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Violent Midnight

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Violent Midnight + The Horror of Party Beach / The Curse of the Living Corpse (Del Tenney Double Feature)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Lee Philips, Shepperd Strudwick, Jean Hale, Lorraine Rogers, Dick Van Patten
  • Directors: Richard Hilliard
  • Writers: Richard Hilliard, Del Tenney, Margot Hartman, Robin Miller
  • Producers: Art Wolff, Del Tenney
  • Format: Special Edition, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Dark Sky Films
  • DVD Release Date: March 28, 2006
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000C65YM6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,067 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Violent Midnight" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by producer Del Tenney
  • Still gallery
  • Trailers

Editorial Reviews

In this Psycho-esque black & white thriller from Del Tenney, Elliott Freeman (Lee Phillips) is a Korean War vet-turned-painter who becomes the prime suspect in the brutal stabbing death of his model, Dolores (Kaye Elhardt). Did Elliott kill her to end their relationship? Or, did her ex-boyfriend, Charlie (James Farentino) murder her out of jealousy? Or, could it have been Professor Melbourne (Day Tuttle), a peeping tom with mysterious ties to the woman? Regardless, it's up to Elliott's attorney (Shepperd Strudwick) to clear his name and downplay his reputation as a one-man killing machine. While Detective Parma (Dick Van Patten) chases down the leads, Elliott's half-sister Lynn (Margot Hartman), arrives to enroll at the local college. She's quickly befriended by Alice (Lorraine Rogers), a sexy young co-ed intent on seducing Elliott, who spurns her advances. Suddenly, Alice becomes the victim of a vicious stabbing and once again, all eyes turn to Elliott. How can he ever prove his innocence when everyone is against him? Psychomania is the first film produced by Del Tenney, who went on to produce such low-budget horror gems as The Curse of the Living Corpse and The Horror at Party Beach.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark Norvell on April 12, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The first film produced by low budget indie filmmaker Del Tenney is a lurid, voyeuristic but interesting murder mystery. A wealthy war veteran turned artist finds himself implicated first in the brutal murder of his nude model then in the murder of a promiscuous college coed. But there are a couple of other suspects acting suspiciously...one of whom is an actual voyeur. The b&w film is set in a small college town with the college being all women. The acting is passable to good with a few familiar faces: Sheppard Strudwick as a lawyer, Dick Van Patten as a cop, Sylvia Miles as a bar floozy and James Farentino as a motorcycle thug. They all have good-sized roles. The murders (stabbings) are brutal, there's a surprising amount of (female) skin for 1962 and the ending is kind've a surprise. You do keep guessing at times who the killer really is. The DVD print is excellent. Not bad viewing for those who appreciate low budget but pretty good films. Actually, "Violent Midnight" is kind've an American "giallo" with it's lurid, near-exploitation values and creepy set-ups. In fact, giallo afficianados may go for this as well. Worth checking out as an obscure find. Enjoy.
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Format: DVD
When Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO opened the door, many other films followed, and the early 1960s saw a glut of low-budget, black and white thrillers that held scantily clad women at the point of a knife. Released in 1964, VIOLENT MIDNIGHT (also known as PSYCHOMANIA or BLACK AUTUMN) is fairly typical of the genre but better than most.

When Delores is found stabbed to death in her rooms there are two very obvious supects: Elliot, the reclusive artist who has employed her as a model, and Charlie, her tough-guy boyfriend. After all, the two men had a bar room knife fight over her the night before! Fortunately Elliot has his half-sister, who has just arrived to attend a local all-girl college, for support. But before too long the student body becomes precisely that, and both Elliot and Charlie come under renewed suspicion.

The cast is unexpectedly solid. Leading man Lee Philips (in the role of artist Elliot Freeman) and supporting actor Shepperd Strudwick (as his attorney) both had long and respectable careers both before and after VIOLENT MIDNIGHT; James Farentino, Sylvia Miles, and Dick Van Patten would go on to notable careers of their own. Even so, there's nothing subtle about the script, which crams everything from biker chicks to college sirens into the mix, and most viewers will probably identify the killer in the first twenty minutes of the film.

Even so, and in spite of a budget that was clearly just this side of zero, VIOLENT MIDNIGHT isn't a bad little flick, and it easily holds its own with the likes of the better-known DEMENTIA 13. It will probably lack appeal for the casual viewer, but fans of 1960s B-movies will have a good time.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on December 15, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Produced by Del Tenney (The Horror of Party Beach, The Curse of the Living Corpse) and directed by Richard Hilliard (I, Marquis de Sade), who's also credited with the writing, Violent Midnight (1964) aka Psychomania stars Lee Philips (Peyton Place, Middle of the Night) as an artistic painter with a checkered past who finds himself a prime suspect in a homicide investigation as the woman he was using as a model turns up viciously murdered. Also appearing is Shepperd Strudwick ("One Life to Live"), Margot Hartman (Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women), Jean Hale (McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force), Kaye Elhardt (The Navy vs. the Night Monsters), Richard Van Patten (The Shaggy D.A.), and James Farentino (The Final Countdown, Dead & Buried), in his silver screen debut.

Lee Philips plays Elliot Freeman, a war veteran/temperamental artist who leads a solitary existence (by choice), his only real visitors being his cultured attorney Adrian Benedict (Strudwick), and his model Dolores (Elhardt), a pretty, young, local woman who's `round, firm, and fully packed', at least according to the men in town (they ain't lying). Seems Dolores, who's involved with a local thug named Charlie (Farentino), has it bad for Elliot (probably due to the fact the pair got it on when Dolores first started posing for Elliot), but Elliot only sees her now as a subject for his art, and is interested in keeping their relationship on a business level. Anyway, one night Elliot and Charlie get into a brawl, one in which Elliot, with skills obviously learned during his military service, nearly kills Charlie, but for the intervention of some patrons. Later that night a mysterious prowler breaks in on Dolores and savagely murders her.
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By Celia DLF on September 20, 2014
Format: DVD
Pretty good low-budget black-and-white early 1960's thriller about a killer on the loose. Beautiful girls, some from the nearby women's college are being offed in a bloodily gory fashion. Who is the killer? Is it the wealthy, short-fused artist, the motorcycle driving, loutish delivery guy, or the peeping tom college professor? Filmed in lushly treed western Connecticut, apparently Stamford. Supposed to take pace in early autumn, but looks like late spring or early summer. Made by the same folks that graced us with The Horror of Party Beach and The Curse of the Living Corpse. Also available from Sinister Cinema under the title Psycho-Mania in an edited form, only about 83 minutes long. The Dark Films DVD release is excellent quality and more complete with some slight nudity thrown in. This one is the one to get. Highly recommended.
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