Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 25th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1982
Director: Mike Cartel
Writer: Mike Cartel
Cast: Mike Cartel, Al Valletta, Seeska Vandenberg, Cindy Donlan, Jody Lee Olhava, Cheryl Gamson, Georgia Durante, Debbie Poropat, Alexis Alexander, Ina Rose Fortman, Jodie Perbix
BluRay released: July 8th, 2014
Approximate running time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Vinegar Syndrome
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.98
Runaway Nightmare is a film that truly defies the notion that all films fit within one of the defined genres of cinema. And though the film’s title and cover art might lead one to believe that this film resides somewhere within the Horror genre. This is most definitely not that case since there is nothing remotely frightening that occurs in this film.
The film is melting pot of ideas that lack cohesion and the easiest way to get from point A to Z is like is to just go with the flow. Because trying to make sense of what is unfolding onscreen is sure to melt your brain.
One thing that this film has going for it is some bizarre imagery that like the majority of the content just occurs only to disappear before giving any explanation to what has just been seen. Also those who are expecting a lot of bloodletting and some well-placed T & A should look elsewhere as this film is virtually devoid of these two things. In fact the closest one gets to nudity is a mysterious woman dancing in her lingerie.
Performance wise there is not much one can take away from this film outside of some unintentional moments of humor most of which come at the expense of screenwriter / director Mike Cartel’s character who is constantly being rejected by the women from the cult that has abducted him, while his friend is having the opposite effect on these women.
As one can clearly see from a technical and conventional filmmaking standpoint this film fails in many ways. And yet somehow after all was said and done, I finally came to the realization behind this film’s title Runaway Nightmare. It is a film that lingers in your thoughts by slowly burrowing into your psyche. Also if there ever was a film that was a prime candidate for the ‘Midnight Movie’ circuit that would be Runaway Nightmare!
Runaway Nightmare comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. There are no issues with DNR or compression. Print damage is minimal, details look generally crisp, colors and flesh tones look accurate. Given this film’s low budget this transfer looks very good all things considering.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD Mono mix in English. There are no issues with background noise or distortion, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras include 3 ½ minutes of alternate scenes shot for a VHS release for this film and an insightful audio commentary with director / writer / editor / actor Mike Cartel, actress Mari Cartel, film historian Howard Berger and moderator Joe Rubin, that covers in great detail all the areas of this films production.
Also included with this combo release is a DVD counterpart that contains that same contents present on the Blu-Ray half of this release and this combo is limited edition release (only 1,000 copies). Overall Runaway Nightmare gets an exceptional release from Vinegar Syndrome.
Note: This film is also being released by Vinegar Syndrome on DVD.