1980s Horror Comedy With Star Trek TNG And RoboCop Stars Needs Your Help

By Brian Myers | Published

In between trips to the theater, horror fans over the decades have been able to view countless made-for-TV films in the genre that, while not having the big budgets and star power of big screen productions, are sometimes equally enjoyable. Salem’s Lot (1979, 2006), The Shining (1997), and The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978) are but a few entries that were created to air on the major networks but have remained fan favorites decades later. One notable entry that has slipped through the cracks is the 1985 ABC film The Midnight Hour, a movie that is not only unavailable to stream but is also nearly impossible to find on physical media.

The Midnight Hour Was A Made-For-TV Movie

The Midnight Hour follows a group of high school friends in a New England town who are preparing for a big Halloween party. The movie includes the trope of kids doing a spell as a gag, only to have it really work and produce devastating consequences. They break into their town’s historical society to get real artifacts to use for their Halloween costumes and stumble across a 300-year-old scroll that appears to contain some type of incantation.

Teens And Graveyards Do Not Mix

The group decides to go to the town’s cemetery, where Melissa (Shari Belafonte-Harper) reads from the scroll. Melissa’s many-time great-grandmother was a witch put to death centuries ago in the town, and she must have received some of her grandmother’s spellcasting abilities. The Midnight Hour sees the spell work as the dead rise from their graves and terrorize the townsfolk for the rest of the movie.

Zombies, Leave!

The Midnight Hour brings together a cast of familiar faces, many of whom have notable credits in the genre. The movie has Dick Van Patten (Eight is Enough) cast as the town’s dentist, Kurtwood Smith (Robocop, That 70s Show), LeVar Burton (Star Trek: The Next Generation), and a young Macauley Culkin (The Good Son, Home Alone) in his first every role. The movie’s hero is played by Lee Montgomery, who horror fans might recognize from his portrayal of Davey Rolf in the 1976 horror film Burnt Offerings.

The Final Frontier Of Made For TV Zombie Movies

The movie was produced to be a bit more family-friendly than you might otherwise expect. The Midnight Hour is packed with corny jokes and safe humor, but the movie still gives audiences plenty of reasons to fear the dark. The makeup and special effects are on par with what a bigger-budget theatrical production would have yielded, making the movie appear more realistic than cheesy.

A Goofy Comedy Horror

The Midnight Hour certainly wasn’t innovative for horror, but the movie is still a lot of fun. Unfortunately, seeing it has been pretty difficult over the years. Since its first airing in 1985, it only saw a handful of reruns during Halloween seasons in the first decade since its production. There was a VHS release in 1989 and 1999 and a DVD release in 2000.

If You Can Find It, It’s A Great Bad Movie


As these physical media are out of print, The Midnight Hour seems to be a film that is doomed to be forgotten by its fans from the 1980s and totally overlooked by anyone since. The movie cannot be streamed online anywhere, and you’re only way to experience it is to find a grainy version of it on YouTube.

The Midnight Hour is a 2.5/5.0-star movie. If you can stream it or are lucky enough to stumble across an out-of-print DVD, it’s certainly worth watching during Halloween season.