Nightmare (also called Nightmare in a Damaged Brain) is a Slasher Movie released in 1981. It is about a guy who gets horrible nightmares and is getting treatment for it in an asylum. Inexplicably, he is set free and goes on a rampage to meet a family. The story also revolves around the family of a single mother who has two daughters and one naughty little shit called CJ.
The movie was branded a Video Nasty because it is gory and even led to one distributor getting arrested for not cutting one second from the movie.
The film also had a controversy when Tom Savini (who is credited with the spectacular gore effects) claims to have nothing to do with the movie and was only on the set as an advisor for a day or two. The director, Romano Scavolini disagrees and says it was Savini who designed the major of the effects. There are pictures of Savini on the set so the truth is still anyone's guess.
The movie has the following tropes:
- George is off his rocker. He uses a literal axe once too.
- Implied with CJ towards the end.
- Badass Longcoat: George wears a rather nice one.
- Big Rotten Apple: New York City is shown as in Taxi Driver, a sleazy, smutty place.
- Blood-Splattered Innocents: Subverted with George as a kid.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: CJ winks at the camera towards the end.
- Children Are Innocent: Subverted for George and CJ. Played straight for CJ's elder sisters.
- Convulsive Seizures: George gets these from time to time.
- Dream Intro: The movie starts off with George dreaming of him waking up in a blood soaked bed that has the severed body of the woman he killed as a child.
- Dysfunctional Family: A good chunk of the film consists of CJ's family yelling and screaming at each other.
- Finger-Lickin' Evil: George has a habit of frantically licking the blood on his fingers after murdering victims. He did it first after offing his parents.
- Gorn: There are two or three sequences of gore but they are brutal.
- Made of Iron: George gets shot almost 15 times before he finally dies.
- Off with His Head!: Young George decapitates the woman his father is having sex with an axe. And it's shown in grisly detail.
- The Prankster: CJ, to an almost sociopathic level.
- Slashed Throat: George kills an unnamed woman this way.
- Self-Made Orphan:
- George sees his father and mother having kinky sex and hacks them to pieces.
- CJ later offs his father George too. Though to be fair, CJ wasn't aware George is his father and George was advancing on him with a pick axe.
- Would Hurt a Child: George kills one of CJ's classmates in an abandoned house.
- Villain Protagonist: George and arguably, CJ.