Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: 10 to Midnight - 1983

10 to Midnight
Director: J. Lee Thompson

Bronson plays this typical cop that is more or less married to his job. He has a daughter but according to her he’s never been a good father. He has always put the police work ahead of his family but on the other hand he has been decorated with countless of honorable medals. Now he’s in charge of this murder investigation where a former friend of his daughter has been murdered. It’s his job to tell the parents and there are absolutely no way he can keep his emotions out of this one, something that’s essential for good police work!

I never really thought about it that way before but this was not more than a few years old when I first saw it on an rental VHS. It never seemed to be a somewhat new film but rather something from the seventies. A flick from around the same time many of the golden Bronson flick were made. But as I said, now I realized that it’s actually from the 80s!

Bronson does not play an alcoholic cop yet. He would do that many times later but I guess this film was made just before those flicks. Here he’s actually a good cop who wants his man bad, so bad that he doesn’t hesitate to fabricate some evidence. To complicate this further he has a partner that’s not as old in the business and lacks some of the experience needed to compete with Bronsons character. This partner thinks it’s wrong to plant this evidence even if the perpetrator is guilty of horrible crimes!

To make a long story short, the trial gets cancelled and the killer is set free. Now the real struggle begins. Bronsons character starts to stalk the killer in order to make him do mistakes. The killer then sets after Bronsons daughter in order to kill her like the rest of his victims. Now the game’s a foot. Bronson never thought it would go to that and it out to stop the killer once and for all now. The time for planted evidence is now over!

I’ve seen this movie rubricated as a slasher many times over the last few years. I never understood why since my memory of it didn’t allow me such details. After today I understand why it could have got such an epithet, but I still don’t agree with it. It’s true that the killer kills his victims with a knife and that he does it in the nude but it’s still a thriller and a crime movie, not a horror flick and a slasher!

According to my experience I also think that this is a somewhat overrated movie to many people. It a good solid movie to be sure, but I don’t think it’s such a masterpiece that som of my fellow critics seems to think. Still, with Bronson you can’t go wrong!