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Twisted Nightmare (1987) - Blu-ray Review

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Twisted Nightmare (1987) - Blu-ray Review

3 beersThis is the type of independent horror film where few got paid.  It's fun and tedious and is worth remembering solely for the kill scenes and the fresh-looking gore effects.  You see, that's what happens when a film gets made and then re-made again.  It barely makes sense, but does what it needs to do in order to function as a horror film.  Cult enthusiasts are sure to eat it up, too.  

There’s a giant creature out there chasing teenagers!  He moans like a bear and is just as sneaky.  So get the cut-off tees, shape those mullets, poof the perms, and let those tops drop, ladies.  It’s time to party like it’s 1985...er, ah I mean 1987!  Grab the flashlights and lock the door!  There isn’t a single soul safe on this night of gory massacres.  Twisted Nightmare and its cheesy fun has begun…

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.  A bunch of horny teenagers.  A summer camp overseen by a grumpy groundskeeper.  A spooky old barn.  And a mysterious killer on the loose that may or may not be related to one of the returning campers.  And what if I told you that the evil stalking the local woods and preying upon all the unsuspecting teens was Native American in origin? 

True, it’s the basis for most 1980s horror output but in Twisted Nightmare, the situation of campers being terrorized hits a brand new low for T&A summer spectacles.   This time, the acting is bargain basement, the weapons include a crossbow, and the cast includes the burned-up corpse of the brother of one camp attendee who gets bullied due to his effeminate qualities. 

With the slow motion in full effect, Twisted Nightmare begins with the unexpected summoning of former camp attendees who were all present when Laura’s brother was tragically burned to death.  It is written and directed by Paul Hunt (Demon Wind) and, while it may have been filmed much earlier than its release date suggests, there’s no mistaking its ugly tone and, one by one, the many teens at this camp come face to face with the Native American curse they’ve only just been warned about. 

Throats are slashed.  Necks are broken.  Sugar is put in gas tanks.  And the dumbass teens continue to fuck, party, and shower like there’s no tomorrow.  And, for some of them, that is an unavoidable truth.  One, hilariously, lights black candles to get the ambiance just right for her afternoon shower.  (Don’t get too hopeful, though, as she’s also into cutting and just might be the reason for the murderous season.) 

From being locked in icehouses to swinging freely from the barn rafters by body parts, Twisted Nightmare disposes of a high number of teenagers.  Maybe it’s too many to keep track of, though.  The independent horror film – while it has one gnarly kill after another and handles it well, complete with screeching guitars and electronic drums – does lose its footing in all those body parts, making it hard to follow in a character by character basis.  Yet that doesn’t keep Hunt from peppering this one with lots of era-effective dialogue to spruce up the wonky character development.    

“This was my tribe’s land,” exclaims the pissed off groundskeeper shortly before – on the other side of the camp – one teen gets his head slammed in some face-melting hot coals.  His native blood has kept watch over this land and he’ll be damned if some teenagers are going to disrupt the flow.  With great gore effects by Cleve Hall (who also plays the burned up and bullied brother) leading the charge, this slow slasher is definitely for genre fans only.  But I bet you already knew that.  And that, outside of the rocking electronic score, is the only warning you are going to get for this low rent cult flick. 

Code Red presents Twisted Nightmare on blu-ray thanks to a new HD scan of the only surviving 35mm film element.

Twisted Nightmare (1987) - Blu-ray ReviewMPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
95 mins
Director
: Paul Hunt
Writer:
Paul Hunt
Cast:
Rhonda Gray, Cleve Hall, Robert Padilla
Genre
: Horror
Tagline:
If only it were a bad dream...
Memorable Movie Quote:
Theatrical Distributor:
United Filmmakers
Official Site:
Release Date:
January, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
May 23, 2017
Synopsis: A group of teenagers win a trip to a summer camp they had attended as children. However, soon after they get there they begin to disappear one by one. The survivors suspect that the disappearances may be connected to the death of a handicapped child at the camp years before. ow watch this slasher classic in HD!!!

Twisted Nightmare (1987) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Code Red
Available on Blu-ray
- May 23, 2017
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: English SDH
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit); English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; single disc
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Code Red issues the new 35mm scan with an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 with an English Mono track.  The results are pretty sweet.  While there are still some flaws in the print, the transfer looks pretty good considering its budget.  Shot on location where Friday the 13th: Part III was filmed, the film and its open camp location looks solid.  The ripe 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode has its limitations, though, as the low budget film is obviously dated.  The HD adds a little more detail to some of the clothing and the backgrounds.  Black levels are strong, making some of the night kill scenes an absolute triumph of shades and thick lines.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  •  Special Effects guru and star Cleve Hall talks about the making of the movie, its history, the effects, and the location with intensity and a fun spirit for the commentary.  He knows his stuff and talks at length about specifics concerning the flick.

Special Features:

Code Red loads this release with a great (and hysterical) on-screen interview with Cleve Hall and one with Brad Bartrum.  There is also a screening with a Cleve Hall Q and A that fans will appreciate. 

  • Cleve Hall Interview
  • Brad Bartrum Interview
  • Screening Q And A with Cleve Hall

 

Twisted Nightmare (1987) - Blu-ray Review

 

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