The Drudgeon reviews Nightmare

Nightmareaka Nightmare In A Damaged Brain
97 min., 1981
Written by Romano Scavolini
Directed by Romano Scavolini
Language: English
My rating: ★★

A video nasty that is a little slow at times.

* * *

The movie starts with a man in bed who is having a bad dream.  He wakes up and pulls away the sheets to discover a female’s head at his feet.  We then jump to a man screaming as two guards rush in and sedate him.  We find out that his name is George Tatum (Baird Staffard) and he has been having nightmares ever since he was younger.  You see as a child (Scott Praetorius) he walked/peeked in on his mother (Christina Keefe) and father (William S. Kirksey) playing some mild domination games.  Then suddenly someone else enters the room and cuts off his mother’s head.  Now he is older and he is being put on some new medication which is supposed to help him.  Across the states lives the Temper family, Mother Susan (Sharon Smith), son C.J. (C.J. Cooke), and daughters Tammy (Tammy Patterson) and Kim (Kim Patterson) who are trying to get along as best they can ever since Susan’s husband left.  The only problem is with C.J. because he has a very sick and twisted sense of humor.  Actually he really seems to like the idea of violence and causing terror, especially to his babysitter Kathy (Danny Ronan).  Will George be able to handle life on the meds and what does the family have to do with George?

The acting in the movie is all over the place.  First you have Baird Stafford who gives a great performance and then he goes to the opposite end and he makes you want to turn the movie off, but then he goes back to being great.  Sharon Smith is the opposite because she never really turns in a believable performance and spends most of the movie yelling or just acting hysterical.  The only other one worth mentioning was C.J. Cooke.  That little shit was terrible throughout the movie except for two to three scenes where he just stole the movie.  I don’t know where he was hiding his acting talent throughout the movie but during those scenes you really believe that there is something wrong with this kid.  So again the acting was all over the place with no one being consistent, other than Sharon Smith who was consistently bad.

The best part of the movie is the effects.  Now there are a few bad effects sprinkled here and there but overall they work so well.  They look pretty cool and when that axe enters the face, man it looks like it hurt.  My favorite effect of the movie is really a minor one, but it just looked really good.  So George enters a phone room where he can talk with a female (for some good times) but he starts having flashbacks to his childhood and he starts to have a seizure.  As he is lying on the floor he just starts foaming from the mouth and it is just really well done.  Again it’s a smaller effect, but it doesn’t make it any less good.

So why does this movie fall into the Video Nasties?  My guess is for the amount of gore.  Does it deserve to be in there?  Not really especially considering some of the others that are in that exclusive club.  That aside, was it a good movie?  In the end it was just okay.  As stated, the acting is all over the place and the effects are a bit hit and miss, but the story is what really got me.  Well, kinda.  Throughout the movie you are wondering what the connection is between George and the Temper family, and you don’t actually know until right before the credits start to roll.  It was kinda nice that they weren’t just hitting you over the head with it throughout and if you aren’t paying attention you will miss it.  But is it enough to make this worth watching?  Not really.  This movie is really only for the ones that are curious about the Video Nasties and that’s about it.

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About The Drudgeon

I don't remember my real name or where I came from. All I know is that I'm traped in an underground cave with nothing but a TV, DVD player and a notebook and pen. They keep calling me The Drudgeon, I don't even know what that means. Someone keeps dropping horror movies in and yelling at me to watch them and write about what I watch. Then I eat the DVD and case, because they tell me if I consume the horror I will understand the horror. I think there are three of them. So if you are reading this right now, HELP ME!!!!!!! OUCH!!!! Someone just poked me with a sea urchin attacked to a pool cue, what the fuck is going on?
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