- Movie Rating -

Midnight Madness (1980)

| February 8, 1980

It is difficult now to think of a time when the Walt Disney company didn’t dominate the entertainment world (or consume it), but there was a moment in the late 70s when the House of Mouse almost became an endangered species.  After Walt’s death in 1966, the company spent the next 15 to 20 years trying to find an identity for itself, and that identity was syphoned into a long series of dopey comedies that were too dumb for parents and only slightly amusing enough for the kids – teenagers wouldn’t go near a Disney picture.

In 1979, the company made the announcement that it was going to try to move forward and try some stuff that wasn’t aimed purely at the elementary school set.  A noble effort to be sure, but the immediate results weren’t not enviable.  The Black Hole laid an egg and so too did the PG-rated Midnight Madness, a mean-spirited Animal House-style comedy about a group of dim-bulbed misfits who get involved in a game that has them running all over L.A. and causing trouble that results in a guy falling into a vat of beer and a few characters staring at a woman’s ample bosom to decipher a clue about melons.  For this, the Walt Disney company took their name off of the project.

Watching the movie, one might suspect that there were other reasons that they disassociated themselves.  This is a terrible movie made in the mold of It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World in involves five teams of college-age kids who are sent on an all-night race around Los Angeles to find clues, as part of a contest set forth by a game designer.  The characters are all basic types, some good, some bad and all are quite retched.  They’re mean to each other even when they’re suppose to like each other.

The game, at least, should be the center of attention, but it’s not.  It’s really just a series of vague clues to get the characters from one mess into another.  This is a movie that is really hard to sit through.  It’s too juvenile for teenagers and too mature for children.  So . . . who is it for?

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1980) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized