NOTFlix It: "Frightmare"

5/11/2010 Posted by Admin

Movie Review


By our guest blogger, Jeremy Wilkinson

The title of the 1982 horror movie “Frightmare” conjures up images of over-the-top scares and cheesy special effects. What could have been a wonderful B-movie ended up being a sub-par film that would be right at home in a DVD bargain bin.

Conrad Radzoff (Ferdinand Mayne) is an aged horror film star who ends up visiting a school to give a speech to the students. During his speech, he ends up fainting. It seems his health is in poor condition, because he dies only a few days later. After the funeral, some of the students from the school he visited (who are also big fans) steal Conrad’s corpse. They end up taking it to an old mansion, and a night of fun turns into something malign when the dead actor rises--ready to take revenge on the teens that disturbed his grave.

Despite its inclusion in the horror genre, “Frightmare” is not a scary movie. The scariest thing about it is that many characters are willing to touch dead things without wearing gloves, and do not feel the need to wash their hands afterwards.

A reason for this lack of terror is how the characters are portrayed. No one really stands out as a great actor, and the character development is so shallow, you never get a feel for who anyone is. There are only two protagonists stand out in this reviewer’s mind--a girl named Meg (because her name was repeated more than anyone else's), and a character played by Jeffrey Combs (I don't recall his character’s name). They might as well have been called Teen A and Teen B, because they come off as little more than set pieces, or killer fodder.

In addition, the film seems content to meander, especially in the beginning. This revelation came to me when I realized I cared more about the symmetry of my ceiling tiles than what was going on in the movie. Not only is this one of the worst things a film can do, it felt like it shouldn’t have happened. The movie starts out with two murders, a horror actor’s death, and Conrad’s fans dancing around with his dead body. Yet, none of this really managed to capture the emotions the events were going for.

It picks up after 40 or so minutes when the undead Conrad rises up to attack the teens. Even here, though, the film disappoints. There’s never a feeling of tension because it never feels like any of the teens have a chance to survive. None of the kills are inventive or interesting, and some of the attacks move so slow that it’s surprising they hurt the victims.

“Frightmare” fails on almost every level, and is barely worthy of a bad movie night. The best thing about it is its name.

Grade: F

  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes