Twisted Nightmare

1987

Horror

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 6%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 6%
IMDb Rating 4.3/10 10 626 626

Director

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
865.6 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
Seeds 12
1.57 GB
1920*1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 34 min
Seeds 24

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by lost-in-limbo 4 / 10

"This is my idea of roughing it".

"Twisted Nightmare" won't pull out any surprises as it's a deranged, if run-of-a-mill camp-based slasher, but it does have some interesting novelties ranging from the fact it was filmed around the same time as "Friday the 13th Part 3" (to only be released a couple years later) and that in was shot in the same area as that film too. Those would remember the barn of doom (and again it seems to hold some sort of attraction).

A group of old friends are mysteriously invited back to Camp Paradise, but no one has been there since the strange death of Matthew (a simple kid who was picked on by them). His death was unexplainable as he was turned into a scorching human torch and the body was never found. So the friends are together again along with Matthew's sister, but not too soon one-by-one the group start getting picked off.

For being a low-end slasher it has its recycled conventions, but it was a competently done (on the technical side) for what it is. A quickie, but well delivered slasher that reminded me of a cheaper version of woodland slashers "The Burning" and "Madman". The killer is pretty much in the same mould as "Madman" --- an unstoppable scruffy brute that's disfigured and who likes to growl. The story is old-hat (despite an interesting back-story about how the campsite is cursed) with a sluggish beginning before getting on with things before leading onto a insanely predictable revelation, the forced dialogues are lame and the acting for most part is bad (leaden or ripe). However it does bestow a healthy body count throws about the nudity quite freely and has its nasty moments. Junky and cheesy, but entertaining. Director Peter Hunt uses the locations rather well, but it seems to work better during the night sequences with the cat and mouse chases between the bulky killer and self-obsessed victims. There are some atmospheric touches with beaming blue lighting and mist, but even then the vision can become quite murky and editing rather jerky (like the first death sequence). The death scenes are hit or miss, some coming off while others not so. Moments do become laughable, like the use of slow-motion. The music is an unhinged, but mangled mixture sounding ominous but then breaking into something sunny and bright.

Reviewed by LuisitoJoaquinGonzalez 3 / 10

A jumbled up mess of clichés that lacks any real punch

So you like clichés eh? Well, I'll give you clichés alright. I'll give you so many clichés that you'll loose count before the ten-minute mark!

Completed in eighty-two, but shelved for five years due to a total lack of confidence from the entire production team, Twisted Nightmare is not a movie. It may have a cast and a crew and all the ingredients that you would associate with a feature film, but in fact it's just a check-list of slasher platitudes rapped up into ninety-minutes of cheap videotape and cunningly disguised as a motion picture. What you don't believe me? Then why don't you check out this fabulous synopsis:

A group of 'ahem' teenagers head off to a summer camp (Friday the 13th) where a few years earlier, the brother of one of their number was burned beyond recognition by an unseen menace. (The Burning). Before the accident, he had been the victim of malicious bullying by the rest of the group, who tormented his inability to attract the opposite sex (Terror Train). This particular camp site is not the best place for a summer vacation as it had been cursed by Native Americans many years ago and it's rumoured that the curse lives on (Ghost Dance). Before long a disfigured lunatic turns up and begins killing off the cast members one by one. (Just about every slasher movie ever produced).

Now do you believe me?

In all seriousness, Twisted Nightmare is an uncomfortably tough film to review. That's simply because it's hard to explain exactly what went wrong with the feature and why it never lived up to its obvious potential. It's not an awkward task to write a mocking review of a bad movie, but it's a lot harder to try and define the reasons why an offering so full of possibilities just didn't make the grade. It would be easy to blame the rancid dramatics or the inane scripting, but the cast of Friday the 13th were hardly method actors and that was still an infinitely better effort than this. Slasher flicks are different from almost every other genre, because they can still make a profit or at least grab an audience without most of the ingredients that other categories of cinema take for granted. For example, could you imagine a poorly acted drama being successful? Or perhaps an awfully scripted comedy? Stalk and slash features consistently commit gross cinema crimes and still the production line of titles shows no sign of slowing down.

If anything, Twisted Nightmare tries too hard and due to the director's insistence of ticking every single box on the slasher check list, the movie breaks that age-old 'less is more' ground rule. Alfred Hitchcock once said that the key ingredient to the production of suspense is isolation, but that's where Paul Hunt's opus comes unstuck. His feature boasts an unusually high body count and there's also some impressive gore sequences. Unfortunately, with so many characters getting butchered in such a small space of time, things get very boring very quickly and the deaths rapidly loose their impact.

Another negative is the film's one-tone pacing, which never seems to change throughout the runtime. Characters get killed, characters get naked. Characters make-out and characters argue, but it all happens at such a snail-like momentum that that any attempts at a 'money-shot' just pass by without recognition. The plodding direction adds no bite to the suspense scenarios and an infuriating lack of lighting takes the credit away from Cleve Hall's decent make-up effects. The script doesn't help matters and the plot is littered with more holes than a hash smoker's mattress. Cast members are slaughtered and none of their colleagues question their disappearances and some of the gaps in continuity are so obviously dumb that it's almost unbelievable that this was the effort of a man with as much cinematic experience as Paul Hunt.

