‘Screams of terror… silenced only by the splintering of glass!’
Nightmares – aka Stage Fright – is a 1980 Australian horror film, co-produced and directed by John D. Lamond from a screenplay by Colin Eggleston (Long Weekend; Innocent Prey; Cassandra).
The Bernard Hermannesque score was composed by Brian May (Patrick; Thirst; Roadgames).
The film stars Jenny Neumann (The Girl in the Empty Grave; Hell Night), Gary Sweet (The Dreaming), Nina Landis (Komodo), Max Phipps (Thirst; Mad Max 2; Dark Age); Edmund Pegge (Scream – and Die!).
A young girl named Cathy (Jenny Neumann) tries to keep her mother from making out with a man while driving one day, and she inadvertently causes her mother’s death in the ensuing crash.
Sixteen years later, Cathy is now named Helen and has become an actress. Since her mother died with a shard of glass in her throat, Helen begins hacking through the cast of her new play, “Comedy of Blood,” in a similar fashion…
“Nightmares certainly lives up to its name. Unfolding like a delirious fever dream, its abrupt cuts and elliptical montages prevent rhythm and typical narrative coherency. It’s almost reminiscent of a female counterpart to Maniac in its study of obsession and psychological scarring, while its conflation of sex and death echoes the giallo tradition.” Oh, the Horror!
“It’s hilarious that Lamond plays it like a mystery. Not only does Helen have violent sexual hangups and a thing with broken glass, but after the alley couple are killed, her recurring nightmare starts featuring scenes from that murder. You know, because she did it. Yet even after this, the movie keeps the slasher’s face hidden from us till the very end, as if Lamond forgot he already told us who it was.” Geek Nation
” … it’s almost more like a giallo at times, due to the loose plotting, excess of sex and @ssholes, and crazy flashback motifs, but it lacks style. If nothing else, a giallo should deliver some nice set pieces, but one of this film’s biggest issues is how shoddily constructed it is. There aren’t any set-pieces, scenes just sort of come and go at random throughout the film…” Horror Movie a Day
“The script most definitely touches on that and it means that we can have fun watching them get slashed. And get slashed they do. EVERY single one of them. The performances may not be earth moving and there’s no one really to bond with, but it’s still enjoyable enough to watch.” A Slash Above…
“I also really enjoyed how the film, whether intentionally or not, provided an explanation as to why killers in slasher films tend to go after lovers in heat as their prime targets. It’s become a running joke that if you plan to get it on in a slasher flick, you’ll not likely to live long enough to achieve that happy ending. What Nightmares does is provide us with a backstory…” The Celery Stalks At Midnight
Cast and characters:
Gary Sweet … Terry Besanko
Jenny Neumann … Cathy/Helen Selleck
Max Phipps … George D’alberg
John Michael Howson … Bennett Collingwood
Nina Landis … Judy
Nightmares was released in the US uncut and remastered on DVD by Severin Films on June 28, 2011.
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