I think I have a problem. There’s a particular niche within horror fandom that seeks out the worst of the worst, not necessarily in terms of gore or violence, but in quality. The terms ‘low-budget’ and ‘horror’ go hand in glove but there are some filmmakers who work on microscopic budgets and demonstrate their innate love for the genre, their directing or acting talent; conversely there are those who work with huge budgets who have little or no talent whatsoever. There is a small niche where micro-budget meets no-talent though and cinematic turds are squeezed out. By the metaphorical bowl there are a small number of fans, like me, who scramble to catch them before they are flushed. Say bonjour to 2008’s ‘Blood & Sex Nightmare’.
Before you read on be aware that complete plot spoilers follow. You’ll already know from the title whether you want to watch this movie or not but, just in case, I will be describing the plot in full; this is to help those who may read this review to appreciate the full majesty of what I shall refer to, from this point on, as ‘BS Nightmare’. You have been warned…
The opening scene of the film takes place in a generic ‘killer’s lair’ ™, replete with wooden workbench, dried cattle skulls, and chains dangling from the ceiling. We see a shadowy figure sharpening a very small knife whilst a scantily-clad women struggles to free herself from a hook on the ceiling. As part of the film’s innovations though our killer has apparently invested in some funky neon lighting as the room is bathed in a watery green hue, possibly to relax his victims, possibly to hide the shitty effects. The sound of someone holding in the keys on a keyboard tells us that something very bad is going to happen; the shadowy figure promptly rips off the girl’s shirt and bra before we are treated to an extended shot of some dirty hands massaging her breasts. It’s worth saying that here, and at many other points during the film, I was not sure whether the heavy breathing was the killer or by a director busy with his other hand; the shaky cam would suggest the latter however. A quick flash of the tiny knife accompanied by the shot flickering red, someone throws a paint tray of blood onto the floor, and we are up and running.
We are then introduced to our main characters Nick (a name not discovered until the final act) and his girlfriend Amy (a name not discovered until I looked on IMDB just now). She arrives home from a funeral and Nick surprises her with taking her away… to a sex retreat! Weirdly, Amy is not impressed by this but when she sees just how sad Nick is she relents and they head off to ‘Pleasure Mt. Adult Retreat’. This entire scene is accompanied by the loud playing of a Halloween sound effects CD for reasons that are entirely unclear until the final act, when it is revealed that the film takes place over Halloween. The date doesn’t matter whatsoever but, hey, the least of the problems with ‘BS Nightmare’, trust me.
Once they reach the retreat it becomes apparent that the cabins are all adjacent to one another; however, the evil magic afoot means that this is completely ignored once the killer turns up later on and there is clearly many distances between them. They also meet an elderly Crazy Ralph style groundskeeper called Walter, who quickly offers them a threesome and a go on his ‘ten-inch dick’. Predictably, and in the last decision they make that has any basis in real life, the couple rebuff his offer and go to their cabin, leaving creepy Walter to tell us that “they’re gonna be dead soon then she’s all mine” foreshadowing the theme of necrophilia that accompanies the character.
The couple meanwhile find their cabin which is decked out like an Eighties caravan; fortunately Nick’s upbringing in crack dens and squats means that he is super-impressed with the standard of the décor. Amy meanwhile opens a cupboard and, accompanied by the 1UP sound from ‘Super Mario Bros.’ discovers a mirror, which she takes out and puts next to the bed. Taking advantage of the lovely unmade bed Nick puts the moves on Amy but she brushes him off telling him they need to find something fun to do. As she leaves the room, Nick tells her he can think of something fun to do in a vaguely threatening, rapey way. In fact, now I think about it, Nick is fairly rapey throughout, but I digress.
Meanwhile, in Cabin 69 (ha!), a metal looking guy is taking pictures of his tied up topless girlfriend. In what I suspect is another of the director’s favourite scenes, he abuses her and then makes her fellate a dildo, telling her she loves sucking his cock; though why he doesn’t pull out his real one as they both ‘love it’ I am not sure. When a stone flies through the window and breaks a bottle on a cabinet, Photo Man becomes enraged, emphasises his rapey credentials by producing a huge hunting knife and goes after the kids he thinks threw the stone. So incensed is he that he runs incredibly far into the woods and no light or buildings can be seen; predictably, the killer jumps out (complete with flashing red screen), hits the air near him with an axe, then cuts off his dick with a knife. He then goes back to the cabin, choking the tied up girl using a combination of the severed member and the weakest chokehold ever recorded on celluloid.
