Nightmares In A Damaged Brain

God, this movie is so, so filthy. One of the more infamous unrated gore films released in the wake of George Romero’s wildly successful Dawn of the Dead, Nightmares… is the kind of film tailor-made to get shredded to ribbons by trigger-happy censorship boards. A mental patient named George suffers from horrible nightmares, including a heck of a curtain raiser involving a severed woman’s head in his bed. After undergoing experimental treatment he’s unleashed into the public, and naturally goes on a slashing rampage, stalking a young single mom and her kids — setting the stage for an insane home invasion showdown. The gore scenes here are routine show-stoppers, and the sex couldn’t be more unsavory (including a pivotal kinky flashback no viewer has ever forgotten), but running interference is a hefty vein of unintentional comedy, thanks to Italian-born director Romano Scavolini’s odd view of American culture. Despite cuts mandated by the BBFC, Nightmares… was still branded as a video nasty, and became one of that period’s most legendary persecuted titles. Could it have all started with the original release’s grisly marketing campaign, asking theater patrons to guess the weight of a brain floating in a jar of liquid?
Dir. Romano Scavolini, 1981, 35mm, 97 min.

Watch the trailer for “Nightmares In A Damaged Brain”!
YouTube Preview Image