The Night Watchmen – USA, 2016

‘Let’s go kill some dead people!’

The Night Watchmen is a 2016 American comedy horror film directed by Mitchell Altieri (The Hamiltons; The Thompsons; A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff) from a screenplay by Dan DeLuca and Jamie Nash.

In a nondescript newspaper office building in Baltimore four inept male security guards, along with an attractive and feisty female tabloid journalist, find themselves up against a horde of flesh hungry zombie vampires, or “zompires”, some of whom are dressed as clowns…

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Reviews:

“Tons of gore gags and arterial sprays are littered through this picture and it is hard not to smile each time it occurs. Another standout is all of the stunts and action scenes. There are full body burns, high flying monsters and even a spider-walking vampire (ala’ The Exorcist). Even with all of this great action, the cast really carries this film and the mile a minute comedy style works well.” Blaine McLaren, Mondo McLaren

” …this is choppy nonsense with the occasional half-decent joke, reasonably staged gore effect or fight scene and a few okay character beats. James Remar guest stars as an old-timer who issues awful warnings and gets turned early, allowing the night watchmen to test out whether a plastic mop-handle will serve as a stake (no) or what the effect of a bullet to the brain is on this breed of shambling undead…” The Kim Newman Web Site

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” …it’s a wild and entertaining romp, featuring all sorts of fascinating ways to kill (or at least slow down) a vampire, and even the parts that don’t make sense are still fun, in the campiest sense. There’s a great deal of gore, to say the least, but in most cases it’s so over the top it quickly stops seeming gory, and the effects are generally very good.” The Movie Critic Next Door

” …a rather fun, action-packed horror comedy with likeable characters, plentiful splatter and a good deal of wit […] It’s also marred a little by some repetitious gags (the fact that these vampires pass wind after they have been staked soon gets old) plus some pretty bad CGI at the end.” Evan Popplestone, Cinema’s Fringes

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“It’s a film full of surprise combat, flashes of gleeful gore, and a dumb story crammed with dopey one-liners and blossoming infection rates. Altieri isn’t as bothered as he usually is with scares, driving down the dark slippery flume of camp schlock for better or worse. On one hand, Altieri’s film lacks the heart and soul of the more successful horror comedies, but on the other, it arguably outdoes a lot of them with its peddle-to-the-meddle attitude.” Cinehouse

“Altieri gives a solid finished movie to the fans of horror and gore, the slapstick pratfalls, comedic talents of the cast and splattering of blood everywhere. He understood both his audience and limitations, knowing the careful balance in the horror-comedy subgenre and followed it closely, delivering excitement, high energy…” Duane, Rogue Cinema

“With so much spraying blood, the film should have a warning:  “The first two rows WILL get wet!”  The film is on the level of say – Evil Dead 2 and Neil Marshall’s The Descent – for the amount of blood and bile and gore thrown across the screen. It’s all in good fun, and obviously very comic-book-esque. And the “clownpire” make-up is appropriately creepy, rotten and gross. Seriously… if you have a clown phobia – you should probably avoid this film.” Michael Klug, Horrorfreak News

“Popcorn movies” is a term used to describe guilty pleasure flicks where providing mindless entertainment is the number one agenda item.  Maybe The Night Watchmen can be branded as a “bongwater movie,” where the intention is to be supplemental background noise for easily pleased stoners in between bites of Hostess cakes […] Personally, I’d prefer to see an intelligent script taking the vampire clown concept to more creative places than “that’s what she said” punchlines.” Ian Sedensky, Culture Crypt

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“There isn’t any depth here, which is the primary drawback […] Then again, if you’re going to see a movie about a vampire clown, the most important thing is that the picture provides a healthy dose of violent mayhem. On that count, The Night Watchmen delivers. It’s relentless in devising insane, tongue-in-cheek, bloody entertainment.” The Aisle Seat

“Attempts at being comical unfortunately result in failure most of the time. I cracked a smile once; twice at best, despite the numerous efforts of making the audience laugh. Very few hits, too many misses. A mix of horrible dialogue and awful directing […] Despite displaying average, yet seldom, practical special effects, they are horrendously overshadowed by unoriginal make-up effects and under-average CGI…” Simon Rother, Horror-Movies.ca

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“It’s not that The Night Watchmen is a bad film, it’s just that it could have been a good film. Set the cast and the occasional gag aside, and there’s very little here that separates this one from an elongated Halloween episode of your favorite office-based sitcom. It’s a mostly fun and always predictable romp that tries a bit too hard to hit its marks.” Luke Rodriguez, Modern Horrors

Main cast:

  • Ken Arnold
  • Dan DeLuca
  • Kevin Jiggetts
  • James Remar
  • Kara Luiz
  • Matt Servitto
  • Max Gray Wilbur
  • Diona Reasonover
  • Rain Pryor
  • Tiffany Shepis – Death House; The Black Room; She Wolf Rising; et al
  • Dan Franko

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Tiffany Shepis

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