Let’s watch some trash.
I am not sure what compelled me to watch another schlocky 80s film, but here we are. This is from Italian exploitation maestro Romano Scavolini and if you know him, you know exactly what this is film is about.
We follow a mental patient who has a constant stream of violent nightmares and eventually escapes to stalk victims. That’s the plot in a nutshell. If you’re surprised at how thin the plot is, allow me to welcome you to exploitation cinema.
The whole purpose of this film is to present twisted dreams and scenarios that are both realistic and dreamlike—and covered in absurd amounts of gore. We follow our hero (???) George Tatum through this nightmare (see what I did there) scenario.
This is another one of those films that provides some absurd nostalgia better than every modern production built to get money off this feeling. First, everyone smokes—screw you Stranger Things for folding to complaints about smoking! We also have good old fashioned (read: horrific) insensitivity towards people with mental illness. On the one hand, I can see how some would find this movie offensive. On the other, I honestly believe this is a good look into the minds of people in the 1980s, and we should be happy that any of survived.
The film holds up okay on the practical effects. However, the quality of the shots (often too dark and somewhat jittery) could use an update. Perhaps the biggest offender is the subtitles, which are out of time or completely inaccurate (or both).
The movie is weird, uncomfortable, and has a fair share of screwed up scenes that do mostly justify its status as a cult classic. Unfortunately, a lot of the movie is just boring. Let’s watch George go to a stripclub. Let’s watch George walk around. Let’s watch George watch people… You probably get the pattern. About half of the film could be cut.
Sex and death are linked here, and there could be some interesting stuff done with this idea, but the point is more to disturb than illuminate (I think the best films can do both). This one is perhaps one of the more daring 80s films as far as pushing the limit, but it is still tame when compared to extreme European cinema. In some ways, this might work better as an introduction to more thoughtful extreme horror.
I think this one would have been better if we would have exclusively followed George, and not his stalking victims. We end up having to listen to annoying kids shout and whine for about third of the running time. This family sucks. They aren’t interesting and make the whole thing drag on. The twist at the end is terribly obvious from the first thirty minutes.
This one is perhaps more daring, but it just isn’t a pleasant watch. Cut down to a 40-minute short it could work, as is, this is just kind of boring.