Scarlet Fry is back with seven tales of terror featuring female hitch-hikers being butchered in the name of Satan, axe welding zombies, gut munching cowboys, a husband butchered by his wife, and many others that are equally as frightening.
There are two things that I've learned in life; one is that you should never trust a man who is willing to trade his pants for a cigarette. The other is that any movie that is a backyard production is almost guaranteed to be bad. Some can be amusing or entertaining but you'd have better luck trying to find that leprechaun and his precious gold at the end of a rainbow. In some cases, having that leprechaun bounce on your gut with a pogo stick would be less painful than watching a backyard produced movie.
"Nightmare Alley" is the latest release from Brain Damage Films and a movie that I have to admit that I was interested in merely for the fact that it was made in Arizona; my home state and one not exactly known for its horror community. Don't worry though, there's no biased opinion for "Nightmare Alley" but also I'm not going to bash the movie like most others have been. After seeing the trailer I knew what I was going to be getting with it; a no-budget anthology flick made by friends, and to no surprise, that's exactly what the movie is.
It's hard to trash a movie or even review it like most other movies when you know that it wasn't meant to be taken seriously and was literally filmed on the weekends with friends. So yeah, the acting is terrible, the effects are cheap, and it isn't really a "proper film". It obviously wasn't intended to be one and was more or less going for pure mindless entertainment. How can you take a move seriously that has a guy driving around taking orders from a rubber toy mouse that's possessed by Satan? What, are you telling me I was suppose to be frightened and disgusted by a woman feeding her neighbor food from her dead husband's skull? As I said, I knew exactly what I was going to be getting with "Nightmare Alley" and I think most intelligent folks will be able to as well. So it hard to bash the movie for being what it is and to point out its short comings. The only actual complaint that I have with "Nightmare Alley" is that a number of its segments are ridiculous short, some running probably at 5 minutes at the most.
To me, that seemed rather pointless for what is suppose to be an anthology and would have been better suited for a short film compilation. Had they picked three or four of the stories and did more with them would have been the better route to go with, not that it would have necessarily made the movie better. For example, the segment "A Fistful of Guts" had a lot of promise with the idea but what you get is a scene of three cowboys hiding out, then wandering over to a meteor that crashed, two of the cowboys turn into zombies and then eat the third one. That's it, nothing else. An old-west zombie story would have been interesting, but likely do to the fact that the people behind "Nightmare Alley" didn't have the means to shoot a full blown horror segment, they did what they could. A quick and silly story with some gut muching thrown in for good measure. Being short and simply isn't such a bad thing, but you do wish for something more.
The reason that "Nightmare Alley" isn't getting a typical review is because it is composed of a number of very short segments, that there really isn't any reason to cover them all especially since there isn't a good one in the bunch. Some of the segments showed promise and some were mildly amusing or entertaining in their stupidity, but at the end of the day it is what it is. A movie that was put together by friends who wanted to make a silly-entertaining flick that allowed them to get in touch with their inner H.G. Lewis and Ted V. Mikels. It is for that reason that I can't trash the movie even though it is pretty bad, and I honestly did want to like it but I just couldn't. "Nightmare Alley" is most certainly not for every one and is only going to appeal and be appreciated by a very select and small group of people. Yeah, you know who you are.