Midnight Movies - From the Margin to the Mainstream (2005)Director: Stuart Samuels
Tagline: From trash to treasure
This documentary cover the rise of midnight movies starting with El Topo and continuing through to Eraserhead during the 1970s in America. I have always wondered how the midnight screening tradition started and this was a great introduction to it.
As expected there are lots of clips from these movies and others including Pink Flamingos, Freaks, The Harder They Come, Reefer Madness, Night of the Living Dead and the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Commenting on the films are the directors themselves who give great anecdotes and insights, my favourite being from George Romeo saying his first paying job as a director was "Mister Rogers Gets a Tonsillectomy." It was also surprising to see New Line Cinema (the company who distributed Lord of the Rings) started out showing movies at midnight.
There is also some historical and social background explained with the films, but most people only seem to remember smoking pot and having a good time with their friends which was what these films are all about.
I would recommend this documentary if you are a fan of these movies or want to see something different. Also great news for fans is that the ACMI cinemas in Melbourne will be screening the films featured in the months after the film festival in 2006. I will try to get to at least some of them.
This site is definitely not affilated with the Melbourne International Film Festival (DUH!) or the Melbourne Underground Film Festival.