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A Distant Thunder
A Thief in the Night II: A Distant Thunder

USA 1978
produced by
Donald W. Thompson, Russell S. Doughten jr (executive), Jack Thompson (executive) for Mark IV Pictures
directed by Donald W.Thompson
starring Patty Dunning, Sally Johnson, Sandy Christen, Thom Rachford, Maryann Rachford, Heidi Vaughn, Russell S. Doughten jr, Kent Wagner, Curtis Page, Jean Berg, Colleen Niday, Jim Ites, Tim Jackson, Tim Doughten, Herb Brown, Herb Brown jr
written by Donald W. Thompson, Russell S. Doughten jr, music by Richard A.Girvin

A Thief in the Night

review by
Dale Pierce

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A Distant Thunder takes over where the fairly dreadful A Thief In The Night leaves off, but with far better acting, an improved budget, and some genuine, terrorfilled moents. Christians or all others who refuse to take the mark of the antichrist are arrested, rounded up, and forced to wait in a room to think about their choice. Beyond the door lies something that scares the living shit out of people, so much that one saved teenybopper sees on the other side and decides she is not so saved after all, opting for the mark instead.

Some of the same old faces from the last film are back again, this time with improved performances all around. The heroine from the first film (Patty Dunning) has found Christ and is going to suffer for it, as she awaits her turn to go beyond the door. When she does, she finds a guillotine waiting for her and worse than that, some of her supposed friends are not believers after all, but informants for the bad guys, who try one last time to get her to switch sides. When she does not, the blade is positioned and it's cold cuts time. Well, she gets to go to heaven at least, while these other bastards will get theirs later on ... or so it seems. 

(There's an odd twist in yet another sequel, Image Of The Beast, that follows. This takes over where the presumed headchopping left off and a massive thunderstorm erupts, followed by an earthquake that sends the devil's minions scattering. The woman is left behind, but too late, she has renounced her faith and claimed she'll take the mark. Left alone, she tries to turn to God again, but the Big Guy is not fooled. An earthquake jars loose the blade and she has no more worry about another sequel. That'll show her for not having the faith to die for your cause.)

The curious thing is the Antichrist is never shown in this film, but you see his handiwork everyplace, thanks to these assholes he has working for him. Little reasoning is given as to who he is or how he has come to power, yet in power he is and he's playing for keeps.

The film would have been much better and much more scary if they would have given this man/devil a little screen time. Granted, the way he is presented does work out, as an everpresent boogeyman who is somehow always around and always watching, like the monster a little kid imagines hiding under his bed. Still, it would have been more interesting and especially chilling had they expanded this character and cast someone who could play the role with relish for the part.


review © by Dale Pierce


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD