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Reviews & Ratings for
Nightmare Man More at IMDbPro »

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Index 41 reviews in total 

38 out of 57 people found the following review useful:

Hazing director works wonders with a tiny budget.

Author: landrupog from United Kingdom
20 May 2007

Rolf Kanesky is becoming the most interesting director working in low budget horror. Lord knows there are enough terrible hand-held efforts clogging up the rental shelves, although it's cool that people are getting out there and trying. Anyhow, Rolf seems to have a much lower budget on this one than on The Hazing, be he economises well and the make up and effects are good and it works to the films benefit that they are sparingly used until the climax.

Story concerns an unstable young woman who uses a wacko ancient fertility mask to try and improve her sex life with her husband only to end up having horrific visions of a spirit contained within the mask. The demon seems to come to life while she's stranded in the woods on a ill-fated road trip and ends up running for her life. In to the the mix is Kanefsky regular Tiffany Shepis and her gang of buddies hanging out in a remote cottage. They have their own complicated relationship issues. Shepis is a good actress who seems naturally uninhibited and doesn't look down upon B-movie roles and just has fun with it. She's great here, and has a sexy tough and funny role. Sure, there's nudity and gore, but who would want to see her as, say, Ashton Kutchers girl in a sucky comedy. The rest of cast are variable with the lead actress overplaying at times but improving as the film goes on and her responses look more appropriate.

I digress, sorry, violence and weirdness abound as the "nightmare man " descends upon the cottage, and the newly arrived guest ain't feeling herself. Some odd, surprising twists happen before the climax. Think the The Mask meets The Exorcist and you're there. Kind of..

I was lucky enough to have caught this on The Horror Channel and it's one of their best recent acquisitions. I'm not saying Nightare Man is a stone-cold classic but it is a gem and well executed considering the low budget and resources. I do feel this director will improve with each movie. Kanfesky knows how to be ambitious whilst giving the horror fans what they want.

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

The highlight of this film was the truth or dare scene.

Author: Aaron1375
24 April 2008

Not that I am saying this movie was all bad, but that was the highlight and if the sexy talk is the highlight of a horror movie then it is not much of a horror film in the end. The story has this woman who seems to be having a bit of trouble on the marital front. Her solution to the problems seems to be to order some love god mask, they instead seem to send her the evil demon love god mask and throughout the movie you wander if this manifest ion is real or not. She is being driven to the mental institution by her husband they break down and she is seemingly stalked and attacked by this person or thing while her husband is getting gas. Meanwhile, somewhere in the woods there is a house with two couples. Two very cute girls who are friends and their boyfriends. They play truth or dare and then the crazy...or not, girl ends up in their care. Well lets just say there is somebody out there trying to get at her as he quickly steals a crossbow and handles the one guy while he is being mooned. However, you still don't know if it is the mysterious nightmare man the girl goes on about or something else. The husband is heading for the cabin though and soon afterward so are the police. This movie had potential as do most horror movies and like so many they just miss some stuff. On the plus side you get to see a couple of good kills, some good nudity, and the end was rather good too. However, I was kind of hoping for something more in the lines of say an Evil Dead movie rather than a typical slasher film with a twist here and there. So far out of the three Afterdark movies in this new batch this is the strongest, sadly though compared to the last batch this one would be tied with Penny Dreadful as the weakest in my eyes.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A Pathetic Attempt At...Well, I'm Not So Sure

Author: hinesgtrservice from United States
21 April 2009

Wow, this movie was downright bad. From the acting to the score to the screenplay to the direction, just downright bad. I think the writer didn't realize that fertility deals with procreation, not libido.

The biggest problem with this movie is apparent from the get-go. Generally in movies you pull for a hero, whether them likely or not. Films have protagonists and the audience is supposed to like or care for them depending on the context. In order for this film to work, we have to truly care for the well-being and safety of said protagonist. The character is terribly written; she's whiny, bitchy, and full of inconsistency. The actress makes it worse. She's just terrible. Literally unbelievably bad.

The plot is weak, and the "twist" is seen miles away. Very obvious, yet it doesn't make much sense.

The minor characters are fluff at best, and the "being" is hilarious. It isn't one of those, "so bad it's good" things, you actually find yourself forcing laughter at just how terrible this is.

The score reminds me of shaking uncontrollably in a cold sweat. It's uncomfortable, annoying and headache-inducing.

