Thursday, March 24, 2016

Home Before Midnight (1979)

Director: Pete Walker

Writers: Murray Smith, Michael Armstrong, Pete Walker

Composer: Ray Russell

Starring: James Aubrey, Alison Elliott, Mark Burns, Juliet Harmer, Debbie Linden, Andy Forray, Chris Jagger, Sharon Maughan, Ivor Roberts, Antonia Pemberton, Richard Todd

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The rock music business... Money, Fame, Girls... and whole lot of trouble

Plot: A successful rock lyricist becomes romantically involved with a girl he picks up hitchhiking only to learn that she is only fourteen. Her parents take action against him.

My rating:  6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

So I'm at the flea market recently and this guy had a bunch of DVDs for a buck each.  I was shocked that he had a bunch of DVD from the label Shreik Show and a lot of them were unopened.  Nice!  What's more is there were some Pete Walker Collection titles in the mix.  Sold.  Now I haven't had much luck with Pete's films as I think everything I've seen of his was pretty dull and only sometimes satisfying.  That's not good.  And the ones I've seen were horror pictures.  This one is the first that wasn't...and it's actually not that bad.  The acting is good, direction, story and so on.  The songs presented as from the fictional band in the film, Bad Accidents, are of the bad, cheesy pop variety.  I must say, though, that the song that ends the film is catchy and probably the best song of the lot. That's the worst this film offends.  One of the band members is this guy, Chris Jagger, younger brother of Mick.  Guess which one he is...

His acting worked very well for this picture.  It's a shame that everything about the promotion of this film gives away the young age of the female lead.  Even knowing this, it gets interesting once Mike (Aubrey) finds out and after a while has no issue with it and agrees to continue with the relationship (he is 28).  It reminded me of a movie (which will go unnamed because that film works best if you don't know it going in - I saw it at Slamdance a couple of years back and it was one of the best films I saw that year, hands down) with an underage girl falling for a 30 year old man and the strange and tender relationship they have.  This film takes it so far as a trial where Mike has been accused of statutory rape and the girl, Ginny (Elliott) is put on the stand.  I won't spoil the finish but it plays out well.  I've got to say I'm really surprised at how non-exploitation-y this picture is.  There is some nudity scattered throughout the film (thanks, Pete) but it's hardly anything to be compared to what I've experienced from his body of work.  The Shriek Show DVD presents the film in anamorphic widescreen.  The extras are slim but you do get six trailers for other Pete Walker films (but not for this one) and an 11 minute interview with Walker (non-anamorphic widescreen and worth watching). 

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