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Nightmare Beach - 88 Films - Blu-ray Print E-mail
User Rating: / 4
Written by Ross McFadyen   
Monday, 19 August 2019
Severed Cinema review of Manos: The Hand's of Fate on Blu-ray from Synapse Films

Severed Cinema review of Nightmare Beach from 88 Films

AKA: Playa mortal, A Praia do Pesadelo, Kuolema kahdella pyörällä, Halálpart, Nightmare Beach - La spiaggia del terrore, Plaža košmara, Добро пожаловать на каникулы, Pesadilla en la playa, Welcome to Spring Break.

Directed by: Umberto Lenzi, James Justice
Written by: Umberto Lenzi, James Justice, Vittorio Lenzi
Produced by: William J. Immerman, Josi W. Konski
Music by: Claudio Simonetti
Cinematography by: Antonio Climati
Edited by: John Rawson
Special Effects by: Gary F Bentley
Cast: Nicolas De Toth, Sarah Buxton, Rawley Valverde, Lance LeGault, Michael Parks, John Saxon
Year: 1989
Country: Italy
Language: English
Colour: Colour
Runtime: 1h 30min

Studio: Elpico Cinematografica, Laguna Films, Overseas FilmGroup
Distributed: 88 Films

There was one thing that made me buy this film. The late great Umberto Lenzi. Director of Cannibal Ferox, Eaten Alive!, and The Hell’s Gate. Umberto was a master of Giallo and gore, so when I bought this film I was expecting a blood-filled horror. Oh how I was wrong, so very wrong. In this review I will be airing my grievances but also giving it the praise it does deserve, even though there isn't very much redeeming factors. Without further ado, let's get this Nightmare over with.

Nightmare Beach actually felt like I was having a never ending Nightmare. The 90-minute film felt more like a three-hour film. This may be because the plot is very slow-paced with very uninteresting characters and motivations. Let's start with the story.

The film starts on a very promising first scene where a death row prisoner, named Diablo, is sentenced to death using the electric chair. The scene is very tense and doesn't give the audience too much meaningless exposition. The execution scene isn't graphic, which is a shame, but the practical effects do come into play later. Once this scene is finished the film starts to decline in quality and audience interest. After the credits the next couple of minutes are establishing shots of the Florida beach showing spring breakers having a good time. The film then starts to introduce us to some very poorly written and uninteresting teenagers. The characters are so generic that when writing my notes for this film I had to think of names for them myself. The two male leads both acted and looked like Tom Cruise and  Anthony Edwards from Top Gun, so it only seemed right that I named them Goose and Maverick.

A Lot of filler plot is used in the film to make sure it is feature length. During the excruciatingly boring plot, a masked biker is on the loose killing horny teenagers, perverted hotel clerks, and hitchhikers. The kills are very few and far between and are one of the only reasons I actually finished this film. The majority of the kills include electricity, but there is also a burning and strangling. The kills are impressive because of the use of practical effects and make up. The blood could have been more excessive but the kills did look gory enough but not enough to make the plot interesting.

All through the film the possibility of Diablo coming back to life and being the killer is fed to the audience every single time John Saxton (A Nightmare on Elm Street), the drunk doctor, or the dodgy priest is on scene. By constantly bringing up that Diablo could be the killer makes the twist at the end a lot less surprising because of the amount of times they try to mislead the viewers.

A barmaid and a “Goose” team up and create a Scooby-Doo-like plot to find the killer. After many very slow-paced car and motorcycle chases they lure the killer to an abandoned junkyard and it is revealed that the killer is the priest who wants to kill all sinners with electricity. This reveal also felt a lot like a Scooby-Doo ending by the way the helmet is pulled off and the disappointment comes in the dialogue, because it was very ham-fisted and abruptly ends. Thus another painstakingly slow bike chase happens resulting in the electrocution of the priest. Slow fade to the beach and the barmaid and “Goose” live happily ever after and ride off into the sun. The full story felt like it was written in half an hour with a copout ending to make my acquisition clearer.

The film also had a lot of filler to make it feature length, including a musical performance that was very similar to The Lost Boys. I say it is similar because at one point a guy with a saxophone takes main stage and does a solo. This doesn't work because he lacks any charisma and the music is very sub-par. While I’m talking about the music I want to talk about the soundtrack. The music used in this film is very interesting. During the spring break scenes, pop music is played but when the bikers or the killer appears, late ‘80s heavy metal plays and made me happy for the brief moments that they turned up.

I really hated this film because of the slow, uninteresting plot, cheesily written characters, and actors more wooden than a fire door. The film does have its good points though, they are not redeeming but good. These include the soundtrack and the semi-gory practical effects.

I watched Nightmare Beach on Blu-ray from 88 Films presented in a Region B 50GB disc, 1.78:1 1080p widescreen scan from the original camera negative. In some scenes this transfer shows there are marks on the screen from where presumably the editor dropped cigarette ash on the film reels. I would have preferred to watch it on DVD so at least I would have been saving money instead of paying more for more imperfections on screen.

I would have to say to stay well away from Nightmare Beach. It is not entertaining in a good way and it’s not “so bad it’s good” either. One of the biggest sins of a B-movie is to be boring and this movie is definitely going to hell.




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 Aspect Ratio: 1080p HD 1.78:1
 Region: B
 Audio: LPCM Stereo

 - 2018 2K Scan from the Original Camera Negative
- High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
- Uncompressed Original English Audio
- Uncompressed Alternative Italian Audio
- Optional English Subtitles
- Nightmare Rock: An Interview with Composer Claudio Simonetti
- Alternative 1.33:1 Open Matte Presentation of the Film
- Theatrical Trailer
- Reversible Sleeve with Alternative Welcome to Spring Break Cover

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