All in all, this movie is only worth a viewing if you're attempting to show someone how NOT to make a film. You could point out plot, screenplay, direction, cinematography, acting, characters, score, visuals, et cetera.

There are times we are all tempted to watch something so horrible, we get chuckles. This is NOT that film. Just stay away if you know what's good for you.

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

"There's someone out there tyring to kill us & overall his been pretty f*cking successful." Not too bad actually.

Author: Paul Andrews ( from UK
5 June 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Nightmare Man starts as Bill (Luciano Szafir) is driving his wife Ellen (Blythe Metz) cross country to a mental institute, apparently Ellen thinks she's possessed by some sort of demon from an Afican tribal wood carved face mask, obviously she isn't & that's why she's on her way to a loony bin. However en-route the car runs out of petrol in the middle of nowhere, Bill sets off on foot to find a petrol station while Ellen stays behind in the car. It turns out though Ellen may not be as mad as originally anticipated as the Nightmare Man (Aaron Sherry) becomes a living reality that wants to kill her, she runs away into some wood where she stumbles upon a log cabin with four friends inside who all become potential victims for the Nightmare Man...

Written, produced & directed by Rolfe Kanefsky this low budget teen slasher isn't quite as bad as I had feared & isn't too bad if you have low enough expectations. The script obviously takes it inspiration from the self conscious Scream (1996) & it's imitators, this is a basic teen slasher & to be honest it doesn't really try to be anything else. Sure there are a couple of average twists in the story to liven things up a bit but at heart this is just a slasher. To be positive at least it moves along at a nice enough pace, there might have been a couple more murders but I wasn't bored with it, the character's are actually a lot better than I thought with reasonable decision making like actively trying to stick together & deciding not to go out in the woods alone or split up which is a nice change & generally speaking I thought it was a painless if undemanding & forgettable enough way to pass 90 odd minutes. The other thing that I liked about this film is Tiffany Shepis who I have seen in several other low budget horror films but didn't particularly know her in the sense if I saw a picture of her I wouldn't recognise her, here though she's probably the best thing about Nightmare Man as she runs around in her extremely mini skirt & boots holding a huge hunting rifle spouting mildly amusing one-liners, hey I'm easily pleased OK?

Director Kanefsky does alright on a low budget but it's not stylish & it all rather flat & bland. I've just realised that I've seen every horror film Kanefsky has directed to this point (lucky me, not), The Hazing (2004) which is pretty good, Corpses (2004) which is not so good, Jacqueline Hyde (2006) which is terrible & this which is OK. There's no scares, the twists aren't entirely successful or surprising, there's not much tension & no atmosphere but nothings perfect I suppose. Horror fans will also be able to spot the blatant The Evil Dead (1982) homage. There's not much gore here, an arrow fired into someones mouth, a knife stuck under someones chin & a bit of blood splatter & not much else.

Withn a supposed budget of about $250,000 this is as well made as you could expect, it's certainly glossier & nicer looking than many low budget straight-to-video/DVD horror film crap that's out there. As I said Tiffany Shepis is the best thing about Nightmare Man, she's a really hot looking chick with a great body & she actually gives a decent performance here which I'm sure no one was expecting to hear. The rest of the cast do OK & all of the girls find themselves in some degree of undress at one point or another.

Nightmare Man isn't anything particularly special, in fact it's nothing more than OK but even that's still a hell of a lot better than I was expecting. Worth a watch for horror fans who have to see everything & anything but other more casual viewers out there may not be that impressed.

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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Not Gonna Lie, This Was Bad

Author: Scars_Remain from United States
29 March 2008

I had heard some good things about this Horrorfest film so I decided to give it a shot. I had fun with some parts of it but it's mostly an annoying, typical slasher mess. This is the only film of the 2007 Horrorfest I've seen but I'll probably be checking out the others as well. Though, they're usually pretty bad, to be honest.

The acting was okay, I guess but Tiffany Shepis' character was so extremely annoying that her performance alone could have ruined the whole movie. However, a lot of things did. The script is terrible, I am so tired of "trapped in a cabin in the middle of the woods with a killer on the loose" films. There was also very little suspense whatsoever. One thing I liked was the blood, it seems like a throw back to low budget horror of the 70's and 80's and that made me happy. Unfortunately, it was pretty much the only thing.

