Scorpion Releasing's Katarina's Nightmare Theater collection continues with their latest release American Nightmare from 1982 (filmed in 1981).
Katarina introduces this film as being one of their most uncomfortable and seedy releases yet and warns the viewer. If ugly people and strip clubs are what she is referring to then you will survive, as the blood is to a minimum here. Some nudity is thrown around but most of it comes from some really gross looking strippers. The "horror" in this film is urban decay and the film does exceed in that department with flying colors. I'm into gritty underground cinema so while I was hoping for a more fast-paced thriller, this film seems to drag on a bit to wallow in the dregs of society. Its a bit oppressive.
Genre favorite Michael Ironside plays a detective after the killer who is offing all the female "talent" in this film. Too bad he isn't given much to do here.
The biggest disappointment is the film quality its self. Its full frame (ugh) and the film print is severely damaged - greens and grays bleed towards the center screen from the edges of the print throughout most of the film, giving it a trashy drive-in feel. If only it were widescreen, then it might work in the film's favor, but alas it's not. I guess Scorpion was unable to get a decent copy of this film to clean up.
I'm still enjoying this line of releases which has been hit and miss, but mostly hit in my opinion. If they can release more films along the quality of Mortuary and Satan's Slave then I can see this line of releases being popular for a long time to come.
Late 2012 is the "season of sleaze" for Katarina's Nightmare Theater - A bold move for the company as American Nightmare will only be enjoyed by the jaded, seasoned underground enthusiast
I recommend this for those folks. Its a grimy film worth viewing in the wee hours of the night.