NIGHT WARNING aka BUTCHER, BAKER, NIGHTMARE MAKER (1981) Reviews and overview

 

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Night Warning aka Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker is being reissued on Blu-ray by Code Red, in conjunction with Kino Lorber on August 3rd 2021. The film was remastered in 2K from the original camera negative in 2017. A limited-edition O-card slipcase is included. Special features:

Audio commentary by writer/producer Steven Breimer and writer Alan Jay Glueckman, moderated by Mondo Digital’s Nathaniel Thompson
Audio commentary by actor Jimmy McNichol
Interviews with actors Jimmy McNichol, Susan Tyrrell, and Steven Eastin, writer Steve Breimer, and make-up artist Allan A. Alpone
Theatrical trailer

Meanwhile, here is our previous coverage of the movie:

‘A haunting rhyme for bedtime’

Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (aka Night WarningMomma’s Boy; Nightmare MakerThrilled to DeathThe Evil Protege) is a 1981 American horror film directed by William Asher. The movie stars Susan Tyrrell, Bo Svenson (Sweet 16), Jimmy McNichol, Bill Paxton and Julia Duffy.

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Plot:

Bigoted homophobic police detective Joe Carlson (Bo Svenson) tries to frame high school basketball player Billy Lynch (Jimmy McNichol) for the murder of a television repairman when he becomes convinced that the killing was the result of a love triangle.

Unbeknownst to the detective, Billy’s aunt Cheryl (Susan Tyrrell) is the real killer; having harboured fantasies towards Billy for years, his impending graduation has caused long-dormant homicidal urges to resurface. Joe’s continued plaguing of Billy causes Cheryl to become progressively more unstable, ultimately jeopardising the lives of everyone around her…

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Reviews:

“Night Warning is leagues better than most of the flicks to come out in the Golden Age of Slasher Films, and if you call yourself a slasher film aficionado than you have to get your hands on it.” Slashers, Splatters and Giallos

“Too mediocre as a thriller to wholeheartedly recommend but too fascinating as a psychological time capsule to dismiss, Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker is never the least bit suspenseful but will keep you entertained with its bizarre melodramatic subplots…” B-Movie Detective

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“While the film itself could be considered a by-the-numbers thriller with some horror elements, it is still worth viewing for the absolutely amazing performance by Susan Tyrrell.” Video Junkie

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Release:

In the UK, the film was released on the Atlantis label in April 1983 and, probably due to its gory sleeve, made the list of banned video nasties by November of the same year. It was later dropped from the list in December 1985.

Submitted to the BBFC in 1987 with cuts as The Evil Protege it was rejected and remains unreleased in the UK at the time of writing.

In 2014, a Code Red DVD was released in the USA. A Blu-ray release from Code Red followed in 2017.

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Cast and characters:

Jimmy McNichol … Billy Lynch
Susan Tyrrell … Cheryl Roberts
Bo Svenson … Detective Joe Carlson
Marcia Lewis … Margie
Julia Duffy … Julie Linden
Britt Leach … Sergeant Cook
Steve Eastin … Tom Landers
Caskey Swaim … Phil Brody
Cooper Neal … Frank
Bill Paxton … Eddie (as William Paxton)
Kay Kimler … Anna Lynch
Gary Baxley … Bill Lynch, Sr.
Vickie Oleson … Lady Police Officer
Clemente Anchondo … Jail Arrestee
Alex Baker … Police Officer Westcott
Randy Norton … Student Tony
Kelly Kopp … Student
Steve ‘Bunker’ de France … Lab Man (as Steve DeFrance)
Bill Keene … Radio Announcer (voice)
Riley Morgan … Chuck Strang