6.5/10
1,452
40 user 44 critic

Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1981)

Night Warning (original title)
An orphaned teenager finds himself being dominated by his aunt who's hell-bent on keeping him with her...at all costs.

Director:

William Asher

Writers:

Steve Breimer (screenplay) (as Stephen Breimer), Alan Jay Glueckman (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmy McNichol ... Billy Lynch
Susan Tyrrell ... Cheryl Roberts (Aunt Cheryl)
Bo Svenson ... Detective Joe Carlson
Marcia Lewis Marcia Lewis ... Margie
Julia Duffy ... Julia
Britt Leach ... Sgt. Cook
Steve Eastin ... Coach Tom Landers
Caskey Swaim Caskey Swaim ... Phil Brody
Cooper Neal Cooper Neal ... Frank
Bill Paxton ... Eddie (as William Paxton)
Kay Kimler ... Anna Lynch
Gary Baxley Gary Baxley ... Bill Lynch, Sr.
Vickie Oleson Vickie Oleson ... Lady Police Officer
Clemente Anchondo Clemente Anchondo ... Jail Arrestee
Alex Baker Alex Baker ... Police Officer Westcott
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Storyline

Since the death of his parents fourteen years ago, Billy Lynch has been raised by his over-protective aunt Cheryl. But once he turns seventeen, he is soon set on planning his life...without her. He's planing on going on to college and is dating local girl Julie. None of which sits well for his aunt, who's lost everyone else in her life and now with her nephew ready to leave, ensures she starts on a campaign to keep him with her...forever.But as her plans misfire she becomes swept up in a cycle of psychosis and frenzied violence all being blamed on Billy by everyone else...including a homophobic detective, who's anti-gay prejudice is steadily reaching its zenith...leading to an unforeseeable outcome. Written by suspicous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They didn't go looking for trouble. They were just too curious. Now ... They know too much to live. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

February 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Thrilled to Death See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jan de Bont worked as cinematographer on this film for one week - he shot the decapitation-scene. See more »

Goofs

During the accident at the beginning of the film, it becomes apparent that there is no one in the drivers seat or in the passenger seat in certain shots especially when the car is falling off the cliff. See more »

Quotes

Detective Joe Carlson: [to the cops] Lock her up.
Student: Fuck you!
Detective Joe Carlson: And fuck you!
See more »


Soundtracks

Little Boy Billy
Words and Music by Joyce Bulifant
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mandatory viewing for the seriously Tyrrell-deficient
2 February 2002 | by emingesSee all my reviews

I don't remember what link originally took me to the listing for Night Warning, but it's been a while. I lucked out and saw a showing at a local weird-film society last year; a couple of months ago I finally found a copy with a little green price tag on the box sitting on a shelf in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Whatever it takes. Whatever you have to do to get this on your VCR and mastered directly onto your brain. Let nothing stand between you and your own personal copy of Night Warning. Night Warning is as bent as it gets in mainstream filmmaking, and that special time from the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties where a project like this could get funded and shot is gone forever.

The one big problem with the film is the director. William Asher isn't up to the script and the cast. He's strictly a TV director, so when the going gets weird, he gets pedestrian. It's not laughably bad or even amusingly lame, but his direction is the only reason this thing isn't showing today at midnight movies in every college town in the Western Hemisphere.

Here's what you get for the price of your ticket: Bo Swenson being hateful beyond anything you'd ever imagined he was capable of. Julia Duffy's delightful, unencumbered young paps. Jimmy McNichol-well, OK, Jimmy McNichol is at least credible as a goofy, messed-up 17-year-old. A mind-boggling script that'll make you yell, `What were these people ON?' at the screen till your date walks out on you. Did I mention Julia Duffy's mammae?

And, man, do you get Susan Tyrrell, as Aunt Cheryl. You only think she went over the top in Forbidden Zone. Brudda, she wasn't even limbering UP. In Night Warning, you get her horny. You get her maternal. You get her unctuous, you get her as tigress guarding the cub. And you get her flipping out, not once, but repeatedly and at regular intervals, each time in a new and creative fashion. Is there no justice in this life? Why is Susan Tyrrell going to pass her career in obscurities and cult movies, while ambulatory bubble-wrap like Florence Henderson gets a career doing big-money denture commercials and nostalgia shows behind one crappy role from the Ford presidency?

The payoff comes at around 1:17 into the movie, when Aunt Cheryl, doing ugly things in the underbrush, hears Julia Duffy breaking a window in the house. Ms. Tyrrell's reaction is the single scariest move I've ever seen an actor make on film. It will make you hide under the bed for a week, praying that God will send flying bears with spears to find you and rip out your liver before He lets Susan Tyrrell get within two area codes of your hidey-hole. Genuine nightmare fuel.

Find it, learn it, live it.


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