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10 To Midnight – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Charles Bronson has previously appeared in a Scream Factory release via one of the films included in a Vincent Price set as well as Shout! Factory having released a special edition of Death Wish II. So, he’s no stranger, as are Cannon Films, which can be the bread and butter of independent labels. One of the most popular releases from the distributor Twilight Time was that of the slasher-meets-Charles Bronson film from Cannon called 10 To Midnight. Its in the vault of sold out titles there. Obviously rights are only for a limited amount of time for a boutique label and those have run out. Scream Factory is now taking 10 To Midnight, giving it Collector’s Edition status AND providing a new 4K transfer of the film from the original camera negative. So, if you’ve owned it before, they are doing their best to make you not even hesitate to retire that old edition. You can pre-order your replacement now to have for its release on January 22nd.

Film 

Bronson plays Leo Kessler, a cynical Los Angeles cop on the trail of Warren Stacy (Gene Davis), a homicidal maniac who turns rejection from beautiful women into the ultimate revenge. When the legal system sets Stacy free, Kessler plants evidence to put him behind bars for good. But Kessler’s plan backfires, leaving him with only one option: to hunt down Stacy on his own … before the crazed killer can strike again!

10 To Midnight is a pretty crazy cop thriller that uses many slasher elements to it. As the title suggests, its probably best watched around the midnight hour. The film delivers many notable Cannon Films tropes, but also takes routes of its own zaniness as well. You gotta take it for its over the top and not giving a flip attitude. J Lee Thompson’s film does feature questionable police methods and is pretty mean spirited to some of its characters. But, if you picked up a Cannon Film, a hard-boiled police thriller, starring Charles Bronson…then you likely know what you’re getting into.

This movie is basically Charles Bronson vs a slasher villain. Bronson’s hard nosed cop picks him out right away and goes on trying to prove the guy did it and make his life a bit of hell. Bronson gives you that Death Wish gusto when playing this, that it almost is like a cousin to those movies. Bronson didn’t provide much range in the 1980s, but damnit if it isn’t fun watching him do what he does best for 100 minutes. His antagonist gives quite an insane performance wavering between being a creepo and absolute psychopath. He’s also but naked for a majority of the movie. You come for Charles Bronson, but you’re going to remember it because of everything that has to do with Gene Davis.

Charles Bronson’s not-Death Wish film 10 To Midnight probably is best seen before discussing. While I admire the ridiculous, the movie is a tough one and really brings the intensity. Sometimes too much so, which is why we remember it, but often times pretty effectively if you’re giving yourself into the movie. The one odd thing, is that with how violent and nasty the film is, the gore is pretty tame. No real prosthetic work going on and you never see a direct connection of someone being stabbed. It IS plenty bloody, though. And funny enough, plenty of female nudity and our male killer wanders around nude alot but they humorously block his penis at every turn. This is an entertaining off kilter B-cop thriller, and those into the Cannon stuff, if you’ve never seen this one, should check it out.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: Scream Factory has brought their version of 10 To Midnight to Blu-ray with a brand new 4K transfer from the original camera negative. This is a pretty substantial improvement over the previous edition (From what I can tell over screencaps of that edition). Skin tones are more flush and it has much more depth and stronger detail while leaving the grain structure pretty well intact. This print seems to be in pretty great condition as well. It doesn’t unlock any beauty in the look, as this movie carries a pretty static looking cinematography. This transfer is just crisp and is a terrific representation of the film.

Depth:  Camera movements are quite smooth and characters have a comfortable confidence throughout. The depth of field is rock solid as pretty much all the interiors have a nice pushback. No motion distortions occur.

Black Levels: Blacks are plenty deep but keep a saturation with terrific shading, retaining a lot of detail in darker rooms and nighttime sequences. Grain is heavier and more noticeable in the darkness. No crushing present.

Color Reproduction: Colors have a rustic and natural look to them. Its a lot of eggshell whites, grays, browns and such. There isn’t much in the way of flashy fashion, which is surprising because this is the 80s. Though, if a fabric offers a more fiery color, then it will give a nice pop. There is good saturation here and plenty of different tones, shades an the like come through.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent throughout the duration of the film. Wrinkles, moles, makeup, lip texture, dried blood, pores and more come through very clear.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English SDH

Dynamics: This mono mix has a nice airiness about it, with everything feeling well balanced and free. Effects can get plenty loud and feature some impressive deep tones to them. The score also feels more sweeping that you’d expect. Its a pretty loud, well kept and involving mono track.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear, crisp and audible no matter how much craziness is going on onscreen.

Extras 

10 To Midnight – Collector’s Edition comes with a reversible cover featuring the original poster artwork.

Audio Commentary

  • With writer/historian Paul Talbot (the Bronson’s Loose! books)
  • With producer Pancho Kohner, casting director John Crowther and film historian David Del Valle

Producing Bronson (HD, 12:41) – Interview with producer Lance Hool from some airplane runway, he discusses getting the project together and putting the pieces together for the film. He said it wasn’t 10 to Midnight until Cannon came in and promised them they’d make the movie they wanted but the budget continually shrank. This was the first movie that Cannon released themselves without any assistance.

Remember Bronson (HD, 6:00) – Interview with actor Robert F. Lyons. Calls Bronson’s working relationship with people as a “quiet knowing”. Says he’d change a lot and light up in his “togetherness with Jill Ireland when she came by the set.

Knife and Death (HD, 6:55) – Interview with actress Jeana Tomasina. She discusses transitioning from modeling to acting and her passion for film (Was once the record holder for most rentals at her local Blockbuster back in the day). 10 To Midnight is a film that had great impact on her and she was more aware and more thoughtful about her own personal security after making the film.

Charlie’s Partner (HD, 10:46) – Interview with actor Andrew Stevens. He goes over meeting Bronson on another film, a little bit about the shooting of the film and then rolls through the roster of people he worked with and gives anecdotes on them.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 2:14) 

Radio Spots (HD, 1:39)

Image Gallery (HD, 6:56)

Summary 

10 To Midnight is a bit of a crazy, 80s hard cop drama with horror elements and its absolutely one of the most perfect titles for the Scream Factory library. They’ve done it well, too. The film’s brand new 4K transfer looks absolutely lovely on this Blu-ray and the mono track is pretty impressive. There are 4 brand new interviews and 2 new commentaries to load up the bonus materials. If you missed out on the Twilight Time release, don’t hesitate on picking this one up. And if you own that one, put it up on eBay and replace it with this brand new edition.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

1 Response to “10 To Midnight – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)”


  1. Posturecorrectorbra

    Brandon Peters, thanks a lot for the article post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.