Nightmare (1981 film)


Theatrical release poster
Directed by Romano Scavolini
Produced by John L. Watkins
Written by Romano Scavolini
Story by Romano Scavolini
Starring Baird Stafford
Sharon Smith
C.J. Cooke
Mik Cribben
Music by Jack Eric Williams
Cinematography Gianni Fiore[1]
Edited by Robert T. Megginson[1]
Distributed by Goldmine Productions
21st Century Film Corporation[1]
Release dates
  • 1981 (1981)
Running time
97 minutes[1]
Country United States[1]
Language English

Nightmare (also released as Nightmares in a Damaged Brain)[2] is a 1981 slasher film directed by Romano Scavolini.[1] Nightmare gained instant notoriety among horror fans when it was banned in the UK as a video nasty and its distributor was sentenced to 18 months in prison for refusing to edit one second of violent footage.[3] The film also garnered controversy for claiming in its press material that Tom Savini had provided the film's special effects, which Savini vehemently denied.[4]


George Tatum (Baird Stafford) journeys back down to his home in Florida. Along the way, he has recurring nightmares of a violent incident from his childhood, which forces him to kill again.

George's ex-wife, Susan Temper (Sharon Smith), young son C.J. (C.J. Cooke), and the family babysitter begin to receive "hang-up" calls, which none of them realize is George making sure his family is home. The closer George gets to his destination, the more gruesome his murders become and the memories of his first childhood-murder intensify.

Donning an old man mask to conceal his identity, George makes his way into his old house with a rock pick, killing the babysitter, and goes after his son and two daughters (Kim Patterson, and Tammy Patterson), who have taken refuge in their mother's bedroom on the second floor. Young C.J. manages to shoot George repeatedly with a revolver through a hole hacked into the door, causing him to finally fall down the staircase, killing him. As he lies dying, George has a full recall of his childhood, where upon catching his father (William Kirksey) cheating on his mother (Christina Keefe) with a mistress, he brutally murders both of them with a felling axe. As George is carried off in a stretcher, his wife comes home, identifies her husband, and goes into a screaming fit. Young C.J. is taken in for questioning by the police, and winks into the camera as the final image of the film.


Critical reception

Janet Maslin of The New York Times gave the film a negative review.[5]


Wikiquote has quotations related to: Nightmare (1981 film)
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Brennan, Sanrdra. "Nightmare:Overview - Allmovie". Allmovie. Retrieved August 26, 2010.
  2. "Allmovie". Allmovie. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  3. "Nightmare (1981)". Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  4. Sellers, Christian (2009-07-16). "Scavolini vs. Savini – Nightmare In a Damaged Brain". RetroSlashers. Retrieved 2014-06-18.
  5. Janet Maslin (23 October 1981). "Bad Dream". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
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