Thursday, September 16, 2021


 “The worst monsters are the ones under the skin of your dear ones."

Just as clunky as its cumbersome title suggests, A NIGHT OF HORROR: NIGHTMARE RADIO drops us into the late-night radio show of Rod Wilson (James Wright), a smooth-talking dj with a penchant for telling scary stories, like the Invisible Man-inspired “In the Dark Dark Woods” which serves as an all too brief appetizer for the main course. After relating how his mom put coins on the eyes of his dead granny so she could pay the ferryman we segue into seven tales of terror that are, in typical anthology film fashion, wildly hit or miss.

Leading things off in solid style is “Post Mortem Mary”, in which settlers in the rugged Aussie outback seek a photographic memento of their daughter who has been rotting for the last couple weeks. Young Mary shows up with her mom and must get a good shot so that her family can make money, but it’s easier said than done with a mischievous corpse as your subject. If you’re like me and get a little itchy-skitchy at scenes of eye violence, well, let me just say I’ll never look a spoon the same way ever again.

From there NIGHTMARE RADIO (seriously, just call it that, it’s the better title) veers from EC-inspired revenge fantasies (“A Little Off The Top”) and political commentary (“The Disappearance of Willie Bingham”) to backwoods weirdness (“Into the Mud”) and jump scare British ghosts (“Vicious”). Luckily, tales like the Spanish “Drops” and the IT-inspired “The Smiling Man” appear every now and then to perk up the proceedings.

Unfortunately, the framing device concocted by Luciano and Nicolas Onetti – who also assembled the disparate collection of vignettes – is largely ineffective despite attempts to ratchet up the tension. The quality suffers in comparison to the other segments and, like several of the tales, feels half-baked at best.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve seen waaaayyyy worse anthology flicks and this was well worth the pocket change spent on it at the local Dollar Tree. But it’s a pretty middle of the road effort that pales in comparison to the similarly-themed SCAREWAVES (2014) which was reviewed in ER #53 published back in (gasp!) 2017. – Dan Taylor

Dan Taylor is the editor/publisher of Exploitation Retrospect and The Hungover Gourmet as well as the host of the internet radio show Around The Dial. While he's sad that summer is over he's happy that spooky season is upon us.

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