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Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Between 1970 and 1977, six low budget films shown at midnight transformed the way we make and watch movies: The allegorical freak-out El Topo, the graphichorror of Night Of The Living Dead, outrageous filth fest Pink Flamingos, outlaw reggae's The Harder They Come, the phenomenal Rocky Horror Picture Show, and the darkly disturbing Eraserhead. In this acclaimed documentary, discover the surprising stories behind the movies that defied mainstream America. Director appearances by John Waters, David Lynch, George A. Romero, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Perry Henzell and Richard O'Brien.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: John Waters, Ben Barenholtz, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Alan Douglas, J. Hoberman
  • Directors: Stuart Samuels
  • Writers: Stuart Samuels, Victor Kushmaniuk
  • Producers: Stuart Samuels, Andrea Stewart, David M. Fox, Ian Dimerman, Stephan Shelanski
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UYX4QI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,408 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jacob Hoff on December 30, 2008
Format: DVD
I know it seems extreme to say but in all honesty I must. I am only fifteen and when I first watched this a few years ago I was introduced to 3 film makers who have come to be my favorites of all cinema. Most important of those I was introduced to David Lynch and y favorite film of all time "Eraserhead," I know it may not affect you hardly this much but considering how deeply it affected me, I felt I must share
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By joseph Corey on December 5, 2007
Format: DVD
A really good documentary about the Midnight Movies. They interview the filmmakers, the film critics, the theater owners and fans of movies that blossomed after dark. It's a beautiful appreciation of outcast cinema.

Films covered include El Topo, Night of the Living Dead, Freaks, Reefer Madness, The Harder They Come, Pink Flamingos and Eraserhead. If you enjoy any of these movies, do yourself a favor and watch "Midnight Movies." You might want to cover your rug in soda, popcorn, cigarette buts and other disgusting substances in order to give your home theater a true Midnight Movie feel. You might also want to have a few of those titles on hand to watch afterward.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Boas on August 11, 2008
Format: DVD
Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream pays tribute to an era of moviegoing that was unlike anything before or since.

The 1970s is generally regarded as the decade of the independent filmmaker. The studio system was breaking down, and more and more idealistic film students were breaking into the mainstream with unusual low budget productions. The films themselves weren't all that were changing, however. The seventies also brought about a new method of distribution for movies that would otherwise slip through the cracks. Midnight Movies covers this phenomenon by profiling six films that became cult hits during this time.

What do most of these films have in common? For the most part, they were made outside the system (with the exception of Rocky Horror). They also present subjects that were too off kilter to see during daylight hours, but with a strong sense of purpose. As filmmaker George Romero says in the movie, "That's the secret to the success of some of these films. There's a focus and an intention and it doesn't lie to you."

The films profiled are: El Topo (1970), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Pink Flamingos (1972), The Harder They Come (1972), The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and Eraserhead (1977).

Midnight Movies concludes by touching briefly on the changes that brought on the end of the midnight distribution model. The mainstreaming of exploitation subjects (as in Jaws or similar blockbusters) and the advent of home video made midnight screenings unpopular and unnecessary. Audiences weren't supporting weird cinema anymore because they could get the same material in big budget movies or in the comfort of their own home.

For a discussion of this movie, check out The MAD DOG MOVIES Podcast, episode 10.
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Format: DVD
This documentary follows the concept of midnight movies, and how six in particular changed the way people viewed movies. This movie is important for horror fans, as three of the movies are genre efforts: Night of the Living Dead, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Eraserhead. I wish the doc was more in-depth because I still think there are a lot of places to visit when discussing midnight movies, but what we get is really well done. Lots of great interviewees and some excellent insight into the movies, their creation, reception and more. It’s fascinating to learn how such iconic movies struggled and eventually became triumphant. At least in cult status. Great documentary.
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