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American Nightmare (1983)

A man investigates the disappearance of his sister with the help of her roommate. He uncovers a trail of prostitution, incest, blackmail...and murder.

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(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lawrence Day ...
Eric (as Lawrence S. Day)
Lora Staley ...
Louise
Neil Dainard ...
Tony
...
Tina
Claudia Udy ...
Andrea
...
Mark
...
Sgt. Skylar (as Mike Ironside)
Larry Aubrey ...
Dolly
...
Fixer (as Mike Copeman)
Bunty Webb ...
Operator
Tom Harvey ...
Hamilton
Paul Bradley ...
Motel Manager
Peter Lavender ...
Wally
...
Tanner (as Marty Doyle)
Don MacQuarrie ...
Mugger
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Storyline

A man investigates the disappearance of his sister with the help of her roommate. He uncovers a trail of prostitution, incest, blackmail...and murder.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every year girls move to the city determined to make their dreams come true ... or die trying. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

June 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerikan painajainen  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

CAD 200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the strippers in the film were actual strippers from the Toronto area. See more »

Connections

References All That Jazz (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Mostly a bore
6 December 2001 | by (Victoria, BC) – See all my reviews

Despite what the title states, the movie actually takes place in Toronto. Though like most Canadian movies, it is hesitant to say where it's actually taking place - you have to look for clues, such as seeing part of the CN Tower in the background during the final sequence.

As for the movie itself, it's pretty poor overall. It's relentlessly padded, with only a few turns in the story itself. Much of the movie consists of people talking, or to showcase the abundant nudity. Though that latter element may sound like it makes the movie worth watching, it's actually drearily presented, without it being the least erotic.

In fact, every location in the movie comes across as degenerate and filthy - never have I seen Toronto bathed in such an unflattering light. Actually, it's a change of pace for a Canadian movie, and with the movie taking place in a sleazy part of society, it seems somewhat appropriate. Though I'm sure this wasn't intentional, because this was a really low budget movie (only a $200,000 budget - Canadian dollars!), and the production values certainly show it, most notably the lack of adequate lighting.

To be fair, the slasher sequences aren't that bad - the squalid locations and the dark lighting actually give them some atmosphere, and the direction of these sequences show a little imagination (unlike the hopeless direction elsewhere.) And the movie does give B movie fans a chance to see Michael Ironside in not just an early role, but one that gives him the rare opportunity to play a good guy. Aside from those things, the movie is probably only of interest to people interested in Canadian tax shelter movies of this era.


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