Night Shadow (1989)

What happens when you pick up a movie so bad IMDb has almost nothing on it, and Wikipedia has less?  There’s a reason Echo Bridge’s tagline on the DVD is “The alternative for the entertainment you want to see!”  There’s nothing more alternative to what you want to see than a piece of crap like Night Shadow!

You just know a movie is going to be full of win when the opening credits pad out the movie with about five minutes of driving to music that would have been boring in an elevator.  By the way, I’m typing this while missing a proper A key, so I’m going to be extra pissed off.

This is the type of movie where I wish I was making video reviews of this set just to share in the misery.  The lighting often varies between so light and fuzzy you can barely see what’s going on and so dark and blurry you can barely see what’s going on.  When you can see the screen, it’s not very often any consolation.

Early in the film we realize that there’s not much in the way of likable characters.  We get some college aged students, starting with a girl who drops baited questions as a means to get attention and her boyfriend who is not only trying to get her to hurry up and let him take her virginity but also wants to hurry up and go to a bar where they have “girls, girls, girls, girls!”

His asshole friends interrupt his attempted-seduction-with-a-chance-of-date-rape by breaking in the girl’s door and pretending to be robbers.  The guy, once he gets over having a gun (hopefully fake) pointed at his back, doesn’t seem mad in the slightest, even going so far as to go in the other room and joke with them while his girl fumes.  Somebody’s not getting any pussy tonight- except maybe from Alex, a TV news correspondent that he knows and seems excited to go and meet.

The police aren’t much better; neither is the mayor, all of whom seem to place their ambitions first and their jobs second- after all, like all good movie politicians, they say so explicitly the first time (and every other time) they’re on screen.  Because, you know, that’s how people talk.

If you haven’t realized yet from my hints, the dialogue is poor at best and completely unbelievable at worst.  When you add in the delivery, well… the delivery doesn’t “add” anything, let me leave it at that.

There are two semi-redeeming factors to this movie: the main characters, Alex and Tai.  Alex is designed to be a likable character, even if she’s overly opinionated and baits cops without really doing anything constructive to the plot.  Tai, the token Japanese… I guess, cuz he mentions hot sake… gay… I guess, even though no one refers to him that way despite his wearing skintight pants and a midriff shirt… is a redeeming factor for the sole reason of it being amusing to watch him literally kick the shit out of people.

Wait a damned minute!  This is supposed to be some sort of werewolf movie, isn’t it?

Some sort is damned straight.  The werewolf is actually a serial killer, who occasionally takes some time off for cutscenes about eating maggot-infested limbs in satanic squirrel-holes.  That’s not as interesting as it sounds.  And it sounds pretty bad.  This is no Ben Burtt work, people.

While the coroner identifies the kills as being by some sort of “big dog or wolf”, the werewolf is very obviously human-minded, when he kills people by impaling them on an iron rod or other such things.  He lives in a hotel room that, despite not having been rented out since before he came, constantly seems to have paying tenants that he coincidentally kills.  When he’s not a werewolf, the killer likes to stare menacingly at people in public.  If he had any motives for anything he did, I would say he did this to poke fun at the inefficient police.

The werewolf engages in a few kills off screen, and a few that are too dark to make out, before he starts being killed.  He gets hit by a car, which doesn’t even kill ambiguously Japanese ambiguous sexuality martial artists, never mind werewolves.  Then he gets shot.  Several times.  Just enough.  To pad out.  This.  Review.

I mean, uh, pad out the movie.

I want to give this movie my first 1 out of 10, but I’m not sure. That would be my “This movie is a travesty to the concept of a viewer” cherry.  It needs to be special.

“This is special.”

You know what?  There’s a reason why both writer/director Randolph Cohlan and Cohlan/Temple Productions ended their careers and turned their images into a Facebook version of a film reel when they released this movie.

6 thoughts on “Night Shadow (1989)

  1. I am both writer and director of this film that got a positive review from believe it or not the New York Times. It is what it is because it was shot on Airri 35 Mil. on a budget that you probably blow at a gay bar since your so up on the subject! By the way we are not only working with top Hollywood producers and talent we also have been utilized by the shows inside addition and other syndicated national shows. Normally I don’t waste my time responding to jerks like you but if you have produced a film I would love a chance to review it. Now go FUCK yourself. Have a nice day …..who are you?

  2. Randolph,

    Thanks for the comment. Even though you disliked what I had to say about the movie (and I don’t suppose I blame you for that) I hope that I explained the reasons for my comments adequately. I wasn’t aware about the NYT review; I couldn’t find much about this movie online (it’s not on Wikipedia at all), and the IMDb also has scant information on the film (the latter I should have added a disclaimer for, as it has been updated in the past year, proving my last paragraph wrong). I usually try to mention these things if I can tie them in.

    Coincidentally, I have no expertise in gay bars (I don’t remember one in the movie, but I might be mistaken), but I imagine my budget there would likely be $15, assuming that they’re slightly cleaner and therefore more expensive than your standard bar. I wouldn’t blame a film with that kind of budget for the outcome; my own first attempt at a film will be published this year, with very likely the same budget (and I will be happy to send you the DVD once they are ready for sale).

    Again, thanks for the comment and the wishes to have a nice day, and I’m glad if I made your night.

  3. Let’s see… this movie was published in 1989 and the director is still obsessing about it.

    What other movies did he direct…. hmmm… Oh wait, only one other movie? Let me get this straight. You’re such a big shot and you’ve done a total of two movies? Impressive.

    IMDb doesn’t seem to think very much of you, sir.

    Oh, and in my experience, movies directed and written by the same person are a discredit to the ‘b’ list. Thank you, for making my night.

  4. Man i just put this movie in my dvd player im gonna watch it even if it sucks because i never saw it but so far the first few minutes suck!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s