I want to preface this week’s “chat” with a disclaimer: I did not watch this entire movie. There has only been one other time where I couldn’t finish watching something for this blog.
Now. I went into Twisted Nightmare with the best of intentions. For one, can you believe that it’s nearly already August? I’ve lasted nearly all summer without watching a single summer camp slasher! It’s a damn travesty.
So armed with the goal to watch a new-to-me slasher, I began perusing people’s lists of “Best Summer Camp Slashers”. Most of the lists were very standard unless you’ve been living under a very large rock or are very new to the genre.
But Twisted Nightmare stood out to me. Supposedly derivative of the iconic Friday the 13th, I was still willing to give the movie a try.
Turns out, what I got instead of a fun summer slasher was an incredibly dull and racist pile of sludge.
A group of friends all gather together at a campground after being invited for a free stay. There are a lot of people who join so it’s pretty difficult to keep everyone straight. All the white people look like carbon copies of each other. Oh, other than that dude with the serious moustache.
Anyway, there’s a barn. People keep going into the barn and getting killed. It has something to do with someone’s brother dying mysteriously by spontaneously combusting.
Because there are SO many people in this movie, it’s essentially a bunch of scenes of people getting killed off. That’s fine, but it’s usually nice to have a bit of story in between. Also, the death scenes are particularly fun. So if you like watching slashers for their inventive kills, you won’t find that here.
Then we get into the Indigenous burial grounds and “medicine man” nonsense. This is our explanation as to why weird shit is happening. Is the stereotype of its time? Sure. But no matter what the era, it’s pretty lazy writing. With that ‘explanation’ I promptly turned off my TV and am refusing to watch the rest.
Is it fair to review a movie when you haven’t watched the entire thing? No. Probably not. But I also don’t think it’s fair to waste my precious brain cells and time on this silliness.
Don’t get me wrong, I love 80s slashers. Many of them are problematic in various ways. It’s okay to enjoy something as long as you can see and acknowledge its flaws. But if you’re going to be racist and boring and lazy, well, that’s three strikes against you.
To end things on a high note, I rewatched Dario Argento’s Opera this past weekend. That’s a fabulous film. It was also released in 1987, but it’s worlds away from Twisted Nightmare. There’s so much drama and tension in Opera. Watch Opera!