View Full Version : American Nightmare!

Ian Jane
11-01-2012, 12:37 PM
Watched this one last night, seemed like a good Halloween movie. It's more sleazy than it is scary but those who remember the Toronto of the early 80s will definitely dig this (it's called American Nightmare but was shot in Canada). Scorpion has this en route, it'll be out soon. Not the most amazing transfer but it'll do.



True story: So a lot of this movie takes place in and around a strip club. That strip club, based on a few exterior shots, appears to be the Zanzibar (http://www.zanzibartavern.com/) on Yonge Street. During the first week or so of my stint in Toronto, a friend came to visit. We went out for a few beers and were soon drawn in by the marquee on the Zanzibar promising a 'live sex show.' We paid our $5 cover and went inside, had a beer or two and watched a couple of dancing girls. Then... the live sex show started. Some dude came out in blue jeans, a chick followed him. She got naked and pretended to fool around with his junk. From there, his zipper came down and a fake dong popped out. At this point my friend and I clued into the fact that this was not a real sex show at all and I remember getting up and yelling 'That's a fucking dildo!' and my friend yelling about this being a rip off. At that point, we were promptly escorted out of the club by the bouncer.

At any rate, lots of very cool footage of the seedy side of Toronto is on display, including a few scenes that take place inside a now long gone adult book and video store and a porno theater. Good stuff. A few good, moderately gory, murder set pieces and loads of nudity. An interesting cast too, including Michael Ironside and Alexandra Paul.

Ian Jane
11-01-2012, 12:40 PM

Ian Jane
11-01-2012, 12:41 PM

Alison Jane
11-01-2012, 12:45 PM
That movie was pretty terrible. I'm offended that Canada is trying to make us look like the ones at fault...

Mark Tolch
11-01-2012, 12:47 PM
Hahahaha, the Zanzibar. Remember taking somebody there for his first lapdance ever, and him freaking out.

Andrew Monroe
11-01-2012, 02:28 PM
One of the rare slashers I have never seen - my preorder is already in. It actually has a pretty good reputation among slasher diehards...

Ehren H
11-01-2012, 05:25 PM
I saw this one a few years ago, actually watched it the same day I saw Zito's Never Pick Up A Stranger for the first time. Needless to say, both of those movies in a row made for a sleazy, downbeat day.

Glad to see this is getting a good legit release!

Ian Jane
11-02-2012, 09:36 AM
Hahahaha, the Zanzibar. Remember taking somebody there for his first lapdance ever, and him freaking out.

He was ascared of goils.

I'm pretty sure that was a different club though. I seem to remember it was upstairs, the Zanzibar was ground level.

Toronto Nudie Bar trivia!

Mark Tolch
11-02-2012, 10:42 AM
My brain blurs stuff from back then together, so it's entirely possible.

Todd Jordan
11-02-2012, 11:01 AM
Canada is part of the America's Ian. Duh.

11-02-2012, 12:24 PM
Canada is part of the America's Ian. Duh.

Yeah, it's America's hat.

Andrew Monroe
11-13-2012, 10:20 AM
I liked this, one of the murders had a bit of giallo influence I thought - the bathtub death and also the prolonged dark alley chase. The scuzzy atmosphere, sleazy rundown flophouses and porn theaters, brought to mind NEW YORK RIPPER or MANIAC. Unbelievably perverted revelations too.

Ian Jane
11-13-2012, 10:27 AM
Plus.... The Zanzibar!

This movie is rad. Glad it's out and that more people can dig it.

Todd Jordan
11-13-2012, 03:31 PM
I still need to watch it. Maybe tonight. Started it and it looks sleazy as all heck.

Barry M
01-21-2013, 02:21 AM
I really enjoyed this. Generous nudity, unhealthy violence, and plenty of 80s Toronto. The killer's a Glenn Gould joke (hat, overcoat, gloves), set dressing includes Viletones product placement graffiti ("Viletones suck -- each other; Steve Leckie molests himself with a crowbar; Steve Leckie chews foreskin"), the Rio was showing DEATH HUNT and TRUCK TURNER, which I missed, but I think I've been to about 90% of the locations. Paul Bradley (Joey from GOIN' DOWN THE ROAD) is the motel clerk, and Tina (Lenore Zann) is now an NDP member of Novia Scotia's provincial parliament. Does it get any more Candian?

(Quibble: the theatre at the Cinema 2000 wasn't so much in the back (where the booths were), it was downstairs, and pretty much a total blackout: creepy and viscous. No way anybody coulda found Fixer in there without a flashlight.)

The Canuxploitation writeup (http://www.canuxploitation.com/review/amnightmare.html)'s great, but riffs on an anti-American subtext, which I think is off the mark. I think it cribs its themes from the Can-con zeitgeist, which means its roots are, like a proto-VIDEODROME, in McCluhan & SCTV -- it's an anti-TV subtext. (Television -- not transvesites, the movie's okay with that, this is Canada.) Meta, media, & bullshit were (are) the great Canadian themes -- even though there's nothing much seriously going on here, it seems pretty clear that they were goofing in Harold Innis' canoe.

Motel TV and secret videotape are the witnesses to the first murder. The hero's (and first victim's) Dad runs a tv station, the background's a telethon, and there's a bunch of TV fucks-you-up imagery. When we meet Dad, he's watching himself on tv; there's a signoff to static that echoes this later, too. Louise hides from the killer behind walls of abandoned TV sets: the killer eyeballs her through the channel knobhole. Even though she's a stripper, the real humiliation comes when she has to strip before the tv camera; and the big climax takes place down at the studio (well, up on the studio). (CFMT, Channel 47, known as "MTV" was at its peak when this was shot -- it was Toronto's first all-night TV station, and Chuck the Security Guard was my hero. Canuxploitation reads this as US MTV, but I'm not sure it was even on the air when this was shooting.)

It's not that Canada is an American Nightmare, it's just that we get all your channels.









Mark Tolch
01-21-2013, 08:52 AM
You're watching 47, Cable 4?

Barry M
01-21-2013, 09:20 AM
That's right.


Ian Jane
01-21-2013, 10:40 AM
Ha, that Viletones graffiti is great.

It's not that Canada is an American Nightmare, it's just that we get all your channels.

I think you're on to something there. I didn't read much of anything to it and took it all at sleazy face value, but you bring up some interesting points.