Brad Jones of The Cinema Snob and Thatguywiththeglasses, has over the years produced a number of films by guerilla film making. Being a fan of CinemaSnob and other TGWTG reviewers, when he anounced he was uploading Midnight Heat to his website, I had to give it a watch.
If you wish to view the film for yourself, you can do so here.
I'm always somewhat apprehensive about reviewing outsider films, for every The Gamers: Dorkness Rising or Haggard, you get a Manos: The hands of fate. Though the main reason is that people who makes these films on practically a zero budget, without professional actors or equipment, do so for fun. Because they like films and want to make their own and do the best job they can with limited resources.
However, Mr Jones reviews terrible movies for a living, so I believe he has a thick enough skin to hear whatever a small time blogger like myself has to say about his movie.
Like the previous Stoned Gremlin Productions movies, Game boys, Freak out, Cheap; Midnight Heat is 'shot on shitteo' as Cinema Snob himself would say. However, don't let that stop you from heading over to the site and checking out some of these movies. Though personally I think Freak Out has the worst lighting and isn't aided by the fact it's in black and white, these are some pretty decent movies.
Midnight Heat is a story about corrupt cops, hookers, drugs and a serial killer. Not necessarily in that order. Though the production values are low, the concept, story and script is well thought out and fully developed. Even taking into account that the cast are largely made up of friends who aren't professionals, each one is played to their strengths. Whilst watching his other films I had thought that Brad Jones was a very good actor, especially in Freak Out, he brings another great performance to Midnight Heat.
Bianca Queen, who plays the lead female character, Donna, is also a great actress and has terrific chemistry with Jones on screen which can also be observed in Game Boys. The two just work really well with one another and you'd actually believe they were a couple.
The major problem with this film is it's audio, which Jones does address in the intro to the movie. The dialogue in some scenes is barely audible over the soundtrack or over the background noises, but you can still hear it. The lighting in certain scenes is poor to non existent, but these audio and lighting problems are typical of outsider film making and as long as you go into it expecting that, you won't find yourself disappointed.
This is why I think Midnight Heat is so impressive and ultimately good. Armed with just his friends and a consumer bought video camera, Jones put together a fleshed out, compelling and enjoyable film. Given the proper resources and a Hollywood budget, imagine what he could produce.
So why should you watch Midnight Heat? It's well acted, it's got a great story, an awesome 80's soundtrack and best of all, it's free.
7 & 1/2 out of 10