Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Nightmare Never Ends (1980)

Some months ago, I reviewed Night Train to Terror, an anthology film largely comprised of excerpts from other movies.  Which is why I had a strong feeling of deja vu ten minutes into this film: it's the source material for Night Train's third segment.

This version, of course, is a full length film in and of itself, but frankly the experience is not improved by extending it.  Whoever constructed the later anthology movie has actually done a pretty good job of pulling what out might charitably be called "the best bits".  They also added a bunch of so-bad-it's-good stop motion scenes which elevated the camp factor quite nicely.  This full version (which can also be found under the title Cataclysm) lacks those cheesetastic bonus sequences and is an hour longer for little discernible benefit.  Unless "watching Faith Clift mangle every single line she's given" gives you as much pleasure as it does me, at least.  Because my goodness, I haven't seen such bad delivery since the last time someone sent me something via UPS.

So what's the film actually about?  Well frankly it's one part Omen rip off and two parts a hot mess, but I'll try to summarise.  Devout Catholic Claire (the aforementioned Faith Clift) is married to equally devout atheist James.  I'm not sure how devout she can really be if she's married to a guy writing books called "God is Dead" but sure movie, whatever you say.

Claire is troubled by bad dreams, which a Las Vegas clairvoyant - always a source of good advice, I am sure - tells her have something to do with the Nazis.

Meanwhile, an elderly Jewish man attempts to persuade the police to arrest a wealthy playboy named Olivier, whom he insists was a Nazi.  The man he's accusing couldn't have been any more than a toddler during the war, however, so the police pay the accusations little mind until the accuser turns up dead.

Olivier, of course, truly is the Nazi guard.  We'll later see pictures of him stretching back to the 1870s, in all of which he appears to be in his late 20s.  He has goat-like feet as well, as we will also see.  Because he is the devil's agent, sent to Earth to ... well, if he has a specific agenda they never really explain it.  He's just kind of generically evil.

Eventually, of course, we're going to get to a showdown between Claire and Olivier.  Which is frankly unintentionally comical in its execution.  But then, Faith Clift's on screen in it, and as noted above she's pretty much the definition of unintentional comedy.

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