If you decide to see this, see it for the blood alone and expect nothing else. It truly is a tedious film that does absolutely nothing we haven't seen a million times before.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Could have been done better; changed direction too much

Author: Michael F from United States
30 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The quick and dirty version of this movie without any spoilers - it changes the type of movie it's trying to be too many times! The problem with movies that do that is they don't do any one right. Good slashers stick with something - suspense, believability, etc. and run with it. The five is because it does entertain the viewer, but the acting is average and the movie does not give you something to think about after the credits role. Bottom line for those deciding whether or not to watch this movie - if you're hinging an evening on this flick, skip it. If it's a rainy day and there is quite nothing else to do, crack open that bottle of cognac and half of your attention will suffice to get the full value of this one.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

"There's Nothing New Out There"....just more frogs.

Author: hippiedj from Palm Desert, California
22 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Remember the episode of Seinfeld, where while standing in line to see a film "Rochelle, Rochelle" Elaine says guys will sit through anything for an hour and a half just to see breasts? That seems to be the case for the positive reviews of this flick from young teen guys that can't get their hands on Girls Gone Wild videos and manage to buy DVDs like Nightmare Man, gushing mainly about the hot chicks, the boobs, possible girl-on-girl, etc. but not much about the quality of the movie. For them, they're easily distracted by the nudity so they don't care about the rest and can also claim they're watching a "legitimate movie" in case they're questioned by parents about what they're watching. I'm not against nudity in films, I love naked people! But when it's just a tool to distract the viewer from the lack of scares, humor, or PLOT, it's a cheap shot.

Oh, the plot: a woman with a mental problem eats pills as often as Tic Tacs and claims to be chased by the Nightmare Man ("That mask is HORRIBLE" she keeps exclaiming, and she's right -- it's just a terrible cheap mask that induces laughter instead of fear out of the viewer). She meets up with two horny young couples in a luxury "cabin" in the woods where the gals find numerous ways to be seen undressed. Killer shows up. There ya have it.

I went in with a very open mind, and found myself losing hope within the first 10 minutes. Nothing scary yet, and we're treated to the camera moving up Ellen's naked body in the shower (notice they never do that when a guy is in the shower?), and the Nightmare Man ripping open Ellen's top shortly after...I just knew where this was going. Even by hearing bad things about a film you can't really know for sure until you see it yourself. Well, thank goodness this DVD was part of a set (bought all eight 2007 After Dark Horrorfest titles together for a special sale price at Best Buy), because there is no way that the current $19.98 retail price (nor any future lower prices) can justify purchasing this. I've known plenty of friends who've walked out on this one when it was showing in theatres in their area as part of the Horrorfest, and I can fully understand why.

About 20 years after There's Nothing Out There, you'd think writer/director Rolfe Kanfsky would have improved on his craft. Most of the budget on that first flick went on the then state-of-the-art opening credits, leaving the rest of the film to naked girls and no scares nor great laughs (as it was intended to be somewhat of a parody). All these years later, Nightmare Man had nice opening credits, and the rest the same old thing of girls naked or wearing nothing much and no scares at all. The really sad thing is this was intended to be a serious horror film, not even a parody. In Kanefsky's statements he says he's very proud of this "flick." But he just really didn't try to give us anything original nor different. You've seen this type of film dozens of times before, and there's an obvious lack of an attempt to make the presentation look decent. Bad lighting, extreme acting, lazy dialogue and plot -- man, did that first chase through the woods go on forever, with so many chances for Ellen to get caught. Actually, she was caught a few times and too easily got away again and again. Low-grade effects included Ellen cutting her wrist with a knife, with blood ALREADY there on her wrist and looking like thick orange-red paint. The color was NOT set wrong on my TV. All in all, just nothing new here, no surprises. It's as if Kanefsky figured his loyal fan base would blindly praise and support anything he makes. Apparently they do, as someone keeps funding these projects and the DVDs keep coming.

Easily the worst of the 2007 After Dark Horrorfest along with Lake Dead. As Ellen kept annoyingly screaming, "Where are my pills? Where are my PILLS??" I felt I needed some pills too from this viewing experience...but was just left with the sound of frogs croaking, a Kanefsky trademark. One can't help but feel insulted from that.

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12 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Much better than I expected but not for everyone

Author: kaiju0 from Aurora, IL
12 November 2007

I have been looking forward to Nightmare Man ever since June of 2006, when I had the opportunity to meet Tiffany Shepis at Flashback Weekend in Chicago. She was honestly excited about it, and I found her enthusiasm infectious enough to check out this movie as one of the 8 Films to Die For.

