Friday, May 8, 2015

USA UP ALL NIGHT WEEK: Nightmare Beach

Nightmare Beach, Starring Nicolas De Toth, Directed by Umberto Lenzi (as Harry Kirkpatrick) (1988).

When I saw that Umberto Lenzi directed this film, which was shown in the mid 80's on cable TV, I was flabbergasted! Finally Italian Horror and Beach Party movies were united, possibly the perfect link between the DR catalog and the Gottfried/ Shear connection! Lenzi of course is second banana to Deodato on the Cannibal throne, (he never made a movie set on the beach, but he did make a total shit bomb slasher set in the wilderness called Body Count). We've extensively covered Lenzi's work before with Nightmare City, Eyeball, Doomed to Die (or Eaten Alive), Black Demons (or Demons 3) and the mother of all Jungle tragedy flicks, Cannibal Ferox (which we've yet to review oddly enough)! Both Skunkape and I saw it before Cannibal Holocaust, fell head over heels and became infatuated with Giovanni Lombardo Radice (aka John Morghen) and the Italian cannibal genre of the 70's and 80's. Morghen and Lenzi famously hated each other (listen to him trash Umberto in our interview on Youtube for more chuckles). 

John Saxon, who acted opposite John Morghen in the total classic Cannibal Apocalypse is even in Nightmare Beach! So strap on your motorcycle helmet and lets hit the fucking waves!!!

The first thing I noticed about Beach is how the sound drops off when they flick the switch of the electric chair (maybe they forgot to pay the sound guy)? There's an awful, putrid opening song by some joker named "Kirsten" that plays over the credit montage. Later on, there's dumptruck loads of glam rock (featuring one song written by Dio), also Claudio Simonetti (who ToG readers are very familiar with) did the incidental music which ended up on Evil Tracks along with his other Miami-Sploitation score for Primal Rage. Another exploitation character actor I'm fond of besides the always reliable Saxon, is Michael Parks who's appeared brilliantly in everything lately (he was just in TUSK). Parks was in almost all the recent Tarantino flicks, but one of my favorite roles was as the scumbag garment dealer in Death Wish 5.

Parks and Saxon, a buddy cop drama coming soon to the El-Rey network

His character in this one has a great line about Spring Break being the "annual migration of the idiot". This disgruntled morgue worker is pissed off because he's the mortician who has to sew up all the dead "Breakers".

Skunkape and I also grew up in South Florida and this flick has some primo 80's Spring Break footage that almost rivals Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise. All the kids wear acid washed denim (not as much as Flesheater of course, no movie on the planet can top that)!

Don't scuff my motorscooter bro!

A cute hitchhiker gets burnt up on the back of a motor-scooter--we're talking Kentucky Fried, as the driver pushes a button and BLAMMO, her face totally melts!

Set the bike fryer to extra crispy

The cops are tailing Satanic gangs who defile graves and J. Saxon stares down a greaseball gang called The Demons. The soundtrack is all Y&T, Sammi Hagar sounding clones, can this movie be anymore entertaining?

Good times just get better with the tepid flavor of Miller High life

The two main dudes are named Skip and Ronnie, they're famous football players out on vacation. Ron (Rawley Valverde) is a total party animal, but Skip (Nicolas De Toth) seems like a complete square, he refuses condoms, passes on beer and might be gay (it's too early to tell).

Brighten up that smile with new Colgate electrolysis

This one surfer dude robs a couple of babes after they freak out over a shark attack (which turns out to be a guy holding a plastic fin underwater). That scene reminded me of the Simpsons episode when Homer gets scared by Bart, yelling "Ahhhh Shark boy!" If you're looking for gratuitous 80's Ft. Lauderdale wet T-shirt contests, then look no further than this flick! There's tons of Florida-sploitations that we've covered, but this one might be just as good as Plankton (one of my favorites)! 


Ronnie prowls the streets looking to as he puts it "Bump short hairs", while his boring pal Skip, shakes his head at all the debauchery. The Demons end up beating on Ronnie, but the serial killer (who's unrelated to the gang) involuntarily finishes the job for them, detonating him to a cinder.

This movie makes it seem like Spring Breakers are constantly getting robbed, while they over indulge (which seems accurate). There's this one "GATORS" dud who constantly yells just that (later on he gets arrested for being too rowdy). Skip continues to hang out at more wet T-shirt contests, but this time looking for his buddy, I guess you just cant avoid the sin of the Sunshine State. Oh yeah I should probably mention the pig faced motel owner who drills a peep hole and spies on hookers and their johns, one client is the ginormous fat guy featured in Aladdin and Miami Cops, who I couldn't find a screen credit for, you'll know him when you see him.

It's Rick Ocasek's cousin Griff Ocasek!

The look of the biker maniac reminds me of the killer in Night School, which is a Warner Archives "Video Nasty" that I'm sorry to say should've stayed buried. This film however is a laugh riot and should be available on a Criterion style DVD with extras! Shout Factory, pick this one up now!

I don't know what you've heard, The Buxton's are not thieves!

Skip hooks up with a pretty bartender played by Sarah Buxton, who even invites him in for coffee, but he refuses (and he doesn't even bite his hand ala- Lenny and Squiggy over it, like he should--I mean this girl is super hot)!

Both Parks and Saxon's characters are totally corrupt and don't even care about the murders, they even leave Ronnie's corpse in a ditch and prevent Skip from solving the crime. It's hard to believe that Umberto Lenzi made this film and even wrote it, it's one of his most coherent films (with his others there's this suspension of logic that you use to make it through, here there's no need it actually makes sense)! I was shocked at how accurate the Florida stereotypes were and inside jokes, well done sir! 

The fire effects and choice of videogame music (most likely by Simonetti) while gruesome deaths happen, make it pretty hilarious. There's this weird Reverend character played by Lance LeGault (A-Team, Stripes), who lurks in the background--he seems a likely suspect. They show what kind of weirdo Saxon's police character is when the teens sneak into his house and find his S&M gear and murder evidence photos in his dresser drawer. 

Shitty Florida classic rock station Zeta 94.9 sponsors a terrible hair band, there's some prime FL eye candy for people who grew up in that swampy climate though and can relate to the ridiculousness. I like how one character goes to consistently extreme lengths to pull a prank (stabbing his fake hand at a bar, putting on zombie makeup and playing dead) until he finally ends up "real" dead!

The ending isn't that big of a surprise, but it did remind of how Italian Horror auteurs like Fulci have goofed on Jason Voorhees, saying he's a Fanatical religious villain trying to rid the world of sex drugs and rocknroll! I highly recommend this film, it's so much fun, the only flaw I could see was the question of Skip's sexuality, because him and Gail never actually get it on and every time an opportunity arrives, he kind of dodges the situation. Other than that, everything was perfect, loved every minute of this trash fest!




  1. It never occurred to me that Skip might be gay. I always figured that he was merely depressed over the fact that he blew the Orange Bowl. Anyway, are you going to review Primal Rage? These two movies look they were shot over the course of the same weekend.

  2. See? when one other person watches it, theories like these pop up. Skip is either conservative Christian or gay,my gaydar was off the richter scale. I watched Primal Rage along time ago and wanted Skunk to review it, but he got busy and totally love that Italian Miami-sploitation genre.


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