Night Warning (1983)
This passable psycho-slasher thriller is elevated by a classic over-the-top performance by Susan Tyrell as the demented spinster aunt of amiable teen basketballer Billy (Jimmy McNichol), who has lived with her since his parents' death in a ghastly car accident (depicted in the film's breathtaking prologue). During one of Auntie's many psychotic episodes, she makes not-so-subtle sexual overtures to a studly repairman and winds up stabbing him to death when he rejects her advances. Her nephew protects her by supporting her fib that the victim was a would-be rapist then claims responsibility for the killing himself -- a lie which backfires when the homophobic sheriff (Bo Svenson) learns that the handyman was gay and erroneously concludes that Billy was his jealous lover. While the sheriff's relentless fascist badgering continues, Tyrell goes further 'round the bend and lashes out in a jealous rage against anyone who threatens to take Billy away from her -- namely his new girlfriend (Newhart's Julia Duffy). Decently-paced, with good performances throughout, this film nevertheless pivots entirely on the rabid scenery-chomping of Tyrell, whose ravings push the proceedings to a level of camp surpassing even that of Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest. Released to video as Night Warning. … More
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Critic Reviews for Night Warning
this unlikely outing for William Asher (Bewitched, I Love Lucy) brings a repressive, poisonous dynamic into precisely the sort of domestic space that had featured more salubriously in his earlier TV sitcoms.
Enjoyably overripe thriller with intriguing subext and a wild performance from the great Tyrrell.
Audience Reviews for Night Warning
More thriller than horror and the title and poster have nothing to do with anything in this film. Its also badly paced but still it turns out to be a decent time waster.More
Night Warning is a relatively unknown film, which is a shame because it is a truly effective and fairly original slasher/thriller because explore subjects very rarely touch in this genre. The story is very intriguing, full of mystery, suspense, and some solid shocks.
The excellent cast is another strong feature of this movie.
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