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10 to Midnight

10 to Midnight (1983)

March. 11,1983
| Drama Thriller Crime

Based on the real-life Richard Speck murders. After his bizarre behavior results in rejection from countless women, Warren Stacy begins murdering women, always while he is naked, which minimizes any physical evidence left behind. Detective Leo Kessler is convinced of Stacy’s guilt and, over the objections of his partner, plants evidence to get him behind bars. When Stacy is released on a technicality, he threatens to go after Kessler and his family, leaving Kessler to defend himself with little help from the police.


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At first rather annoying in its heavy emphasis on reenactments, this movie ultimately proves fascinating, simply because the complicated, highly dramatic tale it tells still almost defies belief.

Lidia Draper

Great example of an old-fashioned, pure-at-heart escapist event movie that doesn't pretend to be anything that it's not and has boat loads of fun being its own ludicrous self.


This is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time. You have to go and see this on the big screen.


The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.


It's easy to forget that in the 80s, action movies were every bit as violent as horror films and 10 to Midnight is pretty harsh. It feels like they're attempting to make both a Friday the 13th and a Death Wish movie AT THE SAME TIME!Charles Bronson plays a tough cop dedicated to his job. He stumbles onto a serial sex killer and obsessively hunts him down only to have the system fail him leading to a truly shocking bloodbath at the finale. 10 to Midnight is Cannon film, thus it's over-the-top with lots of sex and violence. It's also through and through a Bronson film so there's a lot of tough guy grandstanding and complaints about a broken legal system that values the rights of the accused over those of the victim. The positives of this movie are that it has a truly solid cast. Bronson actually seems to care about his performance (not always the case in his later films), the villain is creepy and frightening (he likes to attack his lady victims while he is totally nude), and the kills are intensely effective. The negatives are that the movie is just a little too slow. There are too many cop movie cliches and I didn't care at all about Bronson's partner. Honestly, I feel that this movie would have worked much better as a straight forward giallo film. This is a cop movie that occasionally turns into a slasher film which leaves a movie that can't find a consistent tone. Fans of slashers and cop flicks are both likely to be put off by the movie but it is unique enough that I get why it has a cult following. It's an above average latter day Bronson film and probably at least worth a look for fans that don't mind a little (or a lot!) of bloodshed.


"Guns of Navarone" director J. Lee Thompson's "10 to Midnight" tries to one up "Dirty Harry," but it takes a different path than you usually see in a Charles Bronson thriller. Basically, Bronson is cast as a tough-guy detective who is searching for a serial killer that likes to carve up his victims while he is naked. This perverted villain wields a knife, presumably because he cannot have normal sex with women. This doesn't mean that he only slashes women to death. He kills a guy or too in the process of hunting down the babes. Despite being made in 1983, "10 to Midnight" treads a tightrope with its depiction of a naked serial killer. Actually, the villain that Gene Davis portrays reminded me of the description of the rapist in the first "Dirty Harry" movie. Remember when Inspector Callahan told the mayor that he knew when to shoot a suspect? Quoting Callahan, "When a naked man is chasing a woman through a dark alley with a butcher knife and a hard on, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross." The mayor agreed that Callahan had a valid point. The serial killer Warren Stacy is shown nude in one scene chasing a woman down a dark street with a knife. The William Roberts screenplay humanizes Detective Leo Kessler by making him a father. His grown-up daughter, Laurie Kessler (Lisa Eilbacher of "Beverly Hills Cop"), works as a nurse at the local hospital when this serial killer terrorizes the town. Detective Leo Kessler and his rookie detective partner Paul McAnn (Andrew Stevens of "Death Hunt") bring Stacy in as a suspect, but the clever dastard has an ironclad alibi, so the police cannot put him at the scene of a murder. As it turns out, Kessler is so desperate to arrest Stacy that he plants evidence, but his partner refuses to go along with him when Stacy's savvy defense attorney Dave Dante (Geoffrey Lewis of "High Plains Drifter") asks him to take the stand. Naturally, Kessler is kicked off the force, but he doesn't let that thwart his efforts to convict Stacy. The idea that a cop like Kessler would be so desperate to tamper with evidence is something Bronson's characters have never done, and it seems like weak scripting. Eventually, he does catch up with Stacy and he has the goods on the guy. Nevertheless, Stacy adopts the insanity plea, but Kessler shoots him to keep him from using the insanity plea. In their efforts to be different, the filmmakers have created a cop who is prepared to manipulate the system. I don't think that I have seen a heroic cop ever resort to such low, down, dirty tactics.


I became a Charles Bronson fan in a very strange way: When I was in my teens and twenties I would go visit my grandmother, and she would be watching TV, which always seemed to be showing a Bronson film. (Did she get the All-Bronson Network?) When I sat down to watch it with her I would always roll my eyes but soon find myself absolutely engrossed in the movie. Yes, he made formula films and no, most of them were not Oscar-worthy... but I'll be damned if they weren't wonderfully entertaining and tremendous fun. I eventually began to watch his films on my own and now he's one of my favorites."10 To Midnight" has to be, for my money, one of the greatest Charles Bronson movies ever made. It seems to have a polarizing effect on people, and those who dislike it truly Hate it. While I respect their opinions I must say I disagree. The movie has it all: dirty cops, topless nursing students, a preppy psychopath, lots of blood and violence, male nudity, rookie partners, and bad 80's party music! The movie is about a serial killer who commits his crimes in the nude and is too smart to be caught by police. Bronson is of course the one cop tough enough to catch him, and in that sense the story is predictable, but what film isn't? The joy here is watching it happen, wondering who's going to be killed next, how it's going to happen and just how Bronson will get his man.Lisa Eilbacher is great as his daughter, beautiful and charming and a very under-rated actress in my opinion. (Check out her appearance on "Simon & Simon" in the episode "Earth To Stacy.") Some people feel that the amount of blood and nudity in the movie is gratuitous, but I'm not afraid to admit that I LIKE blood and nudity. It's why I go to the movies in the first place. And for those people who were 'deeply offended' by this film please remember it is indeed only a movie, a fun, exciting, trashy movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the opening to the very end.What's not to love? This is fast-paced and engaging fun with a great story and a splash of sex and violence. I highly suggest you check out "10 To Midnight." Thank you, Nana!GRADE: A-


Bronson was a joke by the early Eighties and just looked way too old and puffy to be playing police detectives. All the films he made with director J. Lee Thompson were crap but this piece of garbage was by far the sickest and most evil. This horrid film is pure rubbish and should be banned. Gene Davis was incredibly wooden as the murderer, I can't believe he agreed to repeatedly take off all his clothes for such a stupid, worthless film like this. The actress playing Bronson's daughter (shopuld have been his granddaughter) was both ugly and talentless. You know there is something wrong when Andrew Stevens gives the best performance. Too many plot holes and sick scenes.Bronson's character would have been arrested and sent to prison for faking evidence in a major murder trial.0/10.