The slasher genre is no stranger to poor movies. However, if you take an experienced director, a good budget, an excellent location, some great gore effects, a group of ambitious cast members and still end up with a feature as jumbled as this, then something is very, very wrong.

On the plus side as I mentioned earlier there's some decent gore and as many people have noted previously, Nightmare generates an eighties feel much better than many of its counterparts from the period. It's also worth noting that this was one of the first slashers to incorporate African-American victims into its body count, which is an interesting piece of trivia. But aside from that there's really nothing here to recommend and the movie only remains notable for being one of the biggest wastes of potential in the history of splatter cinema.

It's impossible to recommend Twisted Nightmare to anybody as it really is that irredeemably bad. At least its original production date of 1982 means that it was among the first of its ilk and I guess that makes it slightly collectible. As I said in my opening sentence, this is not much of a feature film. It's best remembered as a long-winded collection of poorly-delivered clichés.

Reviewed by MrTaft 4 / 10

Twisted mess!

I had reasonably high hopes when first watching this "horror" of a movie, based on other IMDb users' reviews. I was quickly disappointed. After the ridiculous "firefly" opening credit sequence (or flaming ashes or whatever the hell they were supposed to be), we get to see the bulk of the cast preparing to head back to an old summer camp they used to frequent, having all won a free trip. None of them seem very enthusiastic due to events past, but since it's free and they can all catch-up with each other after a year or so they decide to go for it.

Later, when they're all there, tensions start building and people are at each other's throats over the "death" that happened last time they stayed at camp. The main character's boyfriend knows nothing of it, so some girls explain it to him - his girlfriend's mentally-challenged brother was burnt to death in a barn out front. We get a nice flashback that tells the whole story, except what the hell actually caused him to self-combust. The brother wanders into the shed in a sulk and inexplicably looks up to see a flashing red light, which makes him scream. Why? Next thing you know he bursts out of the barn on fire, and his sister appears from nowhere screaming in slow motion. Reeling from the news, the boyfriend is wary of the days ahead...

A few minutes later one of the couples is murdered in the same barn; no one notices. The next morning, more are murdered - no one notices. Each time a character disappears and is killed, no one knows they are gone, and when someone is asked of their whereabouts, they reply with some noncommittal answer. Some friends, eh? The killer is exposed as some half-human, half-beast creature that growls like a drowning zombie. Tracking him (apparently he's been there the whole time the group were last at camp) is the ground's caretaker, an Indian descendant who's ancestors were burned at the stake by Civil War soldiers. He claims one of them put a curse on the campground, and thinks this thing is the result. The film makes great play of hiding his motives... is he actually the killer or is he just out to stop the real one? He spends all of his time screaming and threatening the group and at one point nearly bursts into tears in front of one couple about his kittens - "I NEED 'EM!" he shouts.

Also coming on the scene later is the town sheriff, whom one of the girls manages to call before getting killed. He arrives in his old, '50s-vintage rust bucket that he had to get his granddaughter to help him fix in an earlier scene while a random African-American man sat watching in disbelief! I couldn't help but join him! Didn't the County Sheriff's department see fit for him to have a proper police vehicle? He's also very old and spends nearly a minute examining two victims in the dark before deciding to do something about it. He doesn't do much. At the end the killer is exposed as someone we know and the lead female character has something to do with it. Can her new boyfriend and the miserable old caretaker stop them in time before all are lost? Barely. The film also fails to tie up all loose ends, such as motive and what the hell exactly happened to the brother. Was it the old Indian curse or what that made him self-combust? This kind of writing affects the film badly. It is a shoddy mess, with what looks like a lot of ad-libbing and last-minute ideas. How someone could fund such a screenplay is beyond me. The characters are typical wannabees who think they're all so cool and spend their time doing nothing but drinking and moaning. I did like that older, mustached guy though. Can't remember the name. He drove the silver Ford Thunderbird that had sugar in the gas tank (another lame plot point). A lot of his lines are actually genuinely funny, although the scene where he snaps at the cabin and goes off at everyone, screaming "You're an asshole! F@#% you! And your brother was an asshole too! I'm glad he's dead!", etc is unintentionally hilarious. I was rolling around at that scene. The other actors just stare at him and you can tell one girl is trying not to laugh. Great stuff.

The same unfortunately cannot be said for the technical side of the film. The direction is uninspired and dull. Lighting in a lot of the scenes is poor and I don't know what was going on with the music, I don't even remember it. The gore scenes were fairly effective, though some parts defy belief (the first victim flying up in slow motion in the barn). There was quite a bit of blood and also some nudity, which never hurts. I also have to say that the acting is pathetic, although it looks like some of them really did try. It just didn't make a difference. The script however was the worst, and the fact that the director didn't do anything about it and fix the mistakes ruined the film. Not as bad as some of them, but not the best of the '80s slashers either. You can do much better in terms of sheer entertainment value.

Oh yeah, that ice shed was pathetic, too. Stocked year-round when no one has been there for over a year and ice is still in large, perfect blocks even with a hatch in the roof wide open and no obvious refrigeration source. The girl who is trapped in there also goes into hysterics after ten seconds, even though she thinks her friends did it... See what I mean about the acting?

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