Friday, June 13, 2008

Nightmare Man

Nightmare Man is the Eight Films To Die For flick aimed most squarely at a specific target audience – 13-year-old boys with raging libidos. It is a collection of breast shots with the occasional grisly murder thrown in for pacing.

A young couple (Bill and Ellen) is having trouble conceiving, so the wife does what every woman does in this situation – Ellen buys a possessed African fertility mask. That always goes well. Before she can get in the family way, she starts having nightmares about being attacked by a man wearing the mask, who kills her. She calls this man from her nightmares – Nightmare Man. Ellen isn’t big on creativity. These dreams go on a while, and Ellen begins to crack under the strain. Bill does what any concerned, loving young husband would do – he makes arrangements to have her institutionalized. Ellen seems okay with this. They are driving late at night on the way to the happy farm when there car breaks down, and Bill leaves Ellen to go for help. Before you know it, Ellen is under attack from the Nightmare Man (NM), now made flesh, possibly because Ellen hasn’t been taking enough of her meds. Ellen flees into the woods.

Nearby, five friends are spending the night at an old, isolated house. One couple is about to be married. Considerable effort is spent trying to keep a secret from the soon-to-be husband: His prospective bride once made out with one of the other hot chicks. Presumably, if he learned this, he would be so repulsed he would call the wedding off (Just an aside from real life: the only way the prospective groom would be turned off if she was marrying Fred Phelps (of Westover Baptist Church), which would mean much worse problems anyway. More likely, he would ask the other girl if she wanted to go on the honeymoon with them). Right in the middle of a variety of activities that require the actresses to take off their tops, Ellen bursts in, and soon the NM is after everyone.

A good part of the suspense of the movie is trying to figure out what is going on. Is the NM real or has Ellen just wigged out to the point where she’s turned homicidal? Or is someone else up to no good? Anyway, everyone is soon battling for their lives, including Tiffany Shepis, the last of the B-movie Queens, who does battle with the creature with a crossbow while wearing lingerie. It’s that kind of a movie.

It’s difficult to recommend this one, but it does have a certain low-rent charm. It doesn’t pretend to be anything it isn’t, and it doesn’t take itself very seriously. Shepis also has a good deal of personality, and it’s a pity most of her movies are drek. If this appeals to you, and you need to occupy yourself for a night, give it a try, but most would be better off missing it.

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