American Nightmare 1981
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Top Customer Reviews
Katarina introduces this film as being one of their most uncomfortable and seedy releases yet and warns the viewer. If ugly people and strip clubs are what she is referring to then you will survive, as the blood is to a minimum here. Some nudity is thrown around but most of it comes from some really gross looking strippers. The "horror" in this film is urban decay and the film does exceed in that department with flying colors. I'm into gritty underground cinema so while I was hoping for a more fast-paced thriller, this film seems to drag on a bit to wallow in the dregs of society. Its a bit oppressive.
Genre favorite Michael Ironside plays a detective after the killer who is offing all the female "talent" in this film. Too bad he isn't given much to do here.
The biggest disappointment is the film quality its self. Its full frame (ugh) and the film print is severely damaged - greens and grays bleed towards the center screen from the edges of the print throughout most of the film, giving it a trashy drive-in feel. If only it were widescreen, then it might work in the film's favor, but alas it's not. I guess Scorpion was unable to get a decent copy of this film to clean up.
I'm still enjoying this line of releases which has been hit and miss, but mostly hit in my opinion. If they can release more films along the quality of Mortuary and Satan's Slave then I can see this line of releases being popular for a long time to come.
Late 2012 is the "season of sleaze" for Katarina's Nightmare Theater - A bold move for the company as American Nightmare will only be enjoyed by the jaded, seasoned underground enthusiast
I recommend this for those folks. Its a grimy film worth viewing in the wee hours of the night.
The "Katarina's Nightmare Theatre" range of DVD's from Scorpion Releasing has brought new life to some long forgotten horror gems from the video era, and I for one am very happy about that. I genuinely feel that - despite some snoozers and losers - their overall range is one of the most fan-friendly and interesting on the market today. This film hasn't been available in my neck of the world since the days of videotape, so it's a welcome addition to my collection.
"American Nightmare" is an early-eighties Canadian tax-shelter production from Paul Lynch, the man behind "Prom Night" and "Humongous". It's a grimier film than either of those, and deliberately so. It's not "Maniac" level grimy, and there are some occasional light moments, but overall an attempt has been made here to deglamourize the big city and emphasize its potential to degrade and dehumanize. The story revolves around a murdered young woman from a good family who had fallen into a life of prostitution and general seediness. The subsequent attempt by her brother to solve the mystery of her death sees him navigating through a sordid milieu of drugs, death and degenerates (and startling videotapes). The denizens of this underworld are mostly unsympathetic (except the obligatory stripper with a heart of gold who assists him with his quest), and everybody is motivated by the desire to extract whatever they can from absolutely anybody else. Perversion lurks everywhere in this urban nightmare and nobody can be trusted, not even dear old Dad. Yikes.
This is a worthwhile viewing experience if you come to it knowing what to expect. Things aren't bright and pretty here, and I'm not just talking about Michael Ironside (playing a detective, and very well too).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Despite some poor low budget production qualities, AMERICAN NIGHTMARE is a well made and sometimes scary movie about early 80s urban decay that has some neat perspectives to offer... Read morePublished on August 25, 2013 by Zekemiller88
Am enjoyable, obscure horror film. Michael Ironside is always very good. A much welcomed addition to my horror film collection.Published on August 25, 2013 by dscottrose