Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Night Flier (1997)(Minor Spoilers Review)

**This review contains MINOR spoilers, no major reveals, plot twists, or character deaths**

Richard Dees (Miguel Ferrer) is a veteran reporter, who works for Inside View, a paranormal and exploitative tabloid. Merton Morrison (Dan Monahan), Richard’s editor-in-chief, pushes Richard to accept a story about a murderer, who uses a private plane to kill helpless victims in small towns. Using a black Skymaster draped in thick curtains, Dwight Renfield (Michael H. Moss) quietly swoops into select communities at night to massacre everything in his path. The body count rises with each passing night, and gruesome evidence suggests Dwight could be a vampire.

Richard has to deal with some tough competition from Katherine Blair (Julie Entwisle), an ambitious and energetic newcomer, but Katherine can’t compete with Richard’s personal airplane and pilot’s license. Richard nicknames Dwight “The Night Flier,” but the investigation takes a dangerous turn for the worst after a series of foreboding warnings written in fresh blood………

Miguel Ferrer delivers the best performance here. His portrayal of this scummy and miserable creep is spot on, and Ferrer brings the essential shameless presence to the Dees character. Dees will stop at nothing to be the top man at Insider View, and his despicable actions include photographing fresh dead bodies (i.e. Dees snapping pictures of deceased victims after a tragic car wreck). Dan Monahan is good for a few laughs as the slimy and perverted boss, and kudos to Julie Entwisle for a noteworthy performance. Katherine is the only ray of sunshine in a backstabbing and merciless snake pit. It’s easy to feel sympathy for Katherine, because Entwisle’s vibrant and perky performance as this harmless newcomer is very convincing.

The Night Flier could’ve been a lot better. Unfortunately, some noticeably poor production values really hurt this one, because you get the feeling you’re watching a bargain basement made for TV movie. Still, The Night Flier is one of the more respectable Stephen King adaptations. It’s a creepy and ghoulish vampire flick, featuring a handful of eerie and unsettling nighttime scenes, and I can’t forget about the nail-biting series of events during the finale. Plus, there’s more than enough nasty gruesomeness and blood to satisfy the gore fiends, and The Night Flier delivers some genuine gross-out moments.

Rating: 6/10

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