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12.16.2017
Midnight Movie (2011)
Fiction Review by The Spastic Cannibal
08.22.11

Midnight Movie (2011) Well now. Iconic horror director Tobe Hooper has written a novel and I've gotta say, it's a refreshing dose of creativity from a film maker whose "flair" in the realm of cinematic recognition has, otherwise, been dwindling. As repeated in the "Midnight Movie", Hooper's attitude toward Hollywood studios and soul-sucking film executives is, in the least, disdainful and rightly so. Compromising artistic freedom and personal pride for, what can often amount to measly scraps of budgetary funding, apparently frustrates the well-known director even to this day, which goes to show why some of his more recent films have been met with scornful reaction by genre fans.

As Hooper states in a bonus Q&A in "Midnight Movie", writing a book had been in the cards for a while and finally got realized with the help of author Alan Goldsher. The books is semi autobiographical in parts, while being centered around a student film that Hooper made back in 1959, while in his mid-teens. With a cast and crew of about six high school friends, he made "Destiny Express", a reasonably short zombie film that never saw the light of day. From there, the novel delves into a ficticious string of events begining with the recovery of the original film reel and a screening of the movie that was held at a small dive bar in 2009. Following the drunken screening, with Tobe Hooper himself in attendance, a series of worldwide catastrophes and epidemics began to unfold, leading to an impending apocalypse refered to as The Game...

What really adds to the fun of "Midnight Movie" is the construction of the story and events depicted. It is mainly told via interviews with a handful of characters involved (Hooper, a young film critic, and the female ticket taker outside the bar are the main three), as well as faux-news paper clippings, police reports, blog entries, Twitter conversations, etc. Sort of a "scrapbook" of sequential documentation of the disasterous outcome of Tobe Hooper's home-made childhood horror film. What befalls the Earth is a zombie outbreak, terrorists suicide-bombing well-populated buildings, a new recipe for meth that is causing a huge number of explosions and deaths, and a new sexually transmitted disease that results in gooey blue discharge and nymphomania.

Not to mention, there's a great deal of witty humor all over the book, which also makes for a quick and enjoyable read. Hooper's (character's) sarcasm toward his own career and the pitfalls of the film making process , in general, is loud and clear in "Midnight Movie", as well as plenty of revealing hints at his personality and sense of humor.

Toward the end of the book, Hooper realizes that remaking "Destiny Express" may be the only way to save the world. This is apparently factual as "Destiny Express Redux" - a shot-for-shot recreation has been screened around a little the past few years. Needless to say, I look forward to checking it out someday.

In all, I really can't think of anything WRONG with "Midnight Movie". It's loose writing style, irregular layout, and sarcastic humor makes for one hell of a page turner. Apparently, it's not the last we're going to see of Tobe Hooper's literary talents. Wicked!


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