Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon my ass. Try three degrees of Armand Assante. Mr. Assante has been in so many movies that I’m pretty certain that it would take only three steps for every single living human on the planet to have some relation to the man. Even as of this typing Mr. Assante is in no less than ten films that are in various stages of development with more on the way. The bad thing is that if you review Mr. Assante’s filmography, a lot of his movies never seem to see the light of day, possibly because these fledgling filmmakers empty their budgets trying to pay for my man leaving them with nothing to finish these movies. But hey, I can’t blame them because I’ve been a fan of the man since ‘The Mambo Kings’ and Assante does appear to give his best in whatever role he’s given despite the limitations of the budgets of the various films he appears in. This week’s Assante joint is ‘Soul’s Midnight’ a little low budget vampire flick in which my man Assante goes Lestat on us – minus the homosexuality – playing horny vampire looking to end the world.

Our film opens thirty years ago in a small Texas town as a young man is trying to get his pregnant wife out of this town where some wacky locals are dead set on sacrificing her for some wacky ritual. We know these locals aren’t normal due their immunity to hot lead entering their bodies, but fortunately the young man manages to get his wife in the car and have her drive away to safety. It looked to me like he could’ve easily jumped in the car too, but then we would have had one less important plot point to deal with which can’t very well have, now can we?

Now in the present day we meet our hero Charles (Robert Floyd) and his pregnant wife Alicia (Elizabeth Bennett) who are making a trip back to this Texas town to attend the funeral of his father, a man who his mother had told him was long dead. Of course Charles is curious as to why his late mother lied to him, and quite honestly if moms had told the Charles the truth from the get go I guarantee you he wouldn’t be making

this trip to his old mans funeral. So once they get into town Charles and his lady stay at this plush hotel run by the mysterious Simon (Assante) and his constant paramour Iris (Lucila Sola). The okey-doke starts early as Lucila attempts to seduce Charles but he loves his wife as ‘the will in that one is strong’ and Simon jumps into Alicia’s dream rubbing her pregnant belly and stuff. Regardless, Charles and Alicia like the town so much that they’ve decided to stay despite the warnings of Ramos (Miguel Perez), who tells these krazy kids that something is really wrong with this town, and the cautionary tale of weird caretaker Mrs. Budge (Jane Hall) who warns our couple that the hotel they are staying is run by ‘devil worshippers’.

Well we don’t know about the whole ‘Devil Worshipping’ thing, but Simon and his girl are certainly into some different kind of stuff, stuff that includes an intense aversion to sunlight, drinking folks blood and speaking in tongues to raise demons. Oh, and killing pregnant women who house the baby that posses the blood of the Dragon Slayer. I’m not going to get into all that but Charles and his rag tag crew of vampire slayers better have their Holy Water ready and wooden stakes sharpened because Simon is about to perform a late term third trimester abortion on this unborn child to raise the Dragon Lord. Or something.

Directed by Harry Basil ‘Soul’s Midnight’ wasn’t all that bad. As is typical for a movie of this ilk, be it of monster budget or a more modest one such as this, there are stretches of the film which don’t make the most sense, but we're generally cool with that as long as the film doesn’t bore us, tries to make sense and has lots of violence and nudity. Well, there was no nudity, which I guess this could be attributed to the fact that there was hardly anybody in this movie, but there were some decent gore effects and the big ugly monster at the end was shot in a way that made it look pretty good and not like a bad CGI puppet.

Armand Assante brought his usual trademark intensity to the role of Simon, even though he wasn’t in the movie a whole heckuva lot. The rest of the cast was certainly up for the task with us having much love for Miguel Perez who should like be star by now if only more people could see his talent the way that we can see my mans talent. Also a special note actress Elizabeth Bennett who is probably the fastest running third trimester woman in the history of movies. Somewhere FloJo is smiling.

‘Soul’s Midnight’ isn’t the best vampire movie around, and we do seriously wonder if we really need yet another vampire movie in the first place, but since it’s here we are pleased that it wasn’t a waste of time and even had some good things tossed into the mix to keep us entertained.

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