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Nightmare (1981)

 -  Horror  -  23 October 1981 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 1,578 users  
Reviews: 63 user | 51 critic

A mental-patient, who is troubled with horrible nightmares, has escaped from his hospital. Now on the streets he can't help killing innocent people. But there is one family he is more than ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Baird Stafford ...
George Tatum
Sharon Smith ...
Susan Temper
C.J. Cooke ...
C.J. Temper
Mik Cribben ...
Bob Rosen
Danny Ronan ...
Kathy the Babysitter
John L. Watkins ...
Man with Cigar (as John Watkins)
Bill Milling ...
Paul Williamson (as William Milling)
Scott Praetorius ...
Young George
William Kirksey ...
George's Father (as William S. Kirksey)
Christina Keefe ...
George's Mother
Tammy Patterson ...
Tammy Temper
Kim Patterson ...
Kim Temper
Kathleen Ferguson ...
Barbara
William Paul ...
Steve
Tommy Bouvier ...
Joe
Edit

Storyline

A mental-patient, who is troubled with horrible nightmares, has escaped from his hospital. Now on the streets he can't help killing innocent people. But there is one family he is more than interested in and when he tries to kill them, he finds that it's not that easy. Written by Tobias Broljung <larry@algonet.se>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From the man who terrified you in "Dawn of the Dead" & "Friday the 13th"! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Splash  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Romano Scavolini claims that all the main special make-up effects for the film were designed and created by Tom Savini and only the prosthetic effects were done by other people (mainly the late Leslie Larraine). There are also photos placing Savini on set. Savini has distanced himself from the project and says that he was just a consultant for the film. Ed French (who supervised the special make-up effects for the New York sequences) also says that Savini didn't do any hands-on work, only giving advice and direction to the special effects crew. See more »

Goofs

During the throat slashing scene near the beginning, blood does not gush out rapidly and nonstop as it should. See more »

Connections

References Caligula (1979) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

American and European styles make an awkward but interesting mix
4 December 2011 | by (The Great Northwest) – See all my reviews

Trying to bring the Italian giallo genre into the then-popular American slasher genre, Nightmare is a half-clever attempt. Those two extremes don't seem like a good fit, with the typical slash-and-hack, one-by-one structure of the slasher genre mixing a bit awkwardly with the more flamboyant, open-ended and director-focused giallo film movement. "Nightmare" isn't particularly coherent and can feel a bit half-hearted at times, but it has enough startling moments and a truly twisted (and brutal) view of sexuality to at least be interesting beyond it's initial viewing.

Often considered a Grindhouse staple, it shares the qualities of many other films of that "genre": lousy dubbing, horrid acting, completely conspicious continuity blunders, a soundtrack and film print that makes the viewer feel like their head is being held under muddy water. It's also unusually bleak and morally ambiguous for an American film, a telling sign that this was directed by an European. There's also a sense of the American-slasher puritanism, as noticed by the Killer's view of promiscious adults around him, but it's not quite as black-and-white as many of the like-minded films at the time. Largely because we're asked to look at the film's largely unseen killer with a more subjective eye.

"Nightmare" may be poorly made, although a few cat-and-mouse sequences are well-staged and engaging enough, but it's far from useless. It's cross between American DIY ethos and lavish, fetishitistic European flavoring is uneven and sloppy but always weird and alluring enough to keep you watching. The film's modest cult following is understandable.


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