The next cabin yields the weirdest scene of the entire film by a mile. Just to quickly cover our obligation to health and safety you may wish to sit down and self-medicate with alcohol; it won’t make this scene make sense but it’s a good enough reason to get that Jack you’ve been denying yourself. A woman in a terribly badly fitting wig is dressed as a young girl when a much older man dressed in a suit walks in and tells her off for not eating her dinner. She takes off her underwear and is spanked by her ‘Daddy’. This whole scene is accompanied by a this-was-recorded-in-front-of-a-live-studio-audience style laugh track; there is no explanation, no reference to it, it just happens and then stops. Another man appears, dressed in a wig and women’s clothes, who is apparently ‘Mummy’ but she/he is quickly bundled away while the tinned crowd whoop and holler. When the spanking is disturbed by a knock at the door, Walter runs in and steals the girl’s underwear; inexplicably, they are apparently her ‘favourites’ and she gives chase into the woods wearing nothing but a bra. When she finds him sniffing her pants he threatens to set them on fire. So in love with them is she that she is willing to also take off her bra and do star jumps in order to save them; after politely complimenting her on her ‘floppy tiddies’, dodgy old Walter torches them anyway and they light up like they’ve been dosed in paraffin. The girl promptly stamps them out and puts them back on; you did read that correctly but in a film so divested from logic it doesn’t seem that weird any more. Or the film had rotted by cortex by this point.
When she arrives back at the cabin she finds her ‘parents’ murdered and is attacked by the killer. When her escape is blocked by Walter she is murdered and it is here that the film throws a twist; he’s in league with the killer! In return for disposing of the bodies he gets to keep the ones that he wants – boom! Foreshadowed necrophilia! The killer leaves Walter to have his crusty way with the girl and we’re quickly whisked to a scene of Nick finally getting some action from Amy. However, her mood is interrupted by flashes of the killer and a close up shot of a woman’s genitals and anus as she masturbates with blood; unsurprisingly she is rather put off. When Nick complains she becomes very upset that he doesn’t believe her, even though she hasn’t told him anything yet, and he promises to take her to a doctor.
The following morning Amy is gone and has left bits of paper with Chinese-y writing stuck to the ceiling. When Nick goes outside he catches Walter slashing the tyres on his car (they’re apparently filled with the contents of the Hindenburg as the sound effect goes on for ages). The old man says something like “you’re all going to die, Bilge is going to kill you all” before running off. Whether this is a sly nod to the quality of the film itself or mental enfeeblement brought on by over-exposure to necrotic flesh is not clear at this point. It does become apparent later on that Walter calls the killer Billy, which is weird given that his name is revealed to be Felix at the end. Maybe there’s a lesson here folks – humping dead girls makes you crazy.
We then cut to two guys sat watching a horror film which consists of the killer from ‘BS Nightmare’ hitting someone repeatedly with a machete – this is proclaimed ‘the best movie ever’. We know they are horror fans because there are random retro film posters behind them, one of them is clearly stoned, and they’re eating chips. Oddly, one of them appears to have a Pomeranian grafted to his shoulder though this is never acknowledged. After a brief conversation about film violence (ha! again) one of them is called off to work, apparently as receptionist at the sex retreat. We are treated to some more subtle foreshadowing as sexually frustrated Nick is eyed up by a girl in the queue.
When he returns to the cabin Amy is back and, after a strange conversation about the mirror being a holy relic, the bits of paper on the ceiling being magical amulets and purity, she is finally ready to get it on. As she begins oral sex she gets another flash of killer telling her that once she fulfils her destiny she’ll burn in hell like her father. Predictably she stops and Nick, like the loving partner that he is forces his dick back into her mouth. She kicks off accusing him of ‘practically rape’, not ‘actual rape’ like in the real world, and he leaves saying “a man can only go so long”. Obviously given his recent behaviour Amy realises that she made a bad choice by not being choked by his tool while hallucinating murders and immediately apologises. He tells her she’s fucked up because her dad died, we realise that the funeral she attended at the beginning must have been for her dad, and he goes off to score at the bar. She makes ugly fake cry face and tries to tear out her hair.
Meanwhile, outside the killer’s shack, the three lamest trick or treaters in the world (including one dressed in soiled underwear as GG Allin) dare each other to go in. One of them uses his magic gun finger to threaten his friend who, shortly after going in, runs out and off into the night. On investigation there is naked girl who we assume to be dead despite her blatant breathing; the true horror of this can only be achieved by showing the audience a close up of her genitalia. The killer jumps out wielding a running chainsaw from behind an apparently soundproof table and waves it around a bit causing some blood to hit different surfaces. Walter, who has been wandering drunk in the woods and generally being misogynist, arrives at the cabin too and, whilst eyeing up the dead chick, is also chainsawed to death.
