Director – John D. Lamond (Felicity, True Files)
Starring – Jenny Neumann (V, Hell Night), Gary Sweet (Hungry Ghosts, Dust Storm), and Nina Landis (Komodo, Neighbours)
Release Date – 1980
Rating – 2.5/5
Blu Release – 3.5/5
I’ve met several reviewers over the years that took on the rather ambitious task of reviewing every slasher to come out of the 80s. I’ve subscribed to several YouTube channels that attempted the task along with a few blogs that tried. Many of them tapped out after several years but it was fun reading and watching their thoughts on these films I had never seen or heard of before. I’ve been fortunate enough to review some of those slasher since then after they received a mass release from companies like Shout Factory, Vinegar Syndrome, Umbrella Entertain, and so on.
A few weeks ago Umbrella Entertainment announced the blu release of Nightmares aka Stage Fright. I had never seen this one before but I was familiar with it after seeing a few YouTube reviewers talking about it. I reached out to them and they were kind enough to ship a copy my way for review. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a little girl who is inadvertently responsible for the death of her mother when she was young. Now, she has changed her name and is an aspiring stage actress. Mentally, she has moments where she breaks down and to make matters worse someone is going around and killing members of the cast. **Spoiler Alert**
I’m not going to lie, I was extremely excited to check this one out. I absolutely fucking love slashers and it’s a rush when I get one in I had never seen before to review. Sadly, not all slashers were created equally. Nightmares was one that I just couldn’t get into. It had a few moments that I enjoyed but just couldn’t deliver on the style and characters that make so many slashers enjoyable.
The acting in this one was a little underwhelming. The characters lacked personalities and a lot of time they would blend into the background. I’m used to slashers having at least one or two characters that the viewer could attach to. However, here we get extremely cliched and one dimensional. The cast doesn’t try to do do anything memorable and several scenes were lazily done. The story for this one has that slasher like story but somewhere along the way the cast and crew lost track of what they were doing resulting in a heavy film that doesn’t do anything to stand out from the other slashers of the decade. It looks like a rushed production that was intended to cash in of the slasher craze of the early 80s.
Finally, the film has plenty of blood and some boobs. The death scenes have a lot of blood, and at times a lot of skin, but don’t expect great practical effects and memorable kills. Overall, Nightmares just didn’t do it for me. I was really looking forward to it but it was a film that offered up very little for the viewer aside from some skin. Slasher fans may want to check it out but this is one I can’t recommend.
NEW NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD extended interviews with director John D. Lamond and actress Nina Landis
Audio commentary with director John D. Lamond and filmmaker Mark Hartley
Confessions of an R-Rated Filmmaker featurette
John D. Lamond trailer reel
Stills and poster gallery