DVD Talk
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Reviews & Columns
Reviews
DVD
TV on DVD
Blu-ray
4K UHD
International DVDs
Theatrical
Video Games

Features
Collector Series DVDs
Easter Egg Database
Interviews
DVD Talk Radio
Feature Articles

Columns
Anime Talk
DVD Stalk
DVD Savant
High-Def Revolution
Silent DVD

discussion forum
DVD Talk Forum
Resources
DVD Price Search
Customer Service #'s
RCE Info
Links

DVDTalk Info
Review Staff
About DVD Talk
Advertise
Newsletter Subscribe
Join DVD Talk Forum
DVD Talk Feeds


Sponsored Links

Search: For:
Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Nightmare
Nightmare
Code Red // Unrated // October 13, 2015
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted December 22, 2015 | E-mail the Author
Buy from Amazon.com
C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Rent It
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
P R I N T
Printer Friendly
Nightmare:
Romano Scavolini's Nightmare is a movie to benefit from scarcity and a whiz-bang Trailer delivering all the good stuff. That's at least as far as I'm concerned, having seen said trailer in front of (or maybe behind) a screening of a Gorgon Video VHS of one of the Faces Of Death series (I think). To my recollection. If you get my drift. Point being, amp up a viewer, show him a sleazy decapitation, and watch the expectations rise. In practice, Nightmare reps a semi-scuzzy, mildly engaging slasher from the gory days, with a good number of blood-spurting set pieces to offset the reality that the movie is merely a lumbering, nasty spirited effects showcase without much else going on.

Whipsaw dream logic constitutes the first 20 minutes or so, as a psycho keeps waking from multiple nightmares, all culminating with bloody body parts in his bed. It's an intro slippery as a pile of guts, boding well for what's to come. Sadly, the plot never materializes, leaving you to wander disconsolately with a number of elements that never gel into a whole. Speaking of wandering disconsolately, that's our psycho's introduction to the world. After doctors proclaim the man cured of his serious psychosexual disorders, he's immediately free to march 42nd Street, taking in the odd live peep show as a sign of his newfound mentally healthy status.

Meanwhile, a lazy, selfish single mom gets it on with some bearded lay-about, while her obnoxious kids suffer their brother's dramatic attempts to freak them out with homemade horror special effects (sort of). Two worlds soon collide, and we viewers are only left to wonder why psycho does what he does, and why isn't he doing more of it?

As a giallo/slasher hybrid, Nightmare is short on mystery. It's not so much a who-dunnit as it is a whydunnit, and again, a why-ain't-he-more-dunnit. I hate to break it to you, but the why isn't all that hard to guess either; all that's left is to put the pieces together in the right order, while hoping for nasty kills and decent performances. Effects work is brutal and cheap. A clumsy, lurid, totally awesome decapitation makes numerous appearances. Pick-axings, stabbings, and throat slittings also chime in. Obvious latex appliances don't detract from enthusiastic blood spurting and gruesome sound effects, which are ultimately sleazy and gruesome. We'd like more.

A little plot would have been nice, too, though the crappy mom subtext is at least interesting. Performances are adequate even in this somewhat plotless atmosphere. Things heat up some as the killing commences, though in another odd choice the killer doesn't start wearing his effectively creepy mask until the very end. The requisite plot-twists are by turns predictable and leftfield. In all, Nightmare is either a severely qualified success or a mildly tempered disappointment. Not the bleak, disturbing decapitation gleefully highlighted in old trailers, but a limping weirdo doling out brutal, totally unconvincing kills. Rent It to sate your curiosity.

The DVD

Video:
This 35th Anniversary Edition DVD comes in a 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen presentation that fares OK considering the condition of the source elements. Colors are pretty rich and saturated, especially blood and the carpet, and black levels are nice. Down to the print used, (if I recall from the commentary track, no Negative elements exist) details are a bit soft, and print damage is evident throughout. As Nightmare is of the Grindhouse era, (and scenes of the killer strolling The Deuce are an excellent historic artifact) all the print damage may be considered an authentic part of the experience.

Sound:
English Mono Audio is entirely adequate, sporting a wide dynamic spectrum and decent mix of elements. Dialog stands out, while sound effects of violence sound great. As a mono audio experience, Nightmare sounds fine.

Extras:
Nightmare comes with one extra, a Commentary Track with effects artist Cleve Hall and lead actor Baird Stafford, as moderated by Lee Christian and David DeCoteau. The track is oddly free-form even with moderation, but contains lots of in depth behind-the-scenes information about production amidst the aging orators' other ramblings.

Final Thoughts:
The 35th Anniversary Edition DVD of Nightmare might not live up to nightmares you may have had after discovering the movie's trailer on some other sleazy horror- rental, but it will satisfy your curiosity about this semi-legendary Video Nasty. Exuberant (and exuberantly cheap) special effects kills float this otherwise semi-engaging slasher movie on a sea of blood. Performances (other than that of lead Baird Stafford) lack luster, while the plot does little to draw you in until the very end. If you want to check out this notorious gore-fest, Rent It first.

- Kurt Dahlke

~ More of Dahlke's DVD Talk reviews here at DVD Talk I'm not just a writer, I paint colorful, modern abstracts, too! Check them out here KurtDahlke.com

Popular Reviews
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2. The Adventures of Hajji Baba
3. Andrei Rublev: Criterion Collection
4. Superman: The Movie
5. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
6. I Married Joan: Classic TV Collection Vol 4
7. Creepshow
8. Fire Birds
9. How the Grinch Stole Christmas: Ultimate Edition
10. Starchaser: The Legend of Orin


Sponsored Links
DVD Blowouts
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
Alien [Blu-ray]
Buy: $19.99 $9.99
8.
9.
10.
Sponsored Links
Release List Reviews Shop Newsletter Forum DVD Giveaways Blu-Ray Advertise
Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All Rights Reserved. Legal Info, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use