Sunday, March 14, 2010
Nightmare Weekend (1986)
Scientist creates a behavior modification computer program that transforms inanimate objects into metal spheres that when ingested turn vicious creatures docile...logically. But his treacherous lab assistant has double-crossed him and wants to sell the technology to a shadowy figure in what later becomes a forgotten sub-plot. The assistant decides to test the program's effect on humans through three young co-eds and the lovers they pick up in town who range from epileptic dance guy to MLB's Keith Hernandez. This produces an interesting side effect where an individual's sluttiness directly corresponds to how zombie-esque they become. And if that wasn't enough, the scientist has a daughter who does not trust the assistant and is best friends with a green haired hand puppet that can somehow sense when she is in trouble from miles away and commands the program to help her out of jams by way of the metal spheres.
There can be beauty in chaos as another more well-known horror film (franchise) that used flying metal spheres had already proven, but for all of its half-baked developments, Nightmare Weekend never adds up to much of anything. The ambition clearly outweighed the resources as most of the film takes place either at the scientist's (i.e. director's) home or a dimly-lit local bar where the entire town seemingly hangs out at all day, every day. An observation more than an excuse as budget constraints have not disrupted a vast number of superior horror films. I imagine there was never a cohesive plan and likely re-writes from people who never met the previous authors. We have the typical mad scientist who is actually quite level-headed and his assistant whose plan to sell his program with no real application that would be worth anything to the criminal element she was conniving with. Girls turn into zombies from swallowing the sphere while others simply die because the sphere pierced their face. Then, there is the hand puppet, George. What 18 year old girl doesn't want to be best friends with a creepy, possibly living doll? It never moves from the table the poor bastard operating it had to hide under throughout its scenes. He does rescue the daughter from being raped and then later eaten through the program though I have no idea how. Really, I don't see why the scientist would even concern himself with taming wild dogs when his computer program is apparently made of magic.
Awful lot of sex, too, if that's your ticket. 85 minutes crammed full of delusional actresses seeking their big break. This includes one rather odd exchange of fluids atop a pinball machine in plain sight of many people who don't so much as flinch so I guess that happens a lot.
Still, vaguely entertained.