Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Project Nightmare

Director - Donald M. Jones (Deadly Sunday, Evil Acts)
Starring - Charles Miller (Twin Peaks, Racing with the Moon), Seth Foster (Airwolf, Ninja Academy), and Elly Koslo
Release Date - 1979
Genre - Horror/Sci-Fi
Tagline - "Every dream came true...each was a nightmare!"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5)

     I just finished watching the Intervision release of Murderlust and was surprised by how much I liked it.  I thought I would be checking out a sleazy slasher type film that would flow like a low budget drama or thriller.  The film was not that sleazy but I really enjoyed the overall film.  Well worth my time.  The film was released a few months back by Intervision and they included a second Donald M. Jones film on the release.  The film is Project Nightmare which was shot in 1979 but didn't find an actual release until 1987.  Since the film was barely mentioned on the artwork for the release I could only assume it would be a turd...a turd I had to see for myself.
     The film follows two men who go camping in the woods one night and awaken to find their camping gear destroyed and are being chased by something in the woods.  The two venture through the woods until they come across a house with a young woman willing to help them on their voyage through the forest but tempers come to a boil and the two part ways.  One of the men come across a secret government installation hidden underground and learn the real reason as to what is  happening to them.


     I tried to keep an open mind with the film but the film was not the quality of film Murderlust was.  In fact, it felt like they went into the project with no permanent story to film.  The film felt like it was all over the place which resulted in a film that was off balance.  The acting in this one is not bad...not bad at all.  The cast does a decent job at creating very believable characters.  This only lasts until the last third of the film once Gus (Foster) reaches the government underground bunker and the characters switch it up to clich├ęd 1950's era sci-fi characters.  I love films like that but it's out of place after watching most of the film with more traditional characters and acting.  Almost made the film feel cheap.  The story for this one has potential but falls apart upon the delivery.  The story following two men in the woods who unwilling fall prey to a government experiment could have been an amazing film.  Sadly, the film is unable to properly push that angle until the halfway mark resulting in a mash up of ideas that does not unfold well on camera.  The film is a slower burner with no real atmosphere.  Finally, this one has no on screen kills in a traditional sense.  There is no blood, gore, and very minimal practical effects.  With that being said, I do really enjoy the sets used in the later portion of the film, but that doesn't help the film out in the end.  Overall, Project Nightmare is a very bold and ambitious film that falls apart before the camera started rolling.  The film needed to find one plot point and stick with it instead of cramming everything that it does into it.  

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