Wednesday, June 28, 2006


What can one say about 'Zombie Nightmare'?

Well, it had a zombie in it, and it was indeed a nightmare, so it's already ahead of around half of the MST3K output.

In addition it was made in 1986.

With no budget.

In Canada.

As you can see, the quality is so intense one can almost taste it.

Our story begins in... well, it's hard to say. The costumes suggest the late 1950s. A burly father rushes to protect the local Token Coloured Girl from an attack by greasers, and while his young son looks on, he is stabbed and killed.

Cue what is probably the present, and the first of this movie's many inconsistencies. The young boy is now a young man, a process which would normally take about fifteen years. However we've gone from the 1950s to the 1980s, a process that would normally take about thirty years. So either Canada was really futuristic in 1973, or the young boy is now in his late thirties, and looking remarkably well-preserved but still living with his mother.

The loss of his father scarred the young boy deeply, so deeply that he lost all ability to act or utter lines coherently. He also has trouble with simple tasks like crossing the road, and it comes as no surprise when he's knocked down by a bunch of no-good teens in a gold Mercedes.

The teens think they got away with murder (well, manslaughter). But they haven't counted on the fact that the Token Coloured Girl, now all grown up and wearing one of Tina Turner's more extravagant wigs, is a voodoo priestess. She sounds like she's possessed by a sheep, and has the emotional range of an Easter Island statue, but she knows her voodoo. At the request of the boy's grief-maddened mother, she resurrects him as a large and bad-tempered zombie, and sets him off to wreak revenge.

As is traditionally the case, the zombie then picks off the luckless teens one by one. Possibly he does this for vengeance, but it's entirely possible that he does it simply because they annoy him. They certainly annoy the audience. Their leader is a spoilt rich kid who is supposed to be a psychotic badass, but sadly, he's about as hard as a marshmallow and as physically imposing as a celery stick. The only scary thing about him is his hair; a vast, multi-hued, feathery construction with so much surface area that a light breeze could tip him over.

His gang includes a young Tia Carrere in her first movie, and already demonstrating her famous lack of discrimination in her choice of roles. The only other recognisable actor is Adam West, playing a corrupt police captain, and possibly doing this movie as a favour to his grandchildren. He gets to chew both a cigar and the scenery, so he probably considered it a good afternoon's work.

For a final word on this awful, awful movie, it's difficult to go past this bewildered quote from

"This movie is like a free-roaming travesty."

Although I'd argue that this isn't strictly true. This movie isn't like a free-roaming travesty. It is a free-roaming travesty. In fact, if you look up free-roaming travesties in the dictionary, chances are that, if your dictionary has any worth at all, you'll find 'Zombie Nightmare' in its entirety.


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