She was right. I really enjoyed this movie. That is not to say that it is, well, really good. At it's core, this film is your classic "boobs and blood" b-movie. You have to go in accepting this. The script is flimsy at times, the dialog is openly bad at times, the characters act accordingly most of the time (few moments you'll ask yourself "is that REALLY the most reasonable reaction" but those moments are uncommon) but overall...I really liked it. What really makes the movie work is Kanefsky's ability to put the viewer in the scene. I haven't seen many films that capture the surroundings better than this one does. The scene at the edge of the road is phenomenal. I can tell you where every tree is in relation to the car. I could feel how far it was from the trunk of the car to the trunk of the really big tree off the rear passenger window. And I knew there wasn't much room for Ellen to move if (when) she needed to. The suspense created is fantastic, and that alone carries this movie. I will be seeking out Kanefsky's other films for that alone.

The acting is much better than I expected, Blythe Metz is a bit inconsistent, but when she's on she's really good. Tiffany Shepis does a good job, but the writing for her character is...confusing at best. Her reactions are not what you might expect to the events that unfold around her. Of the women in the movie, Hanna Putnam puts in the best performance, I hope to see her get some roles with more exposure. The male actors are not as impressive as this is really a movie that highlights the women for more than the obvious reasons. James Ferris is the best of the male actors, but I did like Jack Sway as Ed and Luciano Szafir with the exception of his accent getting in the way a little.

Overall, I do recommend this movie for those that like low-budget horror. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I hope you do to.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

So bad, it's funny...but definitely not frightening

Author: pianomangidley from United States
8 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It seems that After Dark decided to distribute a film that was in that "so bad it's funny" category, worthy of MST3K-style commentary throughout. In fact, that's really the only way I'd recommend watching this film, because anything else will lead to utter disappointment. This movie starts off featuring Ellen, a woman who receives an African mask of a fertility deity she ordered to help her and her husband with their sex life, only it looks nothing like what she expected—a all-too- classic devil/demon looking face, which she insists leads to an actual demon taking over her body and mind (and haunting her dreams). Her husband, Bill (an Antonio Banderas knock-off), is driving her to have her committed to a mental hospital, when the car runs out of gas in a remote location. He goes off to get more gas, leaving her alone to see that this demon is in the woods where the car stalled and is actually after her. It pursues her to a house where four young adults are having a small party, and people start dying.

There's so much I wasn't expecting from this film (due to the level of professional cinema making I've come to expect from the movies distributed by After Dark) that I was already disappointed three minutes in. The camera quality is no better than a mid-grade porno and the acting and scriptwriting are no better. There's pretty much no exposition whatsoever—no character building to see Ellen's decline from a simple married woman to a possessed psychotic/schizophrenic, so don't expect to feel any sort of connection or sympathy for her...or any other character, for that matter. The editing, the blood-and-gore effects, the music—it's all pretty cheap. Even the demon mask itself looks like a cheap plastic mask you could find in any Halloween or general costume shop with a "Made in Taiwan" sticker on the back.

Even the "twist" an hour in is something I saw coming...but, admittedly, the second twist a short while later was sort of a saving grace for the film (if you can even think of it that way). In fact, the last 15-or-so minutes had me reminiscing a little of "Evil Dead." Perhaps that's the sort of cheesy, hokey mood of horror film making these people were out to accomplish. It's just about as cheap, if you factor in the difference of years between the two films. So, if you're really in the mood to watch something that's so bad that's it becomes all too easy to make fun of it during the entire ride, you could give "Nightmare Man" a try. There might be better films to suit that style of MST3K "horror," but I don't normally go in for such flicks myself, to be honest. Of course, if you're looking for an actually well-made scary movie to truly unsettle and disturb you, avoid this like the plague.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

bad for my taste

Author: morrigan1982 from Greece
20 February 2009

This was a really bad movie. Not parts of it, but the whole damn thing. What was this director thinking? The acting was so bad you can't even imagine. There were no emotions at all. The actors were responding the same way to whatever the director throws at them! They were in this film not for their acting skills but because they looked good in front of the camera! As for the script ... What script? Is there a script really? Were the actors allowed to make up the lines as the movie went on? Because their lines were so bad and corny that they had to be improvised! I don't understand how some people were able to laugh with this thing, I wasn't able to bring myself to do that.

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