"Nightmare Man" DVD
Man DVD cover
Now, this one's sort
of a surprise. The last time I saw a Rolfe Kanefsky flick (as
most of his usually say in the title credit roll), it was "The
Hazing", and it also handily featured Tiffany Shepis. But
that, "The Hazing", was just a straight direct to video
romp. Rather unremarkable, halfway decent, especially compared
to its peers.
Now, all of a sudden, out of nowhere comes Kanefsky once again
with a piece that's supposed to be so good it can rank on the
After Dark Horrorfest? Oh, sure, he's got always-kickass Tiffany
Shepis involved, who is still, if I may say so, a TOTAL badass.
He's even managed to bring in crowd-favorite Richard Moll, whom
most remember from his "Night Court" stint back in the
The plot is nothing to write home about, which doesn't exactly
bode well. Ellen Morris believes she's being attacked by an otherworldly
figure she can only refer to as "Nightmare Man". Naturally,
her husband thinks she's a total loon and thus drives her to the
insane asylum to be committed. On the way to the nut hatch, the
car runs out of gas and Bill leaves the crazy lady by herself
in the car.
Which is a logical inconsistency the likes of which I've never
seen before, and my suspension-of-disbelief engines are glowing
white-hot and making a really unpleasant whining sound. What will
completely blow them is when Ellen, now alone in the car, sees
her "Nightmare Man" vision once again and runs for...safety?...finding
at least a tentative form in a cabin full of friends who now become
prey for Ellen's vision monster.
Which may or may not be real.
Son of a bitch, Kanefsky! This is your entry into the After Dark
Horrorfest? A cheesy monster movie? You're making the whole thing
look bad! This is not some shitty little direct-to-video romp
here! This is the AFTER DARK HORRORFEST! This is supposed to be
the BEST the industry can muster! The stuff that's too good and
too graphic and too downright POWERFUL to be shown in theatres!
And you're mocking the entire concept by bringing a sad little
retread to the party?
Kanefsky's sheer lack of respect for the work horrifies me, or
would, except for one minor detail. Though he has made little
more than a cheesy monster movie, he actually made a pretty damn
good monster movie, pulling out all the stops in terms of building
suspense and burning it off with plenty of creepy little surprises.
Even better, he'll manage to throw in some laughs, which is no
small surprise given the genre.
Ten for ten on style, Kanefsky! Minus several million for piss-poor
judgment, but still. You definitely put together an insane little
romp that should manage to scare some people. You even managed
to get my adrenaline humming, and that's a feat!
The ending is actually a couple pretty big twists out of left
field, and thus is something of a credit to Kanefsky's somewhat
low-end concept. Even the shaky parts manage to look better in
light of the ending and that's a definite credit to Kanefsky.
The special features include commentary tracks, extended scenes,
a behind the scenes featurette, a making-of featurette, a gag
reel, audio and video options, Miss Horrorfest contest webisodes,
and English and Spanish subtitles.
All in all, despite the fact that this is one of the oldest and
most horrendously misused themes in all of horror filmmaking,
Kanefsky has managed to put together a very high-quality example
of the art. It may have been done before, but very rarely so well.
Directed by Rolfe Kanefsky
Written by Rolfe Kanefsky
Starring Tiffany Shepis, Blythe Metz, Luciano Szafir, Richard
Produced by Rolfe Kanefsky, Victor Kanefsky, Frederico LaPenda,
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