Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Nightmare(1981)d/Romano Scavolini

In my pre-teen days of 1981,I moseyed on downtown on foot to catch this one at the legendary American Theater,scoring myself the notorious one sheet pictured above for a measly five extra clams.Black tape covered up the sections of the poster where the film's producers boasted of "Special Effects Director Tom Savini" and "From the man who terrified you with Dawn of the Dead and Friday the 13th" which Tommy successfully protested,though he did offer some help to the film's FX artist Ed French,as documented here but probably wasn't offered enough greenbacks for his expertise.They eventually removed the original one sheet altogether,opting instead for this one,which looks to depict a crazed sadistic Hillary Rodham Clinton(even more so than in real life,frighteningly)!Despite the half-assed posters and sassafras from Savini,Scavolini scored himself a memorable minor classic slice of the succulent sleazy slasher pie,cooling on the 80's windowsill,maintaining its shock value nearly thirty years later,pleasing discerning gornophiles worldwide.
Georgie Tatum took whacks with an axe at the heads and necks of his parents having sex,the FX were paraded,causing this one to be released unrated.
George Tatum wakes up to find he's sharing his bed with a decapitated head(I hate those mornings!), and then awakes again to discover it was only a horrible dream-within-a-dream.Damn you,Edgar Allen.He finds himself safe and sound,wrapped in a straitjacket,in an insane asylum.After pouring ample doses of experimental drugs down his gullet,which the doctors naturally assume have completely cured him of his ocean of mental problems,they logically unleash him on the unsuspecting populace. Tatum,a man after mine own bloodpump,wastes no time in his first order of business,naturally,hitting the nearest seedy 42nd street porno palace.Instead of drinking in the ample talents of the midtown hooker he's chosen,he instead opts to relive a double axe murder he committed as a child,causing his body to break into full uncontrollable spasm,shooting white froth from his twisted yap as he twitches on the ground.Hmmm,maybe those drugs weren't quite as effective as the doctors originally believed...
Elsewhere in the sane world,we're introduced to the Temper family,headed by Susan,a woman who totally ignores her three horrible children who fight over burgers(!), in favor of boat outings with her hairy boyfriend,who resembles the result of cellular fusion experiments between James Brolin and Tommy Chong.The two daughters,Kim and Tammy,barely scrape the surface of horrible compared to their brother C.J.,who maps out elaborate gory pranks on his family,and looks to have majored in sociopath with a minor in bananas in elementary school.We're already cheering on Tatum's inevitable gore-soaked rendezvous with the Tempers before it even happens.
This head has successfully been put to bed.
Sure enough,Georgie leaves a wake of mutilated corpses in his travels south towards the family Temper,which couldn't happen soon enough at this point. Amidst the mounting body count,Tatum's doctors decide they may have fumbled the ball with their former patient,and decide to help track him down.George is wracked with guilt and remorse for his despicable deeds,but has no control over himself as he presses on,undoubtedly fucking mentally crackers. He manages to serial whack the Temper's sexually active babysitter and her boyfriend,but is shot dead by mini-nutjob C.J. before he can get his murder on with any of the family members.We're then treated to George's childhood flashback in its entirety,as young Tatum walks in on his parents in the throes of a fine afternoon of sado-masochism and bondage/discipline,lopping their domepieces off before they can enjoy their perversion any further.We soon find out that the serial killer is in fact the patriarch of the Temper family himself,on a mission to speed the horrible brood to the damnation of Hell with his own hands.So close,and yet so far.C.J. winks knowingly at the camera as the credits begin to roll.
Once George rocked corny bow ties,now he's giving Columbian neckties.
Director Romano Scavolini allegedly led a dual career,D'Amato-style,having a hand in porno flicks,and the seedy atmosphere of a two-tissue stroke flick permeates this whole production,combining with the extreme gore to create an unsettling viewing experience for any who may be interested.Non-actors delivering outrageous lines in a deadpan fashion only add to the legend surrounding this video nasty.For me,it's another bloody chapter in the formative years of an avid horror buff,and will always hold special memories for me.You may need a piping hot shower after screening it,but I'm confident you'll appreciate it yourself anyway.On the grand scale,it merits an overall score of:
Scream all you want,Baird,you'll never work in this town again.


Nigel M said...

so did you ask savini about all this cos him and Scavolini had some interesting a diverging recollections of all this as they point out in spaghetti nightmares.

beedubelhue said...

Course,I've had a good convo with him,once I reassured him he wasn't in any sort of gang trouble,that is!He's rubbed shoulder with enough gang bangers,the Pagans were/are a bad ass 1 % MC on the East Coast,and members of that club were in the original DOTD.I've got to get my hands on that book though,I've wanted to read it for a while!

Nigel M said...

suprised you aint got it to be honest- if you can get it its really worth the money, the interviews are brilliant and they manage to get loads out of the people interviewed.

beedubelhue said...

It's on my upcoming book shopping list.I usually do one all-encompassing media sweep at a time,first dvds,then books,then memorabilia,and repeat the whole process ad infinitum until I'm caught up with what I consider essential.It don't suprise me that you got it already!I expected as much,as you're a man of excellent taste!

Nigel M said...

Oh and while I am passing through- Nightmare, one of the scuzziest films I think I ve ever seen, along with Buio Omega its the film that makes me feel a bit ugh after watching- a true classic of its kind but deep down I know its a bit wrong.

Excellent screencaps too. reminds me just how dodgy this film is. Its impossible to recommend but is definately on the guilty pleasures list.

beedubelhue said...

Haha,a scuzzy top ten would not be complete without Nightmare OR Buio Omega.Matter of fact,here's my scuzzy top ten,as of 2:30 this afternoon(in no particular order,as always):

Salo',or the 120 Days of Sodom
Combat Shock
August Underground Mordum(the scuzziest of the three,by a long shot)
Last House on the Left
Buio Omega
Desperate Living
Slaughtered Vomit Dolls
Guinea Pig:Flowers of Flesh and Blood

all of those titles make me itch in one way or another.I'm hitting the shower now,just typing the titles made my skin crawl a little.Haha!

Phil Neglected said...

Grindhouse Releasing showed an awesome slasher triple bill a while back at the Vine Theatre in LA of Nightmare, Pieces, and Don't Go in the House (also a VERY scuzzy movie). Like in Maniac, Sleepaway Camp, and Don't Go in the House, I always kind of sympathized with the psycho in Nightmare.

beedubelhue said...

I'm always a little embarrassed watching on-screen psychopaths socially fail,I kind of feel bad for them in a way.Don't Go in the House,great scuzz-tacular and a personal fave!Good call.

Balberith said...

This looks right up my alley... This is on my top movie list now

beedubelhue said...

Don't forget to click the hyperlink to your fave Italian giving axe pointers on the set!Heh heh

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Anonymous said...

You are incorrect, Scavolini never made pornographic films. He shot other features, less commercially accessible ones than NIGHTMARE and a lot of documentary films, of feature as well as short film length as well.....

beedubelhue said...

Anon Y. Mouse,
Nowhere in this review did I say he MADE porno movies.Go back and re-read it.


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