Monday, February 4, 2008


Here is a review I wrote about a horror movie I recently discovered.


AKA Nightmare in a Damaged Brain, AKA Bloodsplash

1981, directed by Romano Scavolini

George is a very troubled young man. When he is not strangling and stabbing young people, he is stalking houses, hiding in the closet, and generally acting creepy. Every once in a while when things get to be too much, he has a seizure.

Nightmare is a unique slasher film. It does not follow the usual cookie-cutter routine of the dark faceless figure knocking off teenagers one by one. Instead it tells the story of a schizophrenic psychopath institutionalized since childhood when he murdered his parents with an axe. After being treated with an experimental drug, the doctors pronounce him cured and he is released back into the world. From there the story takes us on the road from the seedy peep shows of Manhattan’s 42nd street to the white sand beaches of Daytona Beach, Florida where he grew up. George returns to his childhood home. He stalks its current residents, stalking the house and killing them one by one over the course of a week.

The film itself has an uneasy feeling to it, from the grainy picture quality to the lack of music. George rarely speaks during the film, but his wide eyed, schizoid stare tells us everything we need to know about

This is one of several slasher movies that Tom Savini worked on in the early 1980s, and is probably the bloodiest. It was released in 1981, the same year as his equally jarring films The Prowler, and The Burning. Like the latter of the two, it saw a limited release on home video and slipped into obscurity. On some VHS releases it was titled Nightmare in a Damaged Brain. Hopefully, like The Burning, it will see at least a basic DVD release. This is a truly original horror film with a style all its own, regardless of who did the effects.
I am hoping that a DVD will be released of this film. Code Red has announced plans to release in on DVD sometime in 2008. I hope they follow through.

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