Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Nightmare Man (2006)

I wasn’t sure what to expect when sent Nightmare Man. I hadn’t even heard of it, though Tiffany Shepis was in it. With Shepis in the flick, I expected nudity, a bit of sexiness and a lot of blood flowing. I got all those things, but also got a fun, entertaining throwback to 80’s slasher flicks with a demon twist.

Even since Ellen (Blythe Metz) received an evil-looking fertility mask from Africa, Ellen swears she is being terrorized by the Nightmare Man, who is someone or something wearing the horned, vicious-looking fertility mask. She begins having “episodes” where he stalks her that may or may not be real. William (Luciano Szafir), her husband, doesn’t believe her and blames it all on her “intimacy issues.” After medication doesn’t seem to work and she continues to have hallucinations, he decides to take her to a mental institution for treatment. On the way there, the car runs out of gas and William decides to leave Ellen locked in the car while he hikes down the road for gas. Ellen is left all alone, except for the mask in the trunk that William has brought along to aid in her treatment…When night falls, the Nightmare Man shows up and chases Ellen through the woods. Meanwhile, two couples are at a cabin nearby when they hear Ellen’s screams for help. They take her in and barricade the cabin against what they think is a psycho outside. They call William, and he gives them the whole spiel about Ellen being a nutcase, but when they start dying one-by-one, they realize that the Nightmare Man is real.

This was definitely an enjoyable and fun movie! It’s campy without being over-the-top and the demon parts of the story reminded me a bit of the movie Demons. For a B-movie the story is pretty well held together and the performances are all, for the most part, solid. The effects and gore were impressive as well.

The star of the show is Tiffany Shepis, giving one of her best performances. She plays sexy, confident and kick-ass Mia with a real spunkiness! Her acting here is probably the best I’ve seen from her. Of course there’s the infamous Shepis nudity here, as in most of her films, and, as usual, she looks great. Black lace bra and panties complement a crossbow quite well! I felt the weakest performance was by Blythe Metz, who plays Ellen. Her overacting in some scenes was cringe-worthy and got on my nerves.

A few comedic touches let us know the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously, but at the same time it features some very tense scenes. There is also a nice twist that I didn’t see coming (though I should have) and the demon aspect raises the film above typical slasher fare. The special effects and gore were impressive, including a bow through someone’s neck, a knife through a head and a guy who splatters onto a windshield.

I do have a few complaints about the film. One is that many scenes are too dark and murky to make out what is happening. Secondly, I wasn’t digging the ending too much. It was just blah and pretty nonsensical. Thirdly, I wish a little more had been explained about the Nightmare Man as well.

Don’t get me wrong, though, I completely enjoyed Nightmare Man. It is definitely a must-see for all Shepis fans. Horror fans in general will delight in the 80’s throwback of a masked killer stalking attractive people in the middle of nowhere. Everyone should get a kick out of this fast-paced, entertaining B-movie.

Available on Amazon!

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