young son, Nicky. Yes a lot about Mears sex life was involved. What I hated was that it seemed to waste the talents of a lot of promising actors/actresses such as Harley Venton, Paige Turco, Sandy McPeek and Ed Begley, Jr. The fact that Venton played another flawed villain (by the time this show aired Venton was better as flawed villain -- see: his second go round on "Murder, She Wrote", "Cybill", "Silk Stalkings", "Diagnosis Murder" and "Models, Inc." -- then as his earlier incarnations as hero or later ones as just flawed characters) as Terry Mears ex-husband and father of Nicky, but they only called on Venton for a guest appearance twice showed how inept the PTB were on this series. Sandy McPeek showed the promise he'd eventually show greatly on "The O.C.", but again only relegated to guest appearance, was stupid. It was known to be headed for a quick death when NBC pulled the third episode, that was known to be too violent for NBC's taste back then.
I'm not sure why others would be down on this movie. Granted it isn't the
best movie that delves into the vampire myth (it has a different take on
myth), but it was pretty good for the movie it was.
I remember watching this back in May 1991, and it was originally intended to be a pilot for a FOX-TV series that remained unsold. The two parts of this film that are slightly aggravating is that it takes maybe too long to set up the premise (that of a nest of vampires; excuse me if I rephrase that, vampire is an insulting term, these are "Carpathian-Americans") of a group of immigrants who have a predilection for the taste of blood (they don't need to drink blood, it just is a wonderful diversion and it comes out especially during times of great passion, be that sex, violence, etc and it puts them higher up on the food chain than most humans), they also are stronger, faster and live longer than other humans (although if you get bitten you don't become one of them, you just die.) But, that should be excused since it was intended to be a set-up for a television series and I always wondered what it would have been if it had been sold as a television series, especially considering most of the garbage that does get sold? The only other really distracting thing, is the ridiculous biker gang antics of the young Carpathians against the vampire hunters (I myself would have toned that down), it is as though Richard Shapiro had seen way too many times, "The Lost Boys."
The cast I feel was excellent, especially Harley Venton (Harry Martin or Harlevon Martinescu) who plays the putative hero as a crusading newspaper reporter who gets news reports about the killing of the father and mother of his cousin, Cody Puckett (played by Jason London), in Texas and takes the boy "under" his wings, as it were to clear up several myths and tries to warn the others in the nest that "it's happening again" (the killings) and asks one of my favorite lines, "Isn't it time we come out of the coffin?" And, Michelle Johnson (Celia) and Patrick Bauchau (Eli Chelarin, the head of the "Carpathian-Americans") are excellently cast and Eli is part of the older group who just wants to keep his family isolated in their new home of Long Beach, CA. Unfortunately, the vampire hunters don't want that and Eli won't get his wish. The only weak member of the cast was probably Kim Johnston-Ulrich (and that probably wasn't necessarily her fault), since her character of Amy Lorne, the blonde attorney (in the Ally McBeal since), that provides a mild distraction for Harry (Venton), has no clue who or what Harry's family is, and happens to deal with Eli paying of judges to get his other nephew, Butcherbird "Butch" Vlad off. Bo Hopkins (the main vampire hunter) does a good turn as an old fashioned religious zealot.
All-in-all I thought it was a fairly good movie, with great themes about warnings of religious prosecution and zealotry and early hints of what a dictator that has since been deposed would have called, "ethnic cleansing." But, also it has no good guys or bad guys, again even our putative hero, Harry (Venton) has major flaws, while he is dating Amy, he's also having "hot vampire sex" with his half-aunt (yes, there's mild incest going on in this movie, nothing graphic though), Celia. It also combined two of my favorite genres, monster (especially vampires) movies and comedy movies.