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Nightmare Beach (1989)

R | | Horror | 1990 (USA)
After a criminal motorcycle rider is put to death, he comes back from the dead to seek murderous revenge against the residents of a Florida town.


James Justice (as Harry Kirkpatrick), Umberto Lenzi (as Harry Kirkpatrick)


Umberto Lenzi (story) (as Harry Kirkpatrick), Vittorio Rambaldi (story) | 3 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas De Toth Nicolas De Toth ... Skip
Sarah Buxton ... Gail
Rawley Valverde Rawley Valverde ... Ronnie
Lance LeGault ... Rev. Bates
Michael Parks ... Doc Willet
John Saxon ... Strycher
Ben Stotes Ben Stotes ... Al
Kristy Lachance Kristy Lachance ... Lori
Gregg Todd Davis Gregg Todd Davis ... Ralph
Yamilet Hidalgo ... Trina
John Baldwin John Baldwin ... Mad John
Luis Valderrama Luis Valderrama ... Dawg (as Luis Valderama)
Fred Buch ... Mayor Loomis (as Fred Buck)
Debra Gallagher Debra Gallagher ... Rachael
Turk Harley Turk Harley ... Malcom


After a criminal motorcycle rider is put to death, he comes back from the dead to seek murderous revenge against the residents of a Florida town.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




R | See all certifications »



Italy | USA



Release Date:

1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Welcome to Spring Break See more »

Filming Locations:

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Umberto Lenzi, originally hired to direct, had a falling out with the producer just as production started and wanted to be taken off the film. He stated in a 1996 interview that he found the story "too similar to his earlier film Sette orchidee macchiate di rosso (1972)" and decided before shooting began that his name would not appear on the film. Screenwriter Harry Kirkpatrick, also known as James Justice, was given the job of directing, and received sole directorial credit, though he convinced Lenzi to remain on the set in an uncredited advisory capacity throughout the entire production. For years, many horror film fans thought Harry Kirkpatrick was an alias for Lenzi, but Lenzi has stated in interviews that there really was a Harry Kirkpatrick who wrote & co-directed that film. He explained, "My contribution consisted solely of providing technical assistance. Nightmare Beach (1989) should be considered the work of Harry Kirkpatrick." See more »


Referenced in Fear, Panic & Censorship (2000) See more »


Bad Love So Right
Written and Performed by Rondinelli
Published by Rondinelli
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User Reviews

Umberto Lenzi's most accessible slasher effort
30 January 2004 | by RareSlashersReviewedSee all my reviews

Umberto Lenzi (the Italian exploitation director who gave the world the incredibly gruesome CANNIBAL FEROX) spawned this entry into our beloved stalk and slash cycle under the amusing ‘all American' alias of Harry Kirkpatrick. Unleashed in 1988, I don't think that WELCOME TO SPRING BREAK ever got a UK release, so I had to hunt down a NTSC copy. I was kind of looking forward to receiving my print and didn't quite know what to expect. Knowing the work of Lenzi, I thought that this could either be a cheap bargain basement flick or a gruesome gore filled monster. I hoped that the latter would be the closest to the truth as I opened the jiffy bag in which my shrink rapped VHS arrived in and placed it into my video recorder…

It opens with a menacing looking guy – whom we later find out is named Edward ‘Diablo' Santor – being escorted to the electric chair for being found guilty of the murder of a beach bunny named Mary. He protests his innocence by shouting things like ` I've been framed' and `I didn't kill your sister bitch!' to a young attractive teen – Gail (Saran Buxton) – who's in the box viewing the execution. The convict gets strapped in and asked if he has any last words. He swears that he'll return to seek revenge upon those who wrongly accused him. The lever gets flicked and the unlucky inmate gets fried. Cue a cheesy eighties pop atrocity named ‘Don't take my heart', and on roll the credits… We are now introduced to a few of the residents of a sunny, sandy beach. You've got the Demons, a trouble making biker gang who terrorise all the local youths that are not a part of their group. Diablo - the guy sent to his death – was the leader of this rebellious pack and lets just say that the surviving members are not too pleased that he's not here to lead them astray anymore! You've also got a group of randy party loving teens who seem to enjoy nothing more than pulling dumb pranks upon each other, attending the beach wet T-shirt contests, chasing the opposite sex and drinking copious amounts of beer in the local bar. Gail (the sister of the pre-plot murder victim) pours the liquors in this seedy drinking establishment; and it's there where she meets Skip (Nicholas De Toth) and the two strikes up a romantic relationship. All these wild and fun filled nights are watched by an over zealous police chief named Striker (John Saxon) and a commandment abiding sinister minister (Lance LeGault) who warns the enthusiastic youngsters that they shouldn't sin! Before long a maniacal killer disguised in biker leathers and a helmet complete with tinted visor begins holding his own executions among the unsuspecting townsfolk. Each slaying becomes far more grisly than the next. The authorities try to keep the vicious murders under wraps, but when the bodies begin turning up in public places, it becomes incredibly difficult to keep the chilling fact a secret. So has Diablo kept his promise and returned from the grave to raise hell among the living?

To describe this flick to you in the best possible way, I'd have to say it's like a late night Baywatch complete with a psychopathic killer working his way through the lifeguards! If that takes your fancy then this may well be the movie you've been hunting for! It's blessed with some genuinely original death sequences, including one unlucky female getting chained to a post before she's, well, how shall we put it, ‘Flame grilled' by a large incinerator! It's also hilariously cheesy in a number of places and fans of bad cinema will find a few laughs scattered around freely here and there. It's pretty gory in a cheapskate kind of way and the killer's identity manages to remain quite well kept secret until he is unmasked in the closing five minutes. I was pleased to see John Saxon made a welcome appearance as the sadistic cop. Fond memories of his career best performance in Bruce Lee's ENTER THE DRAGON always allow him to hold his own in a movie. It's all located around a beautifully sandy sun splashed beach and we get some decent and inviting shots of the clear blue sea. Suspicion is chucked at everyone and the killer is hardly camera shy, managing to electrocute quite a few jocks and beach bunnies. The lead characters are likeable enough, giving you enough time to relate to them and hope they avoid getting slaughtered. Lenzi is also successful in keeping things interesting and has added all the relevant clichés without overdoing them to the point of becoming annoying.

Sadly however, WELCOME TO SPRING BREAK can't help but feel shamefully average, at best. The cast don't give us any memorable performances. And even the once charismatic Saxon looked bored. Likeable as he is, he seems to have lost his charm somewhat since the rapid decline of his once promising career. Things are also a little too predictable. You just knew all the way through what was going to happen next and the director doesn't even try to create any sense of fear or suspense. The kill scenes are painfully rushed without any stalking or effective build up. Our psycho just turns up when an unsuspecting victim is alone and then he quickly kills them! There isn't even a decent showdown when his identity is revealed. Although his motives for the murders are resolved and explained things still couldn't help but feel somewhat halfhearted and incomplete.

If I were to put this flick on a double feature, I'd pair it up with Ruggero Deodato's BODYCOUNT. The two are similar in many ways, if not for the fact that the two directors have a great deal in common. All in all this isn't excellent but it's not a complete waste of time either. Just a relatively simple ‘by the book' slasher, no less and certainly no more!

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