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10.19.2017
Nightmare Concert (1990)
Movie Review by The Mortician
01.21.15

Nightmare Concert (1990) AKA - A Cat In The Brain. Interesting spin from cult director Lucio Fulci here, who stars himself as a horror director that feels he's going over the edge. (A good director always casts himself in lead roles to save money in the underground gore scene!) After filming particularly gruesome chainsaw dismemberment on the set of his latest film, Fulci finds himself unable to eat red meat in real life and attacking a man outside his apartment who is cutting wood with a chainsaw. He then begins to have homicidal fantasies everywhere he goes (replete with flashbacks from many of his old classic films like THE BEYOND.) Fearing that his fantasy worlds of death and dismemberment are infiltrating his reality, Fulci schedules some time with a local shrink...who ultimately has ulterior motives when he finds out who Fulci is and what he does for a living. Said shrink decides to set Fulci up as a killer to cover his own murderous intentions up (he wants to knock off his philandering wife). The bad doc hypnotizes Fulci and sets it up so he thinks he IS a murderer, and we get many setpieces from Fulci's classic horror films repeated throughout with close-up insert shots of the man himself playing the killer. Everything is actually very well done in terms of editing, lighting, and structure, the movie has solid production values and none of the "stock footage" calls attention to itself (unless you're a super diehard Fulci fan that knows all his previous works up and down, but still---you have a BEST OF GORE super hits edition of some great gore setpieces here). There's ample chainsawings, acid to the face shots, stabbings, slashings, and a wicked cool shower murder on display as Fulci goes on his rampage. The plot is pretty simple from here on: murders, madness, Fulci questioning his sanity vs. the films he's trying to make, and the question of whether the mad shrink will be caught for his wrongdoings. For an improv style movie with basically the Fulci plot shot as a wraparound, this gore feast kept my attention and there's also plenty of nudity, voyeurism and strange sexual activity edited throughout. It was fun seeing Fulci play the "part" as a director going over the edge in perhaps a meta-reflection of his own career, something Wes Craven would kind of crib a couple of years later in NEW NIGHTMARE. Highly recommended if you're a Fulci fan or a connoisseur of Italian gore from yesteryear. I will note that while the foam and latex gore of yesteryear was fun and I love it from a nostalgic point of view, it surely doesn't hold up today compared to what they can do now with modern special effects and (shudder!) virtual enhancements that make things look ultra realistic when used properly. The old school gore days are over and NIGHTMARE CONCERT is a fantastic "best of" scrapbook of those Italian classic moments.

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