HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Variety
Devil to Pay, The
Gypsy
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
   
 
Newest Articles
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
   
 
  Nightmares in a Damaged Brain Dream Scream
Year: 1981
Director: Romano Scavolini
Stars: Baird Stafford, Sharon Smith, C.J. Cooke, Mik Cribben, Danny Ronan, John L. Watkins, Bill Milling, Scott Praetorius, William Kirksey, Christina Keefe, Tammy Patterson, Kim Patterson, Kathleen Ferguson, William Paul, Tommy Bouvier
Genre: Horror, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 2 votes)
Review: George Tatum (Baird Stafford) is a mental patient incarcerated in this top secret asylum where the doctors hope to try and cure his acute schizophrenia with homicidal tendencies using a newly developed medication along with the most high tech computer hardware that they have access to. The only issue may be that George is not reacting well to this thanks to his dreadful nightmares that plague him every time he sleeps, and are often centred around waking up in bed to see severed body parts piled at the foot of the mattress with him, but what is the cause of these terrors? He also has flashbacks to his early years and a specific incident where he stumbled across his father in bed with a prostitute...

Nightmares in a Damaged Brain was originally called simply Nightmare, but earned its later title, the one it is perhaps best known by, when it was distributed in Britain during the nineteen-eighties. This only made it notorious there as a video nasty successfully prosecuted to jail said distributors for releasing obscene material; they might not have helped their case by ramping up the sensational aspects in their publicity campaign, but the thought of sending someone to prison for bringing out a horror movie that contained nothing illegal in itself, that was no actual cruelty to animals or children or anything like that since all the violence was staged, seems positively draconian these days.

But that's where the moral panic lay back then, blaming horror flicks for the evils of the world was a lot easier than tackling the real thing, and so scapegoating by the press, politicians and self-appointed moral guardians continued. All of which would make it fitting if this film had been an unsung masterpiece, or at least containing points of interest other than its notoriety, but on watching it you'd find an easily distracted plod through an all-too-typical mental illness scare story where being unbalanced in your mind effectively meant a death sentence for anyone unfortunate to cross your path. Certainly some so afflicted have violent reactions, but not as many as films like this would have depicted.

So if the thought of brushing with someone who had gone off the rails made you believe you were dicing with death rather than meeting a poor soul who had lost control of their faculties, then Nightmares in a Damaged Brain might work some kind of grim effect on you, but if you took a more level-headed approach you'd see it for the opportunistic trudge through would-be sensational material it was. Nobody involved had much good to say about it, having been taken over early on by shady deals that had the funds on a shoestring and the cast mostly amateurs, but the person who railed against it the most was makeup effects expert Tom Savini, who demanded his name be removed from the advertising.

There is some controversy about exactly how much involvement Savini had with the film, he averred he had merely a glancing knowledge of the production but others claimed he was more hands on, and certainly the gore we see did have that hallmark of his efforts if noticeably cheaper in its results than he would have been associated with. Otherwise, this tale of one of the sweatiest screen psycho killers ever was set in Florida where George is headed for reasons that don’t become obvious till the last minute, but he is fixated on a particular family there when he’s not murdering innocent people and feeling very anguished and tormented that he cannot help himself. The high tech business intruded with the scientists predicting with their computer what he would do next, fat lot of good when they cannot prevent his spree with this information, and there was some blatant padding when the crew filmed their lead wandering around New York's Times Square (even then this drags on too long). Strictly for the hardcore grindhouse fanatics, unless you were interested from a sociological perspective. Music by Jack Eric Williams.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1549 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (3)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: