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Friday, October 18, 2013

Midnight Ride (released in 1990) - Thriller movie starring Mark Hamill, Michael Dudikoff, Savina Gersak, and Robert Mitchum

A rough ride, this slasher cum thriller film directed by Bob Bralver - is more of a hit and miss film - it wanted to score a hit with the audiences, but landed a miss :-). The film opens with Justin McKay (played by Mark Hamill, who also did Star Wars) at a car rental, where he is giving travel details – he’d like to rent a car to Hendersonville, when asked to fill in the rental contract form, he tells the attendant that he has no credit card, she tells him that he would then be unable to get the car – he crumples the form and throws it on her face- ‘Keep your stupid car.’
The scenes switches to a housewife, Lara (Savina Gersak), a Russian immigrant – who walks out of the house and her husband Lawson (Michael Dudikoff), her reasons are genuine, though somewhat clich├ęd and commonplace: he pays more attention to his job than her. “I just wanna leave, be swallowed up… ’. As she drives away, her mind a riot of emotions and thoughts - she thinks of spending the night with her friend at Santa Barbara. But there’s a bad thing waiting to happen to her: she offers a lift to Justin McKay, feeling sorry for him because he tells her he’s missed his bus home.
At a police check point, they are informed they have to take a detour, Lara tells the policeman that she and her ‘brother’ are traveling together. As they pull away, Justin remarks that she reminds him of his sister, whom he liked very much. Unbeknownst to Lara, her husband is following her, as he places his car in her way, she is taken aback and bumps into it. Getting out, she realizes its Lawson, this angers her further and she pulls away again. Lawson radios for help, meanwhile Hamill wonders why he was following them, and Lara tells him he’s her husband. When she pulls over at a motel to make a call, the lady at the desk is particularly rude and arrogant - this peeves Justin,  who says he doesn’t like her because she has a fake eye. While Lara waits her turn at the phone booth, he walks into the reception, the woman asks him what he wants - he points at her eye- ‘I want that.’

Viewers are given a macabre glimpse of  the woman’s corpse, with her eye missing. Lara is none the wiser. Justin shares with Lara the purpose of his visit to Hendersonville - ‘to meet an old professor, he makes me feel good.’ She notices he’s weaving thread or something, he tells her it’s a present for her. Suddenly, he dangles the necklace before her - the motel lady’s glass eye decorated as a pendant - Lara rams the brakes and asks Justin to get out, he tells her she doesn’t mean that - he wants her to like him! He threatens her, and she promises not to bother him or make an attempt to leave. Justin asks her who she is and why she left her husband. Meanwhile Lawson goes over to a colleague’s place to borrow his car. The trail seems to have gone cold, but he persists and is on the road to trace the car.
Leaving a trail of blood and gore, killing fourteen people, including six policemen - the duo travels on. Ultimately, Justin halts at a hospital, his intentions are insane - he  wants Dr.Hardy (played by Robert Mitchum), his psychiatrist, to administer electric shocks, not to him, but to Lara so that she likes him.
The doctor is familiar with Hamill’s history: he was witness to the terrifying butchering of his little sister by their alcoholic mother, thus the doctor knows that Mark is easily offended when he feels disrespected or let down. Hamill ignores the doctor and zaps Lara with the intention of killing her - Lawson arrives just in time and saves her. In the fighting that ensues, Justin is electrocuted and dies. All’s well that ends well- our hero reunites with his lady love and the two will hopefully live happily ever after - as for the audience, can’t say the same after eighty eight minutes of torturous viewing!

Midnight Ride (released in 1990) - Thriller movie starring Mark Hamill, Michael Dudikoff, Savina Gersak, and Robert Mitchum

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