Erik Bloomquist’s Ten Minutes to Midnight stars Caroline Williams (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2) as Amy Marlowe, a fading radio host who is stranded at the station overnight thanks to a violent storm. As she arrives for her radio slot on the fateful evening, it transpires that she’s been bitten by a rabies-carrying bat, quickly becoming infected. Not only that, she is being forced into unwanted retirement at the hands of her sleazy boss. What follows is a fast-paced, hallucinatory mind-trip as throat-ripping carnage ensues!
Ten Minutes to Midnight plays out as a hyper surreal metaphor as Amy deals with major changes in her life, from being replaced by a younger, savvier model to coming to terms with the realization of what (or who!) she had to do to secure her 30-year gig in the first place. Amy goes through an insane character transformation at a rapid pace, through a neon-drenched 80’s retro style aesthetic, which is a true feast for the eyeballs!
Ten Minutes to Midnight is a crazy horror movie experience where it might not be quite sure what to make of it at first, but you strap in for the ride anyway! It’s campy B-movie gold, that continually leaves the viewer anticipating what madness will unfold next!
The film makes commentary on some taboo issues in a strikingly visceral way, with jarring close-up shots and strange imagery, it delivers a heightened onslaught of the senses with its controversial subject matter combined with trippy visuals.
Caroline Williams owns her performance as the fiery, acid-tongued radio celebrity. The movie is an allegory for the stark changes she is facing in her life, focusing on the shift in attitudes towards women in the industry when age comes into the equation. The film is far from subtle in making its point, going all out, proving that this is horror in its best form, combining uncanny set pieces with a real-life scenario, enabling for a cathartic viewing experience. With the imminent fear of being replaced and tossed aside, Amy Marlowe acts out in uncharacteristic ways, and it’s delicious to watch, with Williams chewing the scenery and relishing in the role.
The film’s surreal approach might not be to everyone’s taste, but fans of midnight movies and the exploitation sub-genre should revel in it.
Ten Minutes to Midnight comes in at just over an hour’s run time, pandering to its ferociously fast-paced nature. The shorter run time works well, as it never feels too laboured or outstays its welcome. It’s the right amount of over-the-top, without taking things too far, that it becomes monotonous to watch. The film contains a dark irony to it and couldn’t have come at a better time considering our current climate, with its timely premise.
Amy Marlowe dons a Murderdolls t-shirt throughout the movie, which is a homage to goth rocker, Wednesday 13 who contributes to the film’s metal-banging soundtrack. It’s worth sticking around for the end credits for a listen of the awesome track, “What the Night Brings”.
Take a bite out of Ten Minutes to Midnight at Grimmfest Virtual Edition on Sunday, 11th October at 9pm, followed by a Q&A. If you enjoy your comedy pitch black and your horror ultra-gory, then this 80’s horror style throwback is not to be missed!