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Writer, producer, director and horror mega-fan Mick Garris assembles a cadre of like minds to create “Nightmare Cinema.” This anthology feature is basically a two-hour, big-screen version of the several macabre TV anthology series he’s been involved with since the mid-’80s “Amazing Stories.” Comprising five directors’ tales linked by the inimitable Mickey Rourke as a diabolical projectionist, this feature falls short of Garris’ greatest effort in that vein: His all-star 2005-07 cable pet project “Masters of Horror.” Each segment here has strengths and weaknesses. If there are no outright duds, there’s no real triumph either. But the whole is certainly diverse, lively and reference-packed enough to please horror fans attracted to this kind of enterprise, which are so often (see last year’s “Tales From the Hood 2”) so, so much worse. Cranked Up Films is releasing to 25 U.S. screens and on demand June 21.
Film Review: 'Burn Your Maps'
Film - Review - 'Nightmare - Cinema
Film Review: 'Nightmare Cinema'
Things get off to a fast start as Samantha (Sarah Withers) is weepily walking off an apparent breakup when she spies a theater marquee emblazoned with her name as star of “The Thing in the Woods.” Mystified, she walks into the open, empty, seemingly automated movie palace and is promptly locked into her seat as the (first) film-within-the-film begins.
Cut - Samantha - Scream - Queen - Welder
Cut to Samantha as a scream queen, frantically trying to outrun “The Welder,” a masked Unstoppable Killing Machine who’s already slaughtered most of her friends, though not yet Jason (Kevin Fonteyne) or Mike (Chris Warren). This energetic sendup of bombastic, all-American slashers compiles all the usual clichés (from Short-lived Black Dude to Final Girl with incongruous gladiator-level survival skills), then takes an abrupt left turn into an equally amusing, sci-fi-tinged direction.
The only minus to this sequence directed by Argentine Alejandro Brugués (who still hasn’t made a second feature since 2011’s spoofy...
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The beatings will continue until moral improves.