Nightmare Weekend

May 11, 2011 at 12:16 am (5 Heads, Nightmare Weekend) (, , , , , , , , )

Nightmare Weekend – 1986 – United States/England/France

Nightmare Weekend is a haphazard mash-up of cyber-science, mutants, bikers, and T&A. As a French/English/American co-production with 2 writers and 3 producers, its sordid production history is undoubtedly interesting. Unless they are using pseudonyms (highly possibly), much of the cast and crew never made another flick (excepting Andrea Thompson of NYPD Blue). That’s probably for the best.

A gold-hearted scientist makes electronic pinballs that zoom into people’s mouths and reverse their personality disorders (don’t think about it too hard). His immoral assistant steals the pinballs to test on horny twenty-somethings. For whatever reason, the pinballs kill the subjects and morph them to crazed slime-barfing mutants. In an unrelated plot, the good scientist’s daughter plays with her robot George and falls in love with a biker. Unfortunately, the biker has a dark past and is fated to die bloodily as the credits roll over a freeze frame of the daughter’s screaming face.

To prevent boredom meltdown, a couple screws on a pinball machine (Stern’s Galaxy, actually), a video game controls a real car, and possessed panties suffocate a dude, but it’s George that steals the show. Supposedly an android, he’s actually a crappy puppet with green hair. As the daughter gives a ludicrous love soliloquy, his robotic voice prompts “More data please!” and eventually “Diagnosis: in love. You are in love.” As the daughter is raped, he chants “Danger!” like the Lost in Space robot and dispatches homing pinballs to impale her assailant.

As you would expect from Nightmare Weekend’s disparate components, it’s a flick lacking coherent style. Chunky old computer graphics mix with cheapjack gore and optical effects. The lighting alternates been bright/flat and dark/dingy. Its single unifying aspect is the prevalence of iconic 80s fads: roller-skating, Walkmen, dance music, and a barcade packed with swinging bikers. Most flicks bear the mark of their decade but Nightmare Weekend is nearly parody, evidenced further by the crooning “Nightmare Fantasy” title ballad.

Nightmare weekend is and dumb and lousy, but interesting. Bewildering dialogue, kitchen-sink-style plot, and an utter lack of logic keep it unpredictable and there’s plenty of nudity if that’s your flavor. Every so often, it’s nice to kick back with a flick that’s easy to watch, and Nightmare Weekend fits the bill. See it, for the love of George.

Rating: 5/10 Shrunken Heads. From Troma’s distribution catalog. Surprise.

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