For anyone who still holds up Ed Wood as the worst director who ever lived, consider A Night to Dismember
as a nomination for Doris Wishman. This largely incomprehensible horror film (her first feature in 20 years) features porn star Samantha Fox in a rare "legitimate" role as a suspected psycho killer sprung from an insane asylum. Is it mere coincidence that the body count begins anew? The Queen of Exploitation adds mutilations, dismembered bodies, and buckets of gore to her trademark nudie style, but her technique is just as primitive as ever. The special effects are crude (to say the least), the photography dark and dreary, and the soundtrack awkwardly dubbed in (why waste time recording sound on set?) while a grating narrator hopelessly tries to make sense of the mess. This one is for Wishman fans and bad-cinema junkies only.
The film may be dreadful, but the brash and brassy Wishman is a real character and contributes a hugely entertaining commentary track. She bickers with her longtime cinematographer C. ("Chuck") Davis Smith and explains how the film was cobbled together from remnants after much of her original footage was destroyed by the lab. That explains the cinematic clumsiness and narrative incoherence, and illuminates the poor shape of the film master. This is, quite frankly, a terrible-looking and -sounding disc, but it's hard to believe it ever looked much better on the screen. The DVD also features a six-minute promotional short taken from a bleary video master. --Sean Axmaker