Midnight Mass (2002) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Scoop's notes in white:

I had mixed feelings about this vampire/armageddon movie with a "punk" feel. I didn't like it, but I had to concede that the visuals were often composed and photographed beautifully. The script is basically the same old stuff, but there was kind of a nice twist in that an atheist was facing a real internal crisis because the most effective defenses against vampires include religious symbols like crosses and holy water and consecrated wine, thus implying that there is some "truth" to religious mythology.

The story is pretty cheesy. It starts out by informing us that the whole world is being taken over by vampires, but focuses in on only one town on the New Jersey shore, and the battle of the locals to protect themselves. The local rogue vampire/priest there keeps assuring his enemies that "the world is mine". I guess that means he's the Big Kahuna of vampires world-wide. You'd think that with the entire world to choose from, Vampires would set up their HQ in Vienna or someplace, not in Asbury Park.

So what's the problem with the film? Well, the editing is quite clumsy, and the vamps look kinda silly, but the main reason I didn't like the film is that the acting is so bad as to defy all audience involvement. It's really hard to get into a story when every character is either shamelessly overacting or delivering lines like a local used car dealer reading from cue cards. Sitting in the audience, you never get to cross over into their world because you're always aware they are "acting".


  • Candice Bauman shows her breasts, and does a nude scene from the side.

  • Julia Cornish shows her breasts in a sex scene

  • somebody else shows her breasts in a S&M sex scene

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

I don't know if I still would have hated the film if it had been made with real actors. Maybe it's best to say that the director shows some promise for future projects.


Midnight Mass (2002) was an attempt to veer away from the image of vampires as seductive creatures, and present them as the monsters they are. They are taking over the world, and running out of food. They spend all day hunting new prey. The story is centered in The Garden State, a title which proves the people of New Jersey have a sense of humor. The film is visually excellent, and has a very interesting lead character who is conflicted, as she is a "devout atheist," but sees Catholic sacraments actually defeating the vampires. In the novel on which the story is based, it was a Jew having a crisis of faith, but they figured out that irritating Jewish people was not a good move when you  searching for financial backing for a movie, so they made her an atheist.

I can't tell if this had the potential for being a good film or not, as the acting is miserable, especially from the female lead and the main villain. It was so bad, in fact, that it was impossible for me to get into this film at all.

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews online

The People Vote ...

The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, Scoop says, "this is a C- or a D. I couldn't decide. It is a cheesy vampire movie and very poorly acted, but it does have some excellent visualizations, so maybe some genre fans will like it. My guess is that it is a D, but that the director has some good films in his future. Tuna says, "I must admit, vampire films are far from my favorite genre. Yet, vampire film is a popular genre, and this film has a new slant and great visuals, which have earned it an audience among genre fans, so it is properly scored C-."

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