As one half of The Butcher Brothers and on his own, Mitchell Altieri has written and directed films ranging from the PROM NIGHT remake to HOLY GHOST PEOPLE, THE HAMILTONS and its sequel THE THOMPSONS, but he’s never had that one film that would put him firmly in the spotlight. THE NIGHT WATCHMEN should finally change that.
After a circus troupe is killed in Romania by a mysterious illness their bodies are returned to their native Baltimore with their leader Blimpo the Clown accidentally ending up at a newspaper’s office building. Of course Blimpo doesn’t stay in his casket and soon it’s up to Ken (James Remar THE WARRIORS) and his security team Jiggetts (Kevin Jiggetts ParaABNORMAL), Luca (Dan DeLuca CRAZY EIGHTS) and newcomer Rajeeve (Max Gray Wilbur THRILL KILL) along with the lone survivor of the editorial department Karen (Kara Luiz AMERICAN POLTERGEIST 3) to slay the hordes of vampires and their clownpire master. Or at least stay alive until sunrise.
The script by DeLuca and Jamie Nash (ALTERED) from a story by DeLuca and Ken Arnold, who appears in the film as Ken, is a near perfect mix of humor both genre related and otherwise and high energy action scenes. The film keeps going at a fast pace, throwing out gags and blood spray almost non stop, the film rarely slows down and never gets dull. And there is plenty of blood spraying and spurting in all directions as the film dishes up loads of inventive kills along with a memorable main villain with Blimpo the Clownpire, half vampire half evil clown that will turn up in your nightmares.
There’s a very good chemistry between the cast which helps sell the premise. A large part of that may well be the number of times many of them have worked together. From the script up it feels like this was the idea of a bunch of friends and the results on screen reflects that. Kudos also to the set design and cinematography for making the office building that 99% of the film is set in look so damn menacing. The few quich shots of the chaos in the rest of the city are brief but convincing.
THE NIGHT WATCHMEN should have no trouble landing distribution after its festival run, hopefully including theatrical dates, this is one to see with an audience.