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Midnight Madness [VHS] (1980)

David Naughton , Debra Clinger , David Wechter , Michael Nankin  |  PG |  VHS Tape
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Naughton, Debra Clinger, David Damas, Michael J. Fox, Stephen Furst
  • Directors: David Wechter, Michael Nankin
  • Writers: David Wechter, Michael Nankin
  • Producers: Ron Miller
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Anchor Bay
  • VHS Release Date: February 23, 1999
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0764005553
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,509 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews


Nothing dates a movie quite as much as a roller-skating blonde in white shorts and a tube top. Midnight Madness opens with exactly that and quickly follows with a scene in which a student counselor reassures a romantically nervous freshman with the line, "Flynch, you could be a real Burt Reynolds, I know you could." Ah, nostalgia. Made on the cusp of the '80s, after Animal House but before Porky's, Disney's college comedy gained a considerable following, thanks to countless screenings on HBO during the Reagan administration. Like all the best cult movies, it's awful, but compelling nonetheless. This is a film in which all the nerds look alike, the jocks have names such as Armpit, and you get to see fat twins shake their abundant disco booties. The plot revolves around an all-night scavenger hunt, with five teams of competing students racing around Los Angeles solving clues and getting into all sorts of amusing scrapes, including a visit to the Pabst brewery that will have you humming ancient advertising songs for days. David Naughton, who went on to star in An American Werewolf in London, is our hero, but the real fun comes from Stephen Furst as the mean and chubby rich kid and the legendary über-nerd Eddie Deezen as Wesley. Michael J. Fox makes his film debut as Naughton's troubled but feisty kid brother, and the eagle-eyed viewer may even spot Paul Reubens in a tiny role. Being a Disney film that was released before Porky's made shower scenes an integral part of campus comedies, this is a curiously innocent movie--just watch how long it takes the teams to decipher the clue, "Look between the two giant melons." Nevertheless, Midnight Madness is 112 minutes of undemanding, cheesy fun for anyone who remembers the last days of disco. It makes Animal House look like Chekhov, but watch it with a group of friends, and perhaps a little Pabst Blue Ribbon, and you'll have a hoot. --Simon Leake

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Fagabeefy?" Or Quintessential early '80's romp August 23, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
OK, in terms of absolute merit, I'll be the first to admit that this is not a 5-star movie. However, in terms of sheer, nostalgic fun and late-night silliness, Midnight Madness is a classic--as the numerous, heartfelt reviews here show.
The plot is simple: a mastermind, Leon, stages a Los Angeles-wide scavenger hunt, inviting five captains and their teams to play for everlasting glory. Heralding in the class-consciousness of later '80's movies, there are the White Team (nerds on mopeds); the Green Team (jocks in Meat Machine convertible); Red Team (sorority gals); Blue Team (outcasts in super-van with computer--TRS-80?); and Yellow Team (the good guys). Any bets on the winners?
It's low-brow, slapstick, often cheesy and utterly improbable stuff. Yet in its own twisted universe, it _works_. The best thing HBO ever did in its youth was airing this movie practically every day. I don't think I ever watched it from start to finish, but I watched segments so many times that it all came together. Barf and Melio playing the piano; Pabst Blue Ribbon; the Big Boy; MISS!!!!!!!; roller skates; the arcade . . . and of course, the immortal "fagabeefy?". Almost mindless, but pretty darn clean, especially in light of today's gross-out flicks. (It was Disney's second PG movie, after The Black Hole.)
Other amazing tidbits: this was the film debut of both Michael J. Fox and Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Rubens. Stephen Furst (Harold, the leader of the blue team) out-Flounders Flounder, his role in Animal House. The hotel desk clerk, Marvin Kaplan, played Henry on TV's "Alice." Andy Tennant, the snyde Melio, has gone on to bigger (if not better) things as the director of "Anna and the King" and "Fools Rush In.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was fun! September 14, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Having appeared in this film - on the white "nerd" team - I never thought it would achieve almost "cult" status. I had just finished appearing in a "serious" play, and while I did have fun filming, it was quite a let down for me. Although I thought the finished movie was an light diversion, upon the films release it was blasted by the critics and - I thought- destined to oblivion. But a "cable classic"? What a pleasant surprise. Unknown at the time, Michael J. Fox was nice and friendly to work with...and who knew? For me the film is now a guilty pleasure. Enjoy.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cult classic of epic proportions June 18, 2004
"Midnight Madness," I learned, was only the second live action 'PG' rated film to come out of Disney studios. The first was the science fiction film "The Black Hole," a movie best left moldering on video store shelves. "Midnight Madness" will never fade away since HBO, in its infinite wisdom, played the film on a perpetual loop from roughly 1982 to 1986. I must have watched this movie a thousand times during that period, and so did a million other people from the looks of it. Strangely, I completely forgot about the film for seventeen years, only remembering it when I stumbled over reviews for the picture on some website. Unfortunately, at the time it had not come out on DVD, so I had to wait until Disney saw fit to release it. Rewatching any film after a nearly two-decade interregnum is often a painful experience. In the case of "Midnight Madness," the sheer exuberance of the actors' performances and the wild hilarity of the plot completely overshadow spots of bad acting and general cheesiness. Never the sort of film that would win any awards-except for one of those raspberry trophies, perhaps-the picture still entertains. HBO ought add this to the queue again.

