Sunday, September 19, 2010


From the director of DEATH WISH V, 1996's MIDNIGHT HEAT is something of a change of pace for ex-footballer Brian Bosworth (STONE COLE), as it’s played more for mystery and mood than for action.

The Boz is a buttoned-down banker named John Gray, who loses his memory after a hit-and-run accident. His beautiful and affluent wife Sharon (Marta DuBois) brings him home and patiently tries to reassimilate him, but he becomes haunted by weird dreams and flashes that hint at a previous life he has suppressed—one that may involve prison and a talent for hand-to-hand combat.

Composer Terry Plumeri is really into it, laying down an old-fashioned score that helps director Allan A. Goldstein establish the mood. For the director’s part, some of Bosworth’s nightmares are shown as black-and-white flashbacks in a style that’s actually integral to the storyline. I like the way the story slowly peels apart like an onion, doling out just enough information to keep the audience guessing, but rarely any more than Bosworth has.

Bosworth’s performance isn’t bad at all, playing both the button-down and the badass equally well. Brad Dourif (CHILD'S PLAY) as the straw-hatted heavy has some terrific moments, and I was really charmed by Claire Yarlett (THE COLBYS) as the cute Jenny, who befriends the confused Bosworth and helps him uncover his true identity. She and the star bounce off each other well too. The only false note in MIDNIGHT HEAT’s casting is the sexy DuBois (TALES OF THE GOLD MONKEY) as Bosworth’s wife. Her acting is fine (and she looks great in lingerie), but she’s clearly much older than Bosworth, and their pairing seems off.

Action scenes are adequate, and the story contains welcome humor (after getting roughed up, Bosworth says he feels like “Bo Jackson just ran him over”). Considering its direct-to-video origins as a Brian Bosworth vehicle, MIDNIGHT HEAT (its alternate title of BLACKOUT is more apt) is a real sleeper worth a watch.

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