Monday, October 25, 2010

TWISTED NIGHTMARE (1987) - a vague Indian monster lays waste to a rogue's gallery of young people suffering from a collective bad hair day

Here's what looks to be the UK VHS, which has a way more bodacious cover than the copy I have.

Curiously, the movie begins with a slightly comatose, vaguely robotized voice-over yapping about the history of evil or something. I hate it when films contain endless exposition to ultimately say nothing. Regardless, a Native American apparition looks to be arguing with some ghost chick while they hover over a fire. Turns out it was all a dream, and a girl wakes up, her deepest darkest injun quelled by an envelope left by her bed. Looks like “Camp Paradise” is mysteriously leaving invitations for a reunion, even bypassing the postal service in the process by breaking into people’s homes while they’re sleeping. That's a ballsy way to advertise.

Even more curious than this mysterious “reunion” is the hair these victims-to-be are flaunting. The token Asian dude has a supreme mullet usually reserved for lame honkeys (the other males also have mullets, but they pale in comparison). The hot brunette with the bandana in her hair drives along with her boyfriend, but she is mysteriously seen wearing a crappy blonde wig when she gets out of the car. Maybe she likes to mix it up. There is also a girl with an unfortunate hairstyle that looks like a poodle grafted onto a stingray (a stingray made of hair, if you follow me).

We learn that the brother of the girl who had the dream died an “accidental “ death at the camp many years prior, and there is also presumably an Indian spirit running around. There is also a creepy redskin caretaker, who yells at a couple when they make out in his barn filled with cats. They later come back to save some kittens, but get killed, including the dude getting his arms ripped off in total darkness. You’d think they would want to showcase the special effect instead of forcing you to rewind and freeze frame the fucking tape like three times just to catch a vague glimpse.

The couples split off to have sex, and the next day, the hot blonde/brunette finds the dead couple in the barn. She tries to call the cops, but instead gets an ineffectual redneck covered in oil (aren’t they always). She tries to drive away in the truck, but gets accosted through the back window, innovatingly sidestepping the "truck won't start" gag.

We finally get a flashback to how the girl’s brother died. He’s a retard named Matthew, chilling with the ladies while the “real” men are playing football. The girls tease him, telling him they want a taste of his retard sugar (sarcastically, I guess), and this upsets him to the point that he runs into a barn and catches fire for no reason. Maybe it’s one of those spontaneous combustion deals.

The Native American caretaker is repeatedly presented as a suspect (I guess he could be possessed by the Indian ghost). He even pulls his shotgun on a guy investigating the barn. The dude runs away, but gets his foot stuck in a bear trap. He manages to get his foot loose (ha ha, foot loose, like Kevin Bacon and stuff), but strangely doesn’t register any emotion. I guess the adrenaline you get in this situation can dull the most agonizing pain imaginable (or dull one's ability to act), but it’s rendered irrelevant when the slasher monster claws out his friggin' throat.

The lead girl disrobes for a candlelit bath and, surprisingly, the bath is not merely an excuse to show nudity (although there’s plenty of that). She slashes her own leg with a strait razor, not because she sucks at shaving, but because she’s depressed about having to relive memories about her dead retard brother. It’s really just a less fatal version of slitting your wrists. The candles are a hint. Anytime a chick wants to commit suicide, she’s gotta take a bath after filling the bathroom with 7,000 candles.

We get yet more sexy time when two couples start to get busy in the steam room. Thankfully, we get to see a black couple get down to some soul action (a rarity in 80’s slashers), but it just amounts to an erotic massage, depriving us of the excitement of watching two afros bang together. The honkey couple runs off to have sex underneath what looks to be an old tractor, before being impaled with something that looks like a giant crucifix (or maybe a steel beam or something; it’s just too damn dark to tell). The black couple is the next to get it, right after the dude sings “I Feel Good”. While an obvious choice, any James Brown song is a brief respite from the horrific score that sounds like a balloon being rubbed in a dying cat’s face.

It’s clear at this point that the lead girl is in cahoots with the killer, as she keeps telling people that everything is okay, in particular the 90-year-old sheriff who’s investigating the phone call from earlier. Putting a unique spin on the useless blue bacon-head we all know and despise, this sheriff wants to get to the bottom of everything and help people, but is too much of an old piece of shit to accomplish his goals.

This sets up the finale, where people wander around the almost complete darkness of the woods (the fog machine being set on high doesn’t help with the visibility factor) and look for each other, usually just finding whatever that killer monster thing is. It’s rare for a slasher that the sheriff gets his head ripped off, but that’s what he gets for intervening in on a supernatural revenge plot (and being old and useless).

In the end, the Indian caretaker saves the day by blowing himself up, proving that it takes a man of apparent knowledge in mystical mumbo jumbo to defeat a creature apparently constructed from mystical mumbo jumbo. I guess the lead girl wanted everyone dead, and her zombie brother was the one to (almost) get the job done. Such is the penalty for sexually exciting a retard so thoroughly that he bursts into flames. I figured this all had something to do with angry Indian spirits taking their revenge on dumb white mulletheads, but I guess it's hard to mount a revenge plot when your race has been so thoroughly wiped out.

P.S. This is review number five in my fancy Halloween horror marathon. Only six more to go to hit the magical lazy baker number (11). By the way, don't try to order a lazy baker at your local donut or bagel shop. This will only confuse them further.


  1. Poodle grafted onto a stingray made of hair? Nice.

  2. @John
    This movie might have the worst hair collective in80's horror, and that is saying a HELL of a lot. I couldn't find any video or pics (this movie is pretty obscure it seems), but I'll see about transferring my VHS to DVD-R and include something visual in the review.

  3. I've gotta see these amazing mullets.

    Oh, and I liked your passage about pale honkeys.

  4. Now updated with video footage of the hair to which I speak.

  5. Where did her headband go?!?

    I don't know 'bout you, but I was staring at her hair so intensely, that I nearly burnt a hole in the follicle equinox.

    Oh, and I love Rhonda Gray's jean shorts.

  6. @Yum

    The girl with the ever changing hair "Devon Jenkins" also stars in the amazing women in prison spoof SLAMMER GIRLS, and I just figured out that she's in Tom Petty's "Free Falling" video (and that's about it). I will try to review Slammer Girls this week, possibly as part of a Women in prison block. We'll see.

  7. @Janie
    Thank you! I try to swear about mullets with as much humor as possible, to entertain nice folks like yourself.