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directed by Jack Bravman
Canada 1986


After witnessing his father's (uncredited co-director John Fasano) murder by a couple of thugs as a child, Tony (Jon Mikl Thor) grows up to be a baseball bat-wielding cop. When he is run down by some privileged punks (including future PINK PANTHER remake director Shawn Levy) robbing a convenience store, his mother Louise (Francesca Bonacorsa) approaches Molly Mokembe (Manuska), the girl who Tony's father died saving, and she uses voodoo to bring Tony back from the grave as a zombie bent on revenge. Meanwhile, two cops Tom Churchman (Adam West, TV's BATMAN) and Frank Sorrell (Frank Dietz) are on the case. Tia Carrere debuts as one of the punks. ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE was a Canadian-made star vehicle for heavy metal rocker Thor (aka Jon Mikl Thor) who was also an title-winning body builder. He is hidden under zombie make-up for much of the film (Thor got more "exposure" in co-director John Fasano's outrageous follow-up ROCK 'N ROLL NIGHTMARE). While there is not much gore (this is a revenge from beyond the grave-type zombie pic rather than flesh-eating one) or nudity (the filmmakers found out the actress they had hired specifically to do a nude scene was only fifteen years old) in the film, it is not short on cheezy thrills (come on, Adam West is top-billed), some giant 80's hair, and features a soundtrack glutted with heavy metal acts of the time, including Motorhead, Thor, FIST, Girlschool, and Virgin Steel. Amazingly enough, one of the film's producers was Pierre Grisť who went on to co-produce Jacques Rivette's LA BELLE NOISEUSE, GANG OF FOUR, and THE STORY OF MARIE AND JULIEN, and VA SAVOIR among others.

Eric Cotenas


Theatrical Release: 29 May 1986 (USA)

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DVD Review: Scorpion Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Scorpion Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:23:18

1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.47 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 mono)
Subtitles none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Scorpion Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.78:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary with co-director John Fasano, actors Frank Dietz and Thor, moderated by Jeff McKay
• The Making of ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE (4:3; 24:58)
• Bonus Conversation with director Jack Bravman (10:21)

DVD Release Date: 25 October 2010

Chapters 12



Mastered in HD, this single-layer, anamorphic, progressive transfer looks good (the negative likely has not been touched since the video masters were made in the late eighties). Night exteriors are a bit grainy but that is likely part of the original cinematography and cheap processing. The title sequence looks like it came from a video source, but the title graphics were actually created on video and transferred to film (so they always looked that way). Mono audio is full-bodied with the heavy metal music coming through nicely (given the soundtrack, the film could have done with a stereo mix).

Uncredited writer/co-director John Fasano (who also helmed the Thor rock horror pic ROCK 'N ROLL NIGHTMARE and Thor-less but similarly-themed BLACK ROSES, both of which have also received HD-mastered treatment from Synapse Films) is on hand for an entertaining audio commentary along with actor Frank Dietz and star Thor (who joins them on the telephone from Canada and does a nice impression of Lemmy from Motorhead). We learn that Fasano directed the action scenes and Bravman the scenes with actor (including most of the Adam West stuff). The nude scene anecdote is also pretty amusing in retrospect. Fasano and Dietz also appear in a 25 minute featurette along with Jack Bravman, who also appears in a bonus interview. There is no theatrical trailer, nor are there any trailers for other upcoming Scorpion titles.

  - Eric Cotenas


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