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American Nightmare (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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John Sheppard (screenplay)
John Gault (story) ...
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Release Date:
June 1984 (USA) See more »
Every year girls move to the city determined to make their dreams come true ... or die trying. See more »
A man investigates the disappearance of his sister with the help of her roommate. He uncovers a trail of prostitution, incest, blackmail...and murder. | Add synopsis »
(2 articles)
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User Reviews:
Pretty good low-budget Canadian Giallo See more (15 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Lawrence Day ... Eric (as Lawrence S. Day)
Lora Staley ... Louise
Neil Dainard ... Tony

Lenore Zann ... Tina
Claudia Udy ... Andrea

Page Fletcher ... Mark

Michael Ironside ... Sgt. Skylar (as Mike Ironside)
Larry Aubrey ... Dolly

Michael Copeman ... Fixer (as Mike Copeman)
Bunty Webb ... Operator
Tom Harvey ... Hamilton
Paul Bradley ... Motel Manager
Peter Lavender ... Wally

Martin Doyle ... Tanner (as Marty Doyle)
Don MacQuarrie ... Mugger

Alexandra Paul ... Isabelle
Nancy Oliver ... Marie

Directed by
Don McBrearty 
Writing credits
John Sheppard (screenplay)

John Gault (story) &
Steven Blake (story)

Produced by
Anthony Kramreither .... executive producer
Derrett Lee .... associate producer
Paul Lynch .... executive producer
Ray Sager .... producer
Original Music by
Paul Zaza 
Cinematography by
Daniel Hainey (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Ian McBride 
Casting by
Lucinda Sill 
Production Design by
Andrew Deskin 
Art Direction by
Andrew Deskin 
Makeup Department
Miriam Freifeld .... hair stylist
Miriam Freifeld .... makeup artist
Production Management
Fran Solomon .... assistant production manager
Robert Wertheimer .... production manager (as Bob Wertheimer)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hugh McLean .... second assistant director
David Pamplin .... first assistant director
Lindsae Paterson .... second assistant director
Art Department
Ken Clark .... set dresser
Sound Department
Elius Caruso .... re-recording
Jack Heeren .... post sync dialogue
Dan Latour .... sound mixer
Ian McBride .... sound editor
Peter McBurnie .... post sync effects
Reynald Trudel .... boom
Dwayne McLean .... fight coordinator
Dwayne McLean .... stunt double
Shelley Cook .... stunt double (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Scott Barrie .... camera assistant
Ian Bresolin .... electric
Paul Fox .... clapper loader
Bill Heintz .... key grip
Craig Heintz .... second grip
John Herzog .... gaffer
Mark Mavrinac .... third grip (as Mark Mavernac)
Hugh McLean .... stills
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Ariadna Ochrymovych .... wardrobe supervisor
Martha Wynne Snetsinger .... wardrobe assistant (as Martha Snetsinger)
Editorial Department
Karen Hall .... assistant editor
Catherine Rankin .... negative cutting (as Katerin Rankin)
Transportation Department
Richard Quinlan .... driver captain
Other crew
Tannis C. Baker .... script supervisor (as Tannis Baker)
John Gill .... production assistant
Paul Lynch .... title design
Robyn Rosenberg .... production assistant (as Robin Rosenberg)
Paul Zaza .... our thanks to
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
88 min
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Canada:R (Ontario) | USA:R
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Film debut of Alexandra Paul.See more »
Movie Connections:
References All That Jazz (1979)See more »


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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Pretty good low-budget Canadian Giallo, 19 June 2005
Author: saliberti from United States

I agree with the earlier "user comment" that described this film as a "Canadian Giallo." Having recently watched a number of Italian Giallos from the 1970s and 1960s, I find many of the characteristics of this film match up neatly with those of traditional giallos. (In particular, I can think of a number of similarities between this film and the giallo classic "Seven Blood-Stained Orchids.") For example, this film presents us with a murder mystery which really can't be called a "Whodunnit." Like many giallos, this movie has a gloved killer whose motivation for murder is revealed at the end. And as with many giallos, the police are largely ineffectual, so it is ultimately up to the protagonists to deal with the killer.

The acting is also pretty good for a low budget feature. In particular, Lora Staley, the female lead, turns in a very good performance as does Larry Aubrey, who plays a transvestite named Dolly. The male lead, Lawrence Day, is generally good though somewhat wooden in some scenes. The rest of the cast is, at least, competent.

The main negatives regarding this movie are a result of its low budget. Because of budget constraints, this movie was filmed in 16 mm format rather than 35 mm. The result is rather dull and dark looking images and rather washed out colors. Other users have complained that while there is much nudity in this film, it is not very erotic. I found most of the women in this movie to be very attractive, but the poor film quality simply does not do them justice. Aside from film quality, you also the common slasher film flaw of characters seeming to go out of their way to get themselves killed. In the case of this film, after becoming aware that the killer is targeting people within their group, characters continue to travel by themselves to areas where the killer has appeared previously and where -- surprise, surprise -- the killer tracks them down and kills them!

All things considered, the positives outweigh the negatives with respect to this film. It is easily worth a rental. For those who like to collect slasher/giallo flicks, it is a must-have to such a collection. For all others, it is worth buying if you can find it at a decent price.

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