The plot is about a serial killer who gets his kicks by knifing his victims while naked. A veteran cop, Leo Kessler (Bronson) believes that he has found the killer and plants fake evidence. Yup, he kills them when he’s naked. Be sure to watch this one with mommy, kids; I’m sure it won’t be remotely awkward.
This film does have a rare occurrence though, a good performance by Charles Bronson; he actually shows emotion in it. That’s right, emotion! He feels like an authentic cop and the fact that he doesn’t mind bending the rules makes him an interesting character.
The moral dilemma he faces is a fascinating one: He knows Warren Stacy IS the killer but there just isn’t enough evidence to convict; should he or shouldn’t he do what is necessary to put this monster behind bars? Should he go by the book and let him go, sacrificing more women to this psychopath? An intriguing quandary and it has a good few twists and turns along the way.
I love how Bronson’s character actually has to face the consequences of his actions earlier in the film and he loses his job. It added an extra bit of realism to proceedings.
Gene Davis was great as the (naked) serial killer Warren Stacy and he has a kind of Patrick Bateman air to him. He managed to be pretty creepy, a smug preppy git and for the time it was made, I imagine it would have been quite disturbing. As I watch it now it’s mostly just funny, especially some of the rotten acting by the supporting cast. Just watch the scene where the girls at the office are told of their co-workers murder; we’re talking Oscar calibre stuff here.
It has a pretty awesome 80′s style music score complete with epic guitar solos and really adds to the tension of the piece.
Overall, 10 to Midnight is trashy fun and has the odd tense scene; it’s mostly unintentionally funny but the final 15 minutes ramp it up a notch and make it pretty exciting.