On February 23th, 1963, a tragic event occurred to a young girl and her mother. On this day, young Cathy is sleeping in the backseat of a car while her mother is driving. Her mother is making out with a man in the front seat of the car. Cathy wakes with fright and wants her mother to stop, scared by her driving and the fact there is a stranger in the car. But while she tries to stop her mother, a car accident occurs, killing her mother instantly.
Moving forward sixteen years, Cathy is now a grown woman working as a stage actress. Daily she is haunted by her past as a child. Because Cathy struggles consistently with her tragic past others around her start to feel a little uncomfortable and even question her mental state. But while Cathy and the cast are preparing for a big show, a killer emerges from the darkness and begins to murder each cast member one by one. One question is, who is the killer?
For those who are not aware, Nightmares is, in fact, an Australian film. It’s a classic slasher style film that introduces a leading character with a damaged past and side characters who will all be targets of a mysterious killer.
But make no mistake, Nightmares is a scary film, and I don’t mean relating to the genre of horror. Nightmares is filled with cheesy, cringe-worthy performances. What’s more baffling is the film’s pacing and editing. Many scenes feel highly disjointed and, at times, don’t seem to have a natural flow from start to finish. The musical score is simply one track that’s played repeatedly. In the end, all these negative elements, along with the highly predictable ending, mean this film may not be my type of Ozploitation classic, but I still feel it will certainly please many movie lovers.
Thanks to Australian distributor Umbrella Entertainment, Nightmares (1980) re-released on blu-ray is loaded with many features. Some of these include an audio commentary with the director and filmmaker, interviews, deleted scenes, featurettes, and much more.
Overall, if you are in the mood for a classic Australian slasher, look no further. However, I can’t deny this was disappointing for me. For some, it will be disappointing but still highly enjoyable for the wrong reasons, aka it’s so bad it’s good. Nightmares is cheesy, bloody, poorly acted and has bad edits and cuts that almost feel like some scenes have just been put together ever so randomly. It’s certainly a solid effort for an Australian film from the ’80s, but sadly, this is one of the rare Ozploitation Classics that doesn’t have me screaming high praises.