The Greatest Horror Movie Moments!
by: Dr. Boogie


Can a nightmare drive you crazy? This movie says yes. Can you parcel out a single nightmare to cover for ninety minutes of meandering and fake jump scares? This 1981 movie says no.

Nightmare (not to be confused with Nightmares, the horror anthology featuring our beloved Bishop of Battle) doesn't have a lot going for it, apart from holding the title of Most Generic Horror Movie Name. In fact, it's biggest claim to fame is that Tom Savini did the special effects. Emphasis on "claim," because he didn't create any of the effects and threatened to sue if they didn't stop saying he did. While he may not have had a hand in making the effects, the people who did are responsible for the most memorable scene in the movie: the titular nightmare.

The story is that George Tatum is being driven to kill by a nightmare in which he did something terrible as a child. You see only bits and pieces of it throughout the movie, but you have to assume it was pretty bad seeing as he's in an asylum for the criminally insane. There's a subplot about a government agency hoping to cure his violent tendencies, but that doesn't amount to much more than an explanation of why he's able to simply leave the area and go on a killing spree.

At the end of his spree, we finally get to see the repressed memory that's made him so kill-crazy, and it was worth the wait:

If only he'd wore the cowboy with his bowtie...

A young George arrives home from school and hears some noise coming from his dad's room. Kids are just naturally curious.

Nothing more sensual than a sensible scarf.

Upstairs he finds his dad strapped to a bed with a woman straddling him. And just when it seems like his dad is about to get the upper hand, she starts slapping the crap out of him.

This is the only way he could get a woman to touch him.
Geez, BDSM was a lot tougher in the 80s.

George is upset after seeing his dad smacked like a punk, so he storms out. He returns shortly to talk things through after a moment's consideration. And a trip to the tool shed.

"Mind if I... CUT in!?"

And now it's time for some kink-shaming:

"Ooh, sorry. My hand slipped."

George is a little nervous with his first swing and just barely nicks the woman's neck. How terrible does his swing have to be to make a sideways cut while standing behind her? Maybe he's unbalanced because he's standing on a mattress with two other people?

But his dad didn't raise a quitter. He chokes up on that axe and does much better with the follow-up:

The key to decapitation is good followthrough.

"Oh why did I take off my scarf?"

From bed, to head, to dead.

He looked like a scrawny nerd, but man does he have some serious upper body strength! Maybe it was just the bowtie throwing me off. With all that force, he's like a young Michael Myers!

"Why won't this bra unhook!?"

This seems like kind of an overreaction to learning about what your dad's into. But maybe he's just naive and thought she was hurting his dad? No, that is definitely not what he's thinking:

"That unibrow is coming off, dad."

When you're raising a child this has got to be the last thing on your mind.

"This is for making me wear a bowtie!"

That was one juicy pimple.

How did George's dad fit all that blood inside his head!?

Some strangely relaxing music kicks in to signal the end of George's rampage. Satisfied that he has covered himself and most of the room in blood, George takes a moment to reflect on what he's done.

But his hair looks terrific.

Mmm, stage blood.

Can anybody tell me what stage of grief is "licking blood off your fingers"?

"I thought I wet the bed, but this is much worse!"

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