Wednesday, February 11

The Nightmare Never Ends (1980)

Directed by Phillip Marshak, Tom McGowan, Gregg Tallas
94 Minutes / Premiere International / Cropped from 1.85:1(?) to full screen

Cameron Mitchell as a detective investigating the mysterious death of a Nazi hunter. The suspected murderer is a young mogul (Robert Bristol) that appears to have lived for ages participating in world wars without aging a day. Meanwhile, a writer (Richard Moll) of a recently published book entitled God is Dead and his wife (Faith Clift) is stalked by the mogul with a Spanish priest in toe trying to warn the couple of the impeding danger.

Sure, it's a definite cheapjack riff on the satanic horror trend of the era, but you can't help to at least give them kudos for trying...and failing miserably. Mitchell was in full-blown, red-faced, swollen alcoholism at this point. You can tell he was itching to grab the check, but he does get a chuckle after an outburst at a "BITTCCHH!" landlady. Richard Moll isn't terrible and somehow looks noticeably older here with frosted sideburns than he did in Night Court. On the opposite end, Moll's on-screen wife, "acted" by Faith Clift, is astonishingly awful. Each and every word she utters sounds wildly tone deaf. Also important characters die with no one noticing, the editing is exceedingly sloppy, and the score towards the latter half sounds like it's from a Baby Huey cartoon.

Despite the mess, there's a few merits to be mined, including some nice gloomy shots, strange chills (including Indians lurking about a dark house?!?), and a climax reminiscent of Re-Animator without the awesome and coherence.

...still digging the VHS art though.

Film: 3.5/10
VHS Picture: 2/10 (like the Grindhouse filter on crank)
VHS Sound: 2/10 (like a worn needle on dirty vinyl)

No comments: you dare tread upon the staircase?

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