Wednesday, June 15, 2011
REVIEW - NIGHTMARES (1980) - Dropping 6/28 from Severin Films
NIGHTMARES has been around in one form or another since 1980. I saw a heavily edited version in the late 80’s when it was called STAGE FRIGHT. This film has been plagued by censorship and title confusion since it was released but thanks to Severin Films, it is finally getting the release it deserves: Uncut and Uncensored.
John Lamond was known for cheap sexploitation films when he made NIGHTMARES. He got the idea after seeing HALLOWEEN, appreciating the way that film was made. Even before a script was complete he began asking for money, showing up to meetings with a script for THE EXORCIST, hoping nobody asked to take it home to read. He got the cash, a decent cast, and directed one of my favorite ozploitation slasher films around.
Jenny Neumann stars as Cathy who as a little girl woke up in the backseat of the car while mommy had fun-time with a stranger. Cathy freaked, mom zigged instead of zagged, and out the front window goes mom slicing her throat in the process. This doesn’t set Cathy up for a life of success but this is a horror film, she wasn’t going to have success anyway. Cathy changes her name to Helen and makes use of her insanity by becoming an actress in the local theater. Coincidentally, this is when members of the cast start turning up dead of stab wounds, usually after fornicating.
Quick note: If I am ever backstage getting it on with a hot actress (happens more than you think…..no it doesn’t), and I hear glass breaking, I don’t care if you are Halle Berry, I am zipping that shit up and bolting like an erection in a cold pool. But I digress…
NIGHTMARES isn’t a perfect film. The killer POV shots don’t work very well, the identity of the killer is revealed way too early, and some of the scenes in the film just don’t make a lot of sense. Still, this a no holds barred slasher film that is dirty, trashy fun full of the genre staples we all want: nakedness, pointy objects with fleshy points of entry, and blood by the gallons. NIGHTMARES finally got the release it deserved and this is why Severin Films is one of our favorite labels.
This is dropping from Severin Films on 6/28 (in addition to BLOODY BIRTHDAY and THE BABY). The full lists of features are below but I wanted to highlight the commentary on this disc. Mark Hartley of NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD joins Lamond to discuss this film and ozploitation in general. Hartley is not shy about letting Lamond know what works and what doesn’t work while also going into the historical perspective of ozploitation’s place in cinema. This is some of the best commentary I have heard in a while.
16:9 anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen transfer
English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono
Audio Commentary by director John Lamond and NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD's Mark Hartley
"A Brief History of Slasher Films" featurette
John Lamond Trailer Reel
Additional trailers for BLOODY MOON, HORROR EXPRESS, and PSYCHOMANIA
See you on forty deuce,