Sunday, December 19, 2010

Nightmare at Noon (1988)

It’s Nico Mastorakis-time again! Which is very fitting: it’s Christmas-time and every Mastorakis-movie is like Christmas eve, filled with surprises, unhealthy candy and your drunk uncle embarrassing himself again. Nightmare at Noon is rumoured to be some very loose remake of John “Bud” Cardo’s Mutant. I’m not sure I can agree on that, because the only thing they have in common is a small town, some aggressive town folks, Wings Hauser and Bo Hopkins. Which might seem very similar, but they’re both very far from each other in every department.

Brion James plays an albino in white clothes and sunglasses that together with his team with soldiers from the secret organisation APE (yes) unleashes a poison in the water of a small town. Like all small towns, George Kennedy is the sheriff, Wings Hauser is the wacky big town guy and Bo Hopkins is the redneck with a gun. When shit hits the fan, that trio of manly manliness joins forces to shot and kill as many crazy town people as possible and also try to figure out what the hell is going on! That’s it.

And fuck yeah, what a great movie. This is pure, simple, brilliant popcorn-entertainment. Nothing more. No deeper meaning or shit like this, this is explosions, squibs, stunts, fights and more explosions in a candy store of cartoon violence. The action reminds me of PM Entertainment Group (lots of fire, slow-mo and a lot of it!), the actors have fun and Mastoraki’s shows off his fantastic eye for big budget-camera work on a low budget.

Everything end with a very out-of-the-blue helicopter chase (with explosions) and a western-themed final with Bo Hopkins facing Brion James with guns in the desert. This is stylish and just very, very charming. This was before George Kennedy became the funny old man, so he still show that he’s an excellent character actor and tough guy in the same league like Wings (who is always brilliant) and Bo Hopkins.

The version I own is the Hollywood DVD release, a cheapo company that released a fuckload of movies in the nineties in the UK. A lot of good titles, but with uneven quality. Their series of Mastorakis-titles is very good though: sharp picture, anamorphic widescreen and (I guess) uncut. Mastorakis also released a 2003-version of Nightmare at Noon. What differs from this version I have no idea, but probably some editing choices that he didn’t like with the first version and maybe better graphics for the pre-credits. But that’s just a guess.

Great fun anyway, and recommended to everyone!

1 comment:

Paul Cooke aka Buckaroobanzai said...

Great Christmas Call on this view Fred. I discovered this a few years back & likely have the same DVD that you now possess. Wings Hauser is the man. I have enjoyed his movies since first seeing Mutant & this one is right up there. Great Action movie with a very nicely done story which plays a little like The Crazies. George Kennedy is also very good in his role that he typifies so well as the old school experienced cop that everyone can believe in. He is a consumate pro & deserves more recognition for what he has brought to the screen over many decades. This is also a very good outing from Masterakis, again someone who is under appreciated. He has made some cracking movies over the years. Nightmare At Noon gets my recommendation too along with Fred's.
A Very Merry Christmas to you Fred :) . Paul