Monday, 10 October 2011

Home Before Midnight

'Home Before Midnight' (1979) was directed by Pete Walker. Walker is, of course, a great British auteur, a busy director of smut and horror on a shoestring. This film seems a more self-consciously mainstream drama than, say, 'House Of Whipcord', but it's all relative - this is still cheap exploitation -although, of course, I have absolutely nothing against that.

This is Mike. The dirty bastard.
 Mike Beresford is a seemingly decent and rather naive bloke, despite his enthusiasm for bomber jackets and short shorts and his day job as the co-writer of anodyne AOR for top pop group Bad Accident. Mike's main mistake is picking up hitch hiker Ginny and starting a relationship with her without asking to see her birth certificate. When he realises she's fourteen (!) he initially calls an end to the relationship out of fear of arrest,  but realises it's not quite that easy - they're in love.

The mature looking Ginny.

Consenting Adults?

The unbelievable truth.

The inevitable consequences.

Her parents don't see the romantic side of it when they find out, of course, and have Mike in the dock before he can say 'it was consensual, honest' - and the shit he's in gets considerably deeper and shittier when Ginny is frightened into a change of heart, regresses five years in maturity and tells the Police that Mike knew her age all the time and forced her into it.

Cock in the dock.

Incidental detail.

'Home Before Midnight' isn't a bad film, but it's a very bad subject to make a film about, as there isn't really any credible moral equivalence in the debate. On the plus side, it has some decent actors in it and it's professionally made. The main problem is that the character of Ginny is badly realised, jumping around from intelligent, mature woman to shameless schemer to blubbing schoolgirl to suit the twisting storyline, and this undermines whatever kind of point is being made.

 Brief appearances from Richard Todd, sexy Debbie Linden, Tomorrow Person Nicholas Young, Chris Jagger (shit brother of Mick) and Annie Nightingale don't help much, and the music is awful. The most interesting cameo is from DJ David Hamilton, playing himself, seen leaving a club with a much younger, much taller girl. I do wonder if the Didster read the script, because the inference is quite clear: they're all at it in the music industry, the filthy animals.


  1. I'd go to prison for Ginny, no question about that.
    I really like this film, although it would have been better if Sheila Keith ate David Hamilton's brains after drilling into his skull with love.

    1. Yeah I think I'd have to think twice about the likely custodial sentence if the opportunity arose with Ginny too!

      Just watched this for the first time last night. I think it's now my favourite of Walker's movies. Muddled yes, but a more mature (no pun intended) film all round.

      May have to blog about it myself