Written by: Michael Den Boer on September 24th, 2015
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1985
Director: Henri Sala
Writers: George Faget-Benard, Robert Seidman
Cast: Debbie Laster, Dale Midkiff, Debra Hunter, Lori Lewis, Wellington Meffert, Kim Dossin, Andrea Thompson
BluRay released: September 22nd, 2015
Approximate running time: 86 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
Subtitles: English SDH
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.98
Synopsis: The assistant to a scientist who is working on a treatment that can change behaviors has made a deal to sell his discovery and as part of the deal she must perform one last experiment, this time with human beings.
Nightmare Weekend was directed by Henri Sala whose is most remembered for his extensive forays into soft-core and hard-core adult cinema. A few of his more notable films that he directed include, Emanuelle and Lolita, Candide Lolita and Erotica mon amour. Key collaborators on Nightmare Weekend include cinematographer Robert M. Baldwin (Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, The Exterminator) and makeup effects artist Dean Gates (Raw Deal, Manic Cop 2).
Trying to make heads or tails of what is going on in this film can be a dubious task, since it has even been acknowledge by those responsible for making this film that there were major issues with the screenplay. Needless to say there is a bizarreness that firmly establishes itself from the film’s opening moments, which include one character’s face literally melting off.
When it comes to gore the bulk of it occurs during the film’s final act where the three girls and two guys are at the mansion where the experiments to turn them into deformed psychopaths is taking place. With the film’s opening and a rape scene in the film’s middle act making up the rest of the violence that occurs in this film.
Oddly enough there is almost more erotic moments in this film then death sequences. And it should not come as a surprise that these are some of the best directed moments in the film, especially given the director extensive background working in that genre of films.
From a production stand point the direction is generally flat and when it comes to the special effects in this film there is a crudeness that often calls attention to itself. And just when you thought acting could not get any worse, this film is further hinder by post dubbing the performances.
Nightmare Weekend was made during the height of the Horror film boom of the 1980’s. And nowhere is this more evident than in the film as everywhere you look there is something that gives this film a dated look. Whether it be the clothes the characters wear or the primitive computer / video game that is integral to the plot. These are just a few items which trap this film in the era from which it was made. With that being said, there is always something endearing about things that makes us nostalgic and it is in this regard this film is most successful.
Nightmare Weekend comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. A brand new 2k transfer has been created for this release from the 35mm internegative. Colors look nicely saturated, flesh tones look accurate, black levels look very good and details look crisp. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression and there is a healthy layer of grain throughout.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD mono mix in English and removable English SDH subtitles have been included for this release. The score and sound effects are well represented, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (2 minutes 26 seconds), alternate ‘R’ rated edits (7 minutes 47 seconds, two interviews, the first interview titled ‘Thank God It’s Monday’ with makeup effects artist Dean Gates (22 minutes 54 seconds) and the second interview titled ‘Killer Weekend’ with Marc Gottlieb (12 minutes 50 seconds).
Topics discussed by Dean Gates include, his origins as a makeup effects artist and working with Tom Savini, Nightmare Weekend and creating the makeup effects for the film, how the majority of the cast are overdubbed for this film, working with Henri Sala, locations featured in the film, re-shoots without the director and his thoughts on the final product.
Topics discussed by Marc Gottlieb include, how he was a jack of trades while working on Nightmare Weekend, how he contributed to rewrites of the screenplay, what they were trying to accomplish with this film, working with Henri Sala, the cast, convincing the cats to do re-shoots and what he has been up to since working on this film.
Also included with this release is a DVD that has the same content included on the Blu-Ray included as part of this combo release.
Overall another solid release from Vinegar Syndrome.