I’ve been a big fan of Jeff Goldblum for as long as I can remember. Hitting up his IMDB page I was trying to remember what was the first thing I ever saw him in, and what stood out was Tenspeed And Brownshoe (one season/1980) and The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow (1980). I seem to think Tenspeed was first, but then again there was that viewing of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1980) I may’ve also seen around this time. I’ve never been a major fan of Michelle Pfeiffer, but she has appeared in numerous movies I’ve seen on cable, and since I haven’t seen this flick in so long I forgot how young she and Goldblum were back in 1985, and how hot Pfeiffer was back at the start of her career. For the longest time I mistakenly thought this movie was her debut, but checking out her resume I obviously saw her before, though my memory of seeing her first in anything, I think, was Grease 2 (1982). As a rule of thumb I hate musicals, but I enjoyed Grease 2.
Speaking of the director John Landis, my favorite movie of his has always been An American Werewolf In London (1981), and because of that I tend to forgot he’s directed a decent amount of non-horror flicks I also liked, flicks I had all but forgotten he had directed like, Spies Like Us (1985), Three Amigos (1985), Amazon Women On The Moon (1987), Innocent Blood (1992), which I reviewed recently, and Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), and in recent times, Susan’s Plan (1998, aka Dying To Get Rich). Susan’s Plan I found absolutely hilarious!
Jeff Goldblum is Ed Okin, an aerospace engineer, who as the movie begins is already disillusioned with his life, so much so he’s become an insomniac, and a functioning one as near as I can tell, save for a dozing off in his cubicle for a nanosecond and a job fuck-up that has him uttering the wrong facts during a meeting. Aside from that he’s seems relatively sane for a dude who cannot sleep at all during the night. And then he catches his wife, Ellen (Stacey Pickren), screwing another guy in their bed in the middle of the day. She never finds out he knows because he spotted them through the window. Looks like that marriage is over.
On the next night he leaves and heads to the airport, in the parking garage Michelle Pfieffer’s Diana literally leaps onto the hood of his car as she tries to escape a group of Iranian killers. This is where the late night fun begins as Diana refuses to let Ed go time and time again after he shuttles her from destination to destination, looking for help and only feeding him enough information to keep him unbalanced, not that she was being premeditated about it all, just desperate. She’s hot, so I’m sure some of his inability to “get away from her” is based on that.
Sticking with Diana, though, can get a guy killed. You see, she finally fesses up and tells Ed she got involved in the smuggling of these valuable emeralds that several parties want, one of them being those aforementioned killers of which Director John Landis is a part of one. I forgot how hilarious Landis was and he even gave himself the best death as he’s spectacularly filled full of holes by federal agents at an airport at the end.
The late David Bowie also has a memorable role, albeit a small one—he’s in only two scenes, but I consider them stealers—as a seedy, British hitman by the name of Colin Morris and who’s rather polite even when he’s shoving a gun into Ed’s mouth, not to mention being very impressed by Ed’s “skills,” mistaking him for someone who’s been trained and helping Diana stay alive.
There are a lot of cameos including two that make more sense than you can shake a stick at. I’m talking about Pfeifer’s before-she-was-relatively-famous sister, Dedee, as a hooker, and FX artist, Rick Baker, who created all the effects on Landis’ An American Werewolf In London, as a drug dealer. Both of these cameos happen right in the same scene, one after the other. I didn’t even recognize Baker until I saw his name in the end credits where he’s credited as “drug dealer” and had to think where the hell did they encounter a drug dealer? Once I remembered I replayed that scene and sure enough there he was looking unrecognizable in his youth.
One of the things I always liked about this flick was it takes place mostly in the wee hours of the morning, or late night, however you prefer to refer to that time between, say, one and four a.m. When I was a kid, and even into my early twenties, late night always had this “magical vibe” about it. When you get older, like, middle age older, that vibe just fades away, at least for me it did, but revisiting this movie last night was a trip! It reminded me of when I first saw it and how “late night adventuring” used to mean something. It also reminded me how old Goldblum and Pfeifer have gotten. No matter how many ways you cut it, people, aging blows ropey goat chunks. I should know I’m in the goddamn middle of it.
I forgot to mention Dan Aykroyd is in this playing Ed’s buddy, and there’s also cameos by David Cronenberg, Paul Bartel, Jim Henson, Amy Heckerling (as Amy, the waitress), and Jonathan Demme, among others.
Universal has only released Into The Night one time and that was on DVD back in 2003. There’s a blu-ray that came out in the U.K. this past summer from 101 Films, but this blu here comes from Shout! Factory’s second sub-label, Shout Select. Buy it here on Amazon!
Video/Audio/Subtitles: 1080p 1.85:1 high definition widescreen—2.0 English DTS-HD Master Audio—English SDH subs only
The day scenes look pretty good, but the night scenes come off rather lackluster at times. While it’s nice to have this on blu, and I assume it must look somewhat better than it’s DVD counterpart, I was still not overly impressed by this transfer.
Extras included . . .
- NEW John Landis: “Back Into The Night” (25:48)
- NEW Jeff Goldblum: “Requiem For An Insomniac” (22.32)
- Award-Winning Documentary B.B. King Into The Night (26:05)
- Original Theatrical Trailer
Before I go Pfeiffer has some nice nude scenes in this, mostly side shots as she’s strolling back and forth in her bedroom, and one shot in the bathroom where we get some side boob and partial butt crack.