In the film “One Dark Night,” Carol (Robin Evans), Kitty (Leslie Speights), and Leslie (Elizabeth Daily) are three members of a high school clique known as the Sisters. Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Meg Tilly (Agnes of God) portrays Julie Wells. According to Carol’s dialogue, Julie has wanted to be in the group for a long time. Julie is currently going through the initiation process to become a member. She has one final test, where she needs to spend the entire night locked inside of a mausoleum. (As an aside: Elizabeth Daily has used her talent as a voice actress in over two hundred films and television shows).
As if that weren’t creepy enough, Karl Rhamarevich Raymar, who spent the majority of his life working on attempting to enhance human abilities has recently been buried in the mausoleum. Raymar’s work, it is made known to the viewer, has largely been derided as fake. Olivia McKenna (Melissa Newman), Raymar’s daughter is approached after her father’s funeral by a man named Dockstader (Donald Hotton). He is someone who has been studying the occult for many years and knew her father well. He gives her a cassette tape, which he tells her will explain what her father was working on. Olivia’s husband Allan, played by Adam West of Batman fame, is not happy with any mention of her father’s experiments or the supernatural. Throughout the remainder of the film, Olivia will listen to the tape and it does explain, in part at least, what her father was doing.
Julie and her boyfriend Steve (David Mason Daniels) get into an argument over her joining the Sisters. He has already confronted Carol about the situation, because he knows she is only letting Julie go through the initiation as a way to get back at him. Carol and Steve were together, before he began dating Julie. On the night of the initiation, Steve goes looking for Julie. The Sisters meanwhile are headed back to the mausoleum. They have it worked out that they can gain access through a window that has been left open. They plan to scare Julie. What they don’t know, is that perhaps Raymar’s work wasn’t as fake as people were led to believe, and it is them that should be very afraid. Steve searches for Julie and learns where she is. Can he save the day?
The film has a runtime of 89 minutes. The film was directed by Emmy nominee Tom McLoughlin (Van Dyke and Company). In addition to directing, McLoughlin co-wrote the screenplay with Michael Hawes (Family Reunion). The film premiered in France in 1982 at the Paris Festival of Fantastic Film.
“One Dark Night” was a low budget film, but it made the most of what it did have available to it, especially the scenes that were filmed at the mausoleum. Meg Tilly proved that even at the beginning of her career, she was already an effective and capable actress. Overall, it’s a well done horror film, that held my interest from start to finish.