Monday, December 12, 2011

Nightmares (1980, John Lamond)


Nightmares, released by Severin Films concurrently with Bloody Birthday, is another 80s horror classic, this one coming from down under.  Because of where it was made, most would just categorize it as an Ozploitation film and leave it at that.  Nightmares is however much more than that.  I would describe it as a cross between Ozploitation and a Slasher movie, but it also has many similarities to the Italian Giallo films of the 70s.  Despite what kind of film it is, let's look at if it's worth the time it took you to read my rambling first paragraph.

Nightmares stars Jenny Neumann as Helen Selleck, an aspiring actress who lands a role in a play with a group of misfit actors.  The real oddball though seems to be Helen herself who frequently has flashbacks of her mother sleeping with various men, leading to her accidental death caused by Helen.  She has never been able to be with a man before until she meets cast mate Terry Besanko (Gary Sweet), who she starts falling in love with.  All is not fine though when each of the cast members starts dying horrible deaths at the hands of a black gloved killer who uses broken glass as a murder weapon.

Nightmares was a stylish, hallucinogenic, gory little cult film.  It had a lot of suspense and it was fun trying to figure out if the killer's identity really was as obvious as it seemed.  I wasn't completely satisfied with the ending but it was definitely an original take on the slasher/giallo movies I am used to.  This film further solidifies the weirdness that seems prevalent in most every Ozploitation film I've seen (in this case, not a bad thing).  The film does work and with the gore and girl quotient high, its a nice oddball for anyone's horror collection.  Severin's disc of Nightmares is superb with a beautiful widescreen transfer, a short documentary on Slasher films, an audio commentary by John Lamond and Ozploitation expert (and Not Quite Hollywood director) Mark Hartley, as well as an excellent trailer reel of John Lamond films.

RATING: 7/10

Order Nightmares directly from Severin HERE

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