Director: Mitchell Altieri
Distributor: Splendid Film
Duration: 76 minutes
The Night Watchmen (DVD) – Movie Review
When someone utters the two words ‘horror’ and ‘comedy’ in one phrase, it’s often because an actual horror movie is so bad it becomes laughable at best. We often view older movies in such a fashion, simply because of the very dated special effects, and of course, poor acting performances. The latter however still plagues many movies today. That aside, every once in a while a movie is made that actually intends to combine both genres, and even then, it often misses its mark. We bunkered down for ‘The Night Watchmen’ with reasonably low expectations, but before long our opinion changed drastically.
An entire nation mourns at the loss of Blimpo, America’s most beloved clown, who passed away, together with many of his fellow clowns while touring through Romania. The inexplicable deaths of the group of clowns call for extra investigation, thus the American government requests the bodies to be extradited. The request is accepted, and thus looking for the cause of the mysterious deaths can begin, if the bodies arrive without problems that is.
The movie revolves around Rajeeve (Max Gray Wilbur), which is actually not his real name, but he simply gets the uniform of the previous night watchmen, and everyone simply calls him this, due to the nametag. He gets a job at an unnamed office, in which he will work together with three other colleagues, Luca (Dan DeLuca), Ken (Ken Arnold) and Jiggetts (Kevin Jiggetts) who simply play cards all night, watch porn, watch the company’s hottest female employees on camera and so on. When all of a sudden a carrier arrives with a coffin, they try to get rid of it by forcing the transport company to take it with them again, but they ask for a favor, and offer Jiggetts a fair amount of weed, if they can pick up the body in the morning. The body proves to be none other than that of Blimpo, the deceased clown. Sadly for the inexperienced guards, the clown has turned into a monster, namely a vampire. The office seems to be a great hiding spot, and a giant pool of human blood and new vampires await.
Even though the movie only spans slightly over an hour and fifteen minutes, The Night Watchmen never feels rushed, and the story and events unfold at a fairly relaxed pace, albeit with some hectic fights and deaths scattered out through the film. In preparation of the movie’s grand finale, the film never tries to overextend its simplistic story, which is a very commendable feature for a movie such as this, as it sticks with its core idea and tries to present this to the viewer in a nearly ‘perfected form’. Perhaps some of the special effects may scare off potential viewers, but we can’t help but feel that this was intended. The comedy level is surely to be appreciated, especially with the gimmick of what all vampires do when they kick the bucket.
As expected, the cast doesn’t have any huge Hollywood names among them, safe from a few actors that (used to) have a major part in bigger series or sitcoms. Those actors are sadly reduced to having minor roles in this flick, but after watching the entire movie, you’ll have to admit that the cast, known or unknown to you, actually pulled off great acting performances given the fact they had to work with a very flimsy storyline.
Sadly this DVD release comes with no extras, safe for a few trailers, but overall it’s no real issue as the movie stands quite tall on its own. A few snippets about the idea behind the movie, or how certain scenes came to life would have been nice, but were totally not necessary to enjoy this physical release.
Surprisingly The Night Watchmen proved to be a great addition to the horror comedy genre, because it never tried to go over the top by making things too complex, or too obscure on the humor part. The creators stuck with a simple plot and a fairly likeable cast, and truth be told, if the idea of vampire clowns doesn’t make you laugh, we don’t know what will. Dim the lights, grab a bag of potato chips, and enjoy this short but amusing movie.