The film at this point flicks between three scenes. Essentially:
1) Amy sits on the bed, polishes a mirror whilst looking sad, and then get flashes of the killer calling her ‘Mommy’.
2) The stoner guys from earlier fall victim to the killer on a completely well-lit and open landing whilst somehow never managing to see him; one of them dies from being repeatedly stabbed in the dick. It is also revealed here that the killer hates mirrors and can turn into a cloud of dry-ice smoke.
3) Nick finally getting some action with the girl he met in the queue, before killer turns up, cuts her throat, the director gives us yet another (very graphic) gynecological shot, and she is stabbed repeatedly in the nethers. Nick runs away, inexplicably finding time to put on clothes, and heads back to Amy.
Amy is not pleased to see Nick especially when he tells her he’s been with another woman but, when the lights go out, she goes into a trance and tells him the story of Felix Gallow, abused as a child, who became a rapist and murderer before hanging himself; she believes the retreat’s sexual energy (more likely it’s rampant misogyny) has brought his soul back from Limbo to seek revenge. I am not sure what revenge he’s seeking given that he hung himself, unless it’s revenge on himself, in which case him killing everyone makes no sense. They run into the woods, where they are pursued by the killer until they reach the lake. Amy magically knows this place is safe but doesn’t explain why or how she came by this knowledge; maybe the killer himself showed her in between calling her ‘Mommy’ and giving her flashes of someone’s splayed ladyparts. They wait for a while then Nick goes mental blaming Amy for wanting him dead because he cheated on her (I’m with her on that one) and says he’s not waiting around in to get killed. Despite the fact that this is the only place the killer cannot get them, he runs into the woods, and is mercifully chopped to bits. On seeing this, Amy runs screaming back to the cabin in which they started.
The killer follows and, after dissing her amulet / dreamcatcher thing, he tells her that he has chosen her because of her previously unrevealed ties to the spirit world, only through a virgin (also previously unrevealed) can he be reborn. After telling her that she is to take his “seed” he pulls out his junk and ejaculates blood onto her via his grey mouldy cock and the origami blows about a bit. He catches sight of himself in a mirror which causes him to fall off her; the mirror becomes a torch, which causes him to flicker then turn back into smoke. After a short and unwarranted attempt to set up a sequel the film, and my motivation for all things, ends.
Having read all this you’ve probably already made up your mind to watch or not. Make no mistake it genuinely is awful and it is difficult to know where to begin. The acting is terrible. Julia Morizawa who plays Amy is an emotionless vacuum and, depending on her expression, could be anything from twelve to sixty years of age; Andy McGuiness who plays Nick is has the emotive range of a hammered tin can . The nearest we get to a decent performance is Dan Petit, as creepy old necro Walter, who is hammily convincing and I would like to acknowledge the contribution of the women who are completely naked throughout. It takes guts (some of which are almost visible in certain scenes) to show everything, and I mean everything; their bravery is praiseworthy. The cast are further hamstrung by a script that I suspect is dwarfed by the detail of this review, that has huge plot holes, logical mis-steps, and a litany of cringe worthy moments. The cinematography is so blurry and poor the film looks like it is from the Eighties rather than 2008. There are no real special effects to speak of although the castration of the amusingly named ‘Eyez Emcee’ (who also shat out the soundtrack fact fans) is quite well done. The film is well lit too and it is always clear what is happening even in the scenes at night. ‘BS Nightmare’ runs at a merciful 58 minutes for which, believe me, I am grateful.
With a title like ‘Blood & Sex Nightmare’ I didn’t expect much and I was bountifully rewarded. It is amateurish, poorly conceived, almost pornographic in places, and laughably hopeless but here’s the thing – if you’re like me then this review will not put you off one bit; if you’re the other 95% of the horror population, you’re entirely right to avoid this film. However, and I mean this in the complimentary sense, ‘Blood & Sex Nightmare’ is the best film that I’ve seen of its kind not made by Troma. In fact, I’d go as far to say it’s the best worst film I’ve seen in a long time. There’s no score for ‘BS Nightmare’ as it depends so much on the way you think, the nature of your friends, and the amount you’re willing to have drunk. If this review has not put you off, you’ll likely enjoy it in the way that I did.
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