Way back in 1986, when I was all excited about getting my very first VHS video recorder, one of the very first movies I rented out from my local video store was a film called One Dark Night. I thought this movie was awesome then, but now that I have just bought it and watched it in glorious hi definition, I am even more blown away by this 1982 horror classic.
One Dark Night really does look absolutely stunning in Blu Ray, and when I watched it last night, I reflected, with a little nostalgic smile, on how that old VHS tape I watched all those years ago was flecked with all that film-joy-detracting dropout that was so symptomatic of a much-rented movie in those days. By pleasing contrast, 88 Films have done a brilliant job with the restoration of this horror classic, and so much so that you’d think the movie had only just been made.
For those of you who haven’t seen One Dark Night, let me give you a general rundown on the plot. The movie tells the story of a teenage girl, Julie (Meg Tilly of Psycho II fame), who is coaxed into spending the night in a huge mausoleum as part of an initiation rite, set up by her two mischievous friends, to join a high school club. But what neither Julie nor her friends know is that somewhere among the many corpses interred in this vault lies the body of a recently deceased occultist named Raymar . . . a man with powerful, terrifying psychic powers. And once her two prank-playing pals, armed with Halloween props, surreptitiously sneak back into the mausoleum – with a most wicked view to scaring the poor girl witless – all hell breaks loose.
One Dark Night also stars the late, great Adam West, who is best known, of course, for playing Batman in the 1960s TV series, which I so loved as a kid.
Director and writer Tom McCloughlin got the initial idea for One Dark Night whilst taking an exploratory trip down into some catacombs in Paris. Being a self-proclaimed fan of Edgar Allan Poe, his imagination was stimulated to a most vivid extent as he walked, candle in hand, through the darkened passages lined with wall-to-wall skulls. The result was that he tied in his Poe sensibilities with the sepulchral eeriness of the French catacombs to come up with what proved to be truly phenomenal, memorable horror story.
One Dark Night is a movie that did not have to rely on fitting in with the slasher boom of that period, just to keep horror fans satisfied, for it instead eschewed all the usual Friday The 13th tropes and just concentrated on presenting a good, creepy, Gothic and highly atmospheric supernatural movie. In adopting this gore-free style, the movie certainly delivered on all levels.
So if you don’t mind a noticeable lack of a masked maniac stalking teenagers and leaving a trail of gore-splattered bodies in his wake, but just want a good, fun-filled, action-packed horror movie that will have you on the edge of your seat, then I think you will enjoy One Dark Night. I certainly did, and can honestly say that it’s a movie with a high rewatchability factor.
You can buy the One Dark Night blu ray now by clicking on the image link above this article.