28 January 2002 | eminges
Susan Tyrrell Rules The Planet
I'd heard about Night Warning, I was fortunate enough to see it at a weird-film society showing, and I finally found it sitting in a bin in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
There's one problem with the film, and we might as well deal with it up front. Director William Asher tries hard, but he's got a TV sensibility trying to cope with one of the nastiest scripts ever written and two of the wickedest performances ever turned in by SAG members. In the hands of a master, this thing'd still be playing at midnight showings all over the Western Hemisphere.
That aside, Susan Tyrrell's performance alone is worth the price of admission. Bo Svenson's performance alone is worth the price of admission. Julia Duffy's charming, unwrapped little mams together are worth the price of admission. Even Jimmy McNichol doesn't embarrass himself - no, he doesn't, watch it again, he's supposed to be a goofy, horny teenager in suburban/rural Arizona, not a sensitive coffee-house habitue, for godsake.
Let's go back to Susan Tyrrell. She puts on a clinic for actresses who want to know what "over the top" consitutes. When she flips out - lordie. All I'll say is that at approximately 1:15 into the movie, when she reacts to Julia Duffy breaking out a window, she makes a move with her head that's the single scariest thing I've ever seen an actor do on film, ever, anywhere, period. (And I've seen Jim Carrey trying to be sincere, thank you.)
And Bo Svenson is evil on skates. The script doesn't give him that much to work with, but he rolls right over that little obstacle. WHY does he rant, "I want those deviants off the streets!" Who knows, who cares? There's a story out on the Net that he was a royal pain on the set, and I could easily believe that this was a case of him getting to say things he's always wanted to say in public, and get paid for it.
Find this gem at any price. Know it. Live it.