NIGHT VISION is a cheaply made, straight-to-video throwback to 1970s blaxploitation that contains a threadbare plot, bad performances, and some of the lamest action sequences ever put on film.
Having videotaped a woman's sexual exploits, a serial killer known as "the Video Stalker" (Robert Prentiss) abducts her. Dakota "Dak" Smith (Fred Williamson), a cop with a "Dirty Harry"-attitude and a drinking problem, attempts to pull the killer's van over, resulting in a major shoot-out. The
killer escapes and dumps the woman's body. An autopsy reveals she was killed by Dak's return gunfire. Angry that he didn't kill the woman, the Stalker sends three thugs to beat up Dak's best friend, but they kill the man instead. Dak and his new partner Kristin O'Connor (Cynthia Rothrock) are
called to the scene of the crime, and gun down two of the assailants.
The Stalker calls Dak and reveals the plans for his next victim. They race to find the woman, but the Stalker kills her along with her lover. Dak and O'Connor discover the Stalker is making snuff videos and distributing them through the mob. He also has an alliance with dirty cop Mike Mahoney
(Frank Pesce). After killing a news reporter (Amanda Welles) with a videotape containing a bomb, the Stalker abducts O'Connor and prepares to move his operation to Mexico. Dak forces Mahoney to reveal the killer's whereabouts. As they arrive with enforcements, O'Connor escapes and beats up several
thugs while Dak kills the Stalker.
A flaccid imitation of the formulaic blaxploitation and crime films of the '70s, NIGHT VISION has too little sleaze to be considered exploitation and too much cheese to give it any kind of edgy quality. The blame for this trash can be evenly distributed between Michael Thomas Montgomery, who wrote
the ludicrous screenplay, and Gil Bettman, who directs in a lackluster fashion. Leads Williamson and Rothrock work well together, but both are blessed with better physical abilities than acting skills. Robert Forster (JACKIE BROWN) is solid, but has little to do aside from scolding Dak to keep a
low profile and stay away from booze. The supporting cast may as well be invisible, with the exception of Robert Prentiss, who apparently studied the moves of every direct-to-video psycho killer in existence to play his one-note Video Stalker. The film's technical attributes are even worse. The
action sequences are slow, overextended, and poorly choreographed. Also, the editing is sloppy, leaving large holes in the plot line. An unintended virtue: the laughably awful soundtrack, which includes original songs ("Hey Dakota, I Know You Can Do It"), which puntuate a '70s style porn-like
score by Tony Camillo. (Extreme profanity, violence, sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1998
- Rating: R
- Review: NIGHT VISION is a cheaply made, straight-to-video throwback to 1970s blaxploitation that contains a threadbare plot, bad performances, and some of the lamest action sequences ever put on film. Having videotaped a woman's sexual exploits, a serial killer k… (more)