Midnight Ride has an interesting and original premise. It could almost be considered an action movie version of The Hitcher (1986). The premise of a wife fleeing an abusive marriage and inadvertently picking up a psychotic hitchhiker, with her only hope being the obsessively pursuing husband, is certainly original. Alas, it is an idea that never gets adequate treatment as the pursuing husband, Michael Dudikoff is considered just in his actions and by the happy wrap-up ending all her reasons for wanting to leave him have been forgotten. A much more interestingly shaded film would have had the wife caught between the two threats.
The same plot conducted with a better budget and most certainly a better director could be quite gripping. Alas, Midnight Ride was made on a B-budget from Cannon Films who specialised in a number of action films in the 1980s, usually starring Chuck Norris or Charles Bronson, and was shot on the cheap in Italy. This seems even cheaper than most of Cannons films. The director was stuntman Bob Bralver, whose only prior directorial outing was the slasher film Rush Week (1989). The action looks a lot more cheaply conducted than most of Cannons films a few cheaply spectacular car chases and crashes, a garage being demolished and blown up. Little of it impresses and none of it generates any excitement which is all the more disappointing considering that director Bob Bralver is a seasoned stunt coordinator who has headed work on tv shows such as The Fall Guy (1982-6) and Knight Rider (1981-6).
Midnight Ride features Mark Hamill as the psycho. Hamill was going through a period where he was making a determined effort to shake the perpetually boyish typecasting that had dogged him ever since Star Wars (1977). Around the same time, he was playing other tough guy roles in the likes of Slipstream (1989) and The Guyver (1991), and then went onto play a string of comic-book villains on tvs The Flash (1990-1) and animated series such as Batman, The Fantastic Four, Phantom 2040 and Spider-Man. Here Hamill gives an astonishingly over-the-top performance. It is a piece of totally lunatic acting that would even make grand over-actors like Jack Nicholson and Jim Carrey recoil in shame. The most entertainingly OTT scene involves Hamill laughing like a maniac while driving with Michael Dudikoff tied to the hood of his car and ramming into the back of a truck. There is a moderately entertaining climax set in a hospital with Mark Hamill trying to ECT Savina Gersak to death, he and Michael Dudikoff fighting through the halls and Hamill crashing down stairs on a quad bike, before hilariously skidding his way through and being engulfed in a furnace.
Full film available online here:-