Directed by Norman Thaddeus Vane [Other horror films: The Black Room (1982), Midnight (1989), You’re So Dead (2007)]
Funny story – I saw this one once before many years back, but upon watching it for the second time, literally all of this seems new to me, which goes to show that I was either distracted when I first watched it or Frightmare is a pretty forgettable film. Truth be told, it’s probably a combination of the two.
The best thing about this one is a decapitation toward the end of the movie. Oh, also a young Jeffrey Combs (Re-Animator and From Beyond) appears. Otherwise, though, Frightmare is pretty much a mess with little going for it.
I can’t say that the atmosphere wasn’t okay at times, but there’s only so much an 80’s aura can do when the story itself suffers, and ultimately it didn’t help much here. It’s the weak story here that was the biggest problem, and boy, does it drag at times.
Also, it’s rather nonsensical. So, I sort of get why fans of a recently-deceased movie star would abduct his corpse, but – no, wait, I don’t get that. This might be unnecessary to say, but stealing the corpse of anyone seems pretty damn disrespectful, and these kids don’t seem interested in honoring the recently-deceased Conrad Radzoff whatsoever.
Once the action starts up, there’s not a whole lot in the way of memorable kills. Like I said, the decapitation is pretty solid, and there was a pyrokinetic kill, but the tongue scene wasn’t near as fun as you’d hope it’d be, and most of the others were just somewhat baffling (especially the way in which Scott Thomson’s death was cut).
Ferdy Mayne did a solid job as playing a hammy, Christopher Lee/Bela Lugosi rip-off, and he’s probably one of the few commendable performances here. Otherwise, we’re stuck with Luca Bercovici, Jennifer Starrett, and Donna McDaniel. Jeffrey Combs was nice to see, no doubt, but he didn’t particularly stand out here, and our eye candy in Carlene Olson is barely memorable at all.
This one may sound like an 80’s flick that might be worth checking out based on plot alone, but that is really not the case, as Frightmare is truthfully pretty forgettable. Obviously, see it for yourself, by all means, but I would really not go into this one expecting an unseen masterpiece.
This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast – listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss Frightmare.