The other day I was walking down the street with an old friend. I don't remember how the conversation came to this point, but he mentioned to me that in his neighborhood there is a movie theater that plays "Donnie Darko
" every Saturday Night at midnight. My friend was confused by this.
"Of all the movies in the world, why are they playing "Donnie Darko"?" he wondered aloud.
"Simple, really," I replied. "It's quite the Midnight Movie."
My friend remained confused, thus opening a discussion about what a Midnight Movie actually is.
A Midnight Movie is essentially a Cult Film. The specifics lie in that before the massive replacing of movie theaters with multiplexes, you could go to many theaters and find these cult films playing at midnight showings (Because of their limited appeal). Though some theaters still offer Midnight Movies, they have been heavily reduced over the last few years.
So what makes a Midnight Movie worth watching? Generally, because the plot/style/characters have said limited appeal they can more specifically envelope a viewer. Donnie Darko, to use my friend's example, is a successful Midnight Movie because of, not in spite of, it's awkwardly angst-ridden time traveler and dated 80's music. Perhaps the mother of all midnight movies, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", is a near religous experience when properly viewed on the big screen, albeit lacking in the neccessaries for mass audience consumption. They are movies made to free you from movies.
Now that my friend understood, he was satisfied with Donnie Darko's weekly run. And since he was in my neighborhood, I convinced him to stay for a while. It was Saturday Night, and "Blue Velvet" was about to play...