American Nightmare (1983)

Article 2888 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-4-2009
Posting Date: 7-10-2009
Directed by Don McBrearty
Featuring Lawrence Day, Lora Staley, Neil Dainard
Country: Canada

A pianist is searching for his sister who has become a prostitute. A psycho killer is on the loose killing prostitutes. Police hunt for the girl and the killer. Strippers at a strip joint strip.

It’s not really a slasher movie; our killer has something else on his mind than just killing prostitutes (though he definitely isn’t sane). It’s more of a Canadian giallo, and it looks and feels pretty much like you’d expect a Canadian giallo would – that is to say, it’s devoid of the stylistic touches you’d expect from an Italian giallo and has that flat, dull look you’d expect from a Canadian movie. It’s fairly sleazy; you’ll lose count of how many times the action (such as it is) screeches to a halt for another strip routine. It does have one jaw-dropping twist (involving the pianist’s father) that ends up not working because it’s painfully obvious that the body of the man in a certain video doesn’t match the body of the man he’s supposed to be. Still, I’m not sure that the twist (even if it had worked) could have lifted this movie out of the doldrums; as a whole, the movie is mechanical and uninspired.


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