I’ll admit it…I’m of an age that I can remember life before the internet. My first tentative steps into the mysteries of the cyber world were back in the early eighties on something called JANET or the Joint Academic Network. I remember when I left London to start lecturing in Manchester. As I was saying goodbye to a colleague we marvelled at the new technology and how we could connect our computers to the phone line and chat away to each other; this was a good fifteen years before Wi-Fi. It took a few seconds for it to dawn on both of us that we could just use the telephone…
So, you can be quite clever but still be a bit daft. I put it down to the Future Shock that Alvin Toffler described in his 1970 book. The gist of this is that the rate of change in society is disorientating and stress inducing. He compared it to taking an Amazonian tribesman out of the jungle and dropping him in the middle of Times Square. He would be overwhelmed by all the sights and sounds around him in a similar way to some people are overwhelmed by the changes in the technology around them. The difference is that the tribesman could be taken back to his home…
It’s A Dark Web Thing
And now that the internet is a ubiquitous part of everyone’s life, there is no longer any mystery or fear in it. If your fridge, TV, or kettle are connected to the world wide web then it’s hardly likely to be anyone’s bête noire. So now we need a new bogey man…enter the dark web. The dark web is an ideal modern day monster. It is just on the edge of common knowledge so people know of it but don’t actually what it is…other than it is populated by the bad guys. What to buy a gun, drugs, or an assassin? You go to the dark web. There’s also the fact that, while every computer, tablet, and phone comes with an internet browser, you have to take extra steps to get on the dark web.
As you’ve probably gathered by now, Midnight Peepshow utilises the dark web as a device to drive the story along. Or should that be stories? Because Midnight Peepshow is an anthology film. The theme of the film is a service called Black Rabbit which provides an outlet for people’s wildest sexual fantasies. You approach the site and they set up hidden cameras. You and your partner then carry out wildly erotic and perverse activities which are thought up between yourself and the site. The footage is then broadcast to as many paying customers as wish to watch.
Lines Are There To Be Crossed
Midnight Peepshow starts off in Soho, London, on Valentine’s Day. Graham (Richard Cotton), is walking down a street at night and bumps into Valentina (Georgina Bitmead). Graham is very drunk and unsteady and Valentina helps herself to his wallet. Graham staggers off to meet up with a friend of his, Miles (Mark Hampton). Miles tells him about a dark web site called Black Rabbit and how it is so extreme that it is guaranteed to get your appropriate bits hard or wet depending on your gender. And that is the wraparound story that links the other segments of the film together.
The segments are Personal Space which features a couple going through relationship problems, Fuck Marry Kill which features four people in a Saw like cellar being forced to play the eponymous game, and The Black Rabbit which explains everything that is going on and wraps up the story. One of the things I like about anthology films is that they are made up of short, bite sized stories. This means that if one isn’t so diverting then another one is along in a short while. However, in Midnight Peepshow all the component parts are quite entertaining. Each director acquitted themselves more than adequately. In fact I’d recently seen feature length offerings by two of the four; Airell Anthony Hayles (Personal Space) made Werewolf Santa and Andy Edwards (Fuck Marry Kill) made Punch.
Midnight Peepshow is available on digital from 13th February 2024.
Movie Grade: B+
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!