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A Night to Dismember

2.9 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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(Oct 29, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


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

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Samantha Fox, Diane Cummins, Saul Meth, Miriam Meth, William Szarka
  • Directors: Doris Wishman
  • Writers: Judy J. Kushner
  • Producers: Doris Wishman, Larry Marinelli
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • DVD Release Date: October 29, 2001
  • Run Time: 69 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005OSJZ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,617 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Night to Dismember" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
My fave Doris Wishman films are Nudes on the Moon and Deadly Weapons. She's a tough New Yorker who loves to make movies and starting in the early 1960's she scraped a few dollars together, went into a nudist colony and started making movies. She's an extremely prolific film-maker of dozens of no-budget absolutely awful movies that a lot of us absolutely love. She's the exploitation queen and she wisely came up with some of the cleverest innovative ideas to make movies cheap cheap cheap. Over the years she improved as a film-maker.
Doris' Night to Dismember was barely released in 1983 and then had a quiet video release and disappeared. It's a gory horror film and Doris doesn't particularly like horror films. The movie once upon a time probably made sense but 40 to 60 percent of the original negative was destroyed by a film-lab technician who was upset the company was going under and he was losing his job. He didn't have a beef with Wishman but her film got partially destroyed. So using alternate takes and some stock footage, Doris took over eight months reconstructing the film as best she could.
The result is an incomprehensible mess of a gory horror film that features former porn star (not the singer) Samantha Fox in her first (and only) legitimate starring role.
The film has some pretty effective low budget gore effects. In fact the film is very very gory with lots of axe murders. You get some of Doris' trademarks but not quite as many as with other films. While you get the occassional strange insert shot, there's not the long shots of ashtrays to cover up mistakes or allow for the dubbed actors to finish a line that are part of some of her other films.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Doris Wishman's ultra-rare horror flick A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER finally resurfaces after years of out-of-print obscurity. This was her final film and man is it a mess of epic proportions ---- a great mess, though! A woman is released from an asylum and murders start occurring --- is she responsible? God only knows! The ineptitude and incoherency is so intense that your mind will boggle --- a narrator tries to explain everything as the film progresses, but he just makes things even more nonsensical, blurting names left and right and babbling on about past incidents that make no sense whatsoever. He also explains characters' motivations because the actors can't project them themselves. The film appears to have been shot without sound so all the voices were dubbed in later (and they don't match) as well as some dubbed in hilarious sound effects. There's quite a bit of blood and over-the-top gore and nudity, too! Music cuts in and out randomly, editing is primitive, some shots are repeated for "emotional impact" and the whole thing is just a giant mess. And it's one of the best messes ever put on film!
This new DVD from Elite is a welcome and very unexpected release --- but there was no hype, no promotion, no nuthin'. Come on, Elite, there should have been TV commercials and headline stories touting this DVD's release! Oh well. The poor film suffered the same fate on it's very rare VHS release years ago from MPI which probably only sold 10 copies. Anyway, how's the disc? Well, the film is presented letterboxed, but it appears to be faux widescreen (as Elite does on their Drive-in discs) and just mattes part of the image out for no reason except to be "widescreen". While some of it looks well-composed this way, other parts seem pretty tight (especially in the close-up gore scenes).
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Format: DVD
This is one of the last films made by the late great Doris Wishman and it is probablly the most technically inept of all of her films. No one truly expects to see stunning cinematography from a Doris Wishman flick but the choppiness of this movie almost made me seasick! Doris explains, in the director's commentary on the disc, that this film was made entirely from out takes and footage from some of her previous films due to the fact that the original negatives were destroyed. There is little to no actual dialogue in this movie other than that of the narrator and, as is typical in a Wishman film, we see many shots of the sky, feet and other inanimate objects.

The commentary track on this DVD is PRICELESS. It is a rare occassion to actually hear Doris Wishman comment on her films but when you throw in "Chuck" (the man who operated the camera for 17 of Wishman's films) it makes for a highly entertaining segment. Doris hurls insults at Chuck left and right and he plays the "Dummy" very well. At first, the viewer might be thrown off by this and might perceive Doris as a real Witch with a capital B but after awhile you come to realize that this is all a game and that their entire relationship is based on teasing each other. I would recommend watching the movie with the commentary track on first in order to find out if the movie is truly your cup of tea or not. If nothing else, you'll hear some very entertaining one liners from the Queen of Exploitation and her trusty sidekick.
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And easily one of my favorite movies of all time. A member of the elite top ten if ever there is one.

People who say this movie is "bad" just don't get it. Believe me, it doesn't take a genius to realize there are so many things wrong with this film there wouldn't be time in a capsule review such as this to list them. This film is indeed broken, but the fractured bits create something magic, something so entertaining, that the film deserves kudos - even if it's all by mistake and is unintentional.

I laugh every time I see this. It's just perfect in its imperfection.

So for those full of hate - please stop taking things so seriously. Lighten up, chill out, and let this film wash over you. It's glorious, terrible, and wonderful at the same time. THIS is cinema. Pure entertainment.
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