"Midnight Madness" is a scavenger hunt film in the vein of "Scavenger Hunt," "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," and "Million Dollar Mystery." Some guy named Leon (Alan Solomon) manages to convince a group of his fellow college students to take part in his latest entertainment, a scavenger hunt called "The Game." Five groups of kids will take part; each identified by a specific color, e.g. white, red, yellow, green, and blue. Of course, each group represents a clique on campus. The white team consists of the geeks, led by the always awesome Eddie Deezen in the role of Wesley.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pin Ball Sit-E January 7, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
And I suppose it's too much bother for you to remember Scott's BIRTHDAY! pin-ball-sit-E, PIN BALL CITY! And I'm tired of making poached eggs every morning! ...just a little present from my father... Hey Einstein! Isn't Venus over there? Hey Armpit, be careful! Miss! There's a cockroach in my water!
My eternal thanks to my sister Debbie for purchasing this gem for me this past Christmas...our copy was getting pretty sketchy...and thanks to Shelley for a killer review! Now there's a girl who knows what's up!
A piece of trivia: Maggie Roswell, who plays Donna ("get in! get in!") is one of the voices on The Simpsons...look for her name in the credits!
Now go buy this movie and quote it from beginning to end, preferably with a friend! : )
p.s. do you think the other chick in the red team was a lesbian?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where have you been all my life? February 24, 2000
By Idelis
Format:VHS Tape
I have been searching for this movie for years. I saw this film in the 80s as a child when it came on cable in Puerto Rico, my older brother had recorded it for me, but of course it's in Spanish and it's not the same you know, I can't believe I've actually found it and in English at that. I can't wait till it gets to me, I found it a few years back for $80 at a video store but I wasn't willing to pay that much at the time. I'm eternally grateful I didn't stop my search. This is my favorite childhood movie of all time. Everyone should watch this at least once, this is 80s corn at its very best.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought this for my sister, we used to watch it when we were little. It's one of her favs.
Published 22 days ago by Dorie Duncan
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Love this movie. Brings back so many memories!
Published 1 month ago by reevieww
Published 1 month ago by Midcoast Vintage
4.0 out of 5 stars You must have seen this already...
What can be said? If you're looking to buy this movie it's because you, like me, saw this as a child and it's nostalgic and classic. When you watch it, remember that. Read more
Published 2 months ago by S. Moro
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic rop of cheesy fun.
I gave it a 5 Star rating for it being a truly classic fun rop movie. If you haven't seen this Michael J. Read more
Published 5 months ago by C. Young
4.0 out of 5 stars Family fun night!
Fun family time movie. Brings back the old days. Loved the cast and looking for familiar places in Los Angeles.
Published 7 months ago by Y. Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Great PG Film
The first film in which Michael J Fox got full credit as Michael Fox (he's SO young!). This is a great entertaining Disney film that keeps you laughing with good old fashioned fun.
Published 7 months ago by S. Krueger
5.0 out of 5 stars Extra Cheese Please!
Where to begin. This is near the end of the "DIsney Movie Era" when Disney was churning out live action, family classics. Read more
Published 7 months ago by KLR
5.0 out of 5 stars Still love this movie!!
I watched this movie frequently on HBO as a kid, still as good as I remember!! Meat machine! Meat machine!!
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars From one generation to the next, classic
I love this movie. Several stars from early in their career. Watched as a teenager and now my teenagers love it.
Published 7 months ago by Angela
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