NIGHTMARE MAN (2006)
Label: Ronin Flix
Region Code: A
Duration: 87 Minutes
Video: 1080p HD Widescreen (1.78:1)
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with Optional English Subtitles
Director: Rolfe Kanefsky
Cast: Tiffany Shepis, Blythe Metz, Richard Moll, Blythe Metz, Luciano Szafir, Aaron Sherry, Jack Sway, Johanna Putnam, James Ferris, Victor Kanefsky, Alice Glenn, Gwen Davis, Robert Donavan
The scrappy little cabin-in-the-woods supernatural slasher Nightmare Man (2006) comes by way of writer/director Rolfe Kanefsky, who is probably best-known for the self-aware Troma gem There's Nothing Out There. In it couple Ellen (Blythe Metz, The Thirst) and Bill (Luciano Szafir) are attempting to get pregnant, and to that end Ellen has mail-ordered a demonic looking African fertility mask to increase their chances of conception. The mask is a hideous looking thing, and soon after it's arrival Ellen begins to be haunted by an evil spirit she calls 'Nightmare Man'. Her husband Bill and her doctor don't believe in the supernatural experience and chalk it up to paranoid schizophrenic episodes, recommending that she be committed to a mental health clinic for treatment. Enroute to that clinic the couple's car runs out of gas on a rural stretch of road with Bill leaving her alone in the car while he takes off on foot looking for a gas station. As day turns to night the Nightmare Man appears, attacking Ellen with a knife, causing her to flee the car and run thorough the woods until she stumbles upon a remote cabin. Inside that cabin couples Mia (Tiffany Shepis, Tromeo and Juliet) and Ed (Jack Sway), and Jack (James Ferris) and Trinity (Johanna Putnam, Feast II: Sloppy Seconds), are having a party and playing a raucous game of Truth or Dare until they hear a scream from outside. Investigating the scream they find the injured and manic Ellen who tells them the tale of the Nightmare Man. The group is unsure what to make of her story and think she might be unstable, but not long after her arrival they come under siege from a figure in black with a creepy wooden mask, and the bodies start piling up.
Nightmare Man is a scrappy little indie film shot on the cheap, what it has going for it is some decent low-budget slasher tendencies and some tasty Evil Dead vibes, plus a solid turn from Tiffany Shepis as the kickass heroine of the group. While it's a pretty entertaining watch it's not quite a gem either, but seeing Tiffany fight kick some ass, get naked and battle demonic forces, makes for a fun enough watch, and I give it points for it's low-budget gumption even if it has that been-here-and-seen-that-before quality to it. Not quite a gem in my opinion, but if you don't mind the reheated 80's horror elements this throwback is quite a fun watch.
Audio/Video: Nightmare Man (2006) arrives on Blu-ray via Ronin Flix in 1080p HD widescreen (1.78:1), the digital shot film certainly shows the limitation of the early 2000's digital format, there's a softness to the image that doesn't lend itself to crisp imagery and the blacks are crushed. I am assuming this is a limitation of the digital format and not of the transfer itself, but compared to the previous DVD this is still quite an improvement though, if you're a fan of the film this is the best it's looked on home video. Audio comes by way of English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with optional English subtitles. Everything is clean and well-balanced, the score from Christopher Farrell (Art of the Damned) sound good.
Ronin carry-over all the previous extras from the 8 Films To Die For DVD edition and a couple of new ones. Archival extras come by way of a spirited Audio Commentary with director Rolfe Kanefsky, producer Esther Goodstein, and cast member Tiffany Shepis, the 22-min Creating a Nightmare: The Making of Nightmare Man, 16-min of Extended Scenes, 18-min Tiffany's Behind-the-Scenes, 7 min of Flubbing a Nightmare Gag Reel, a 5-min Stills Gallery, plus a 5-min
Promo Reel. The new stuff starts off with the 26-min There's Something Out There: The Making of Nightmare Man featurette which includes new interviews with director Rolfe Kanefsky, actors Tiffany Shepis and Blythe Metz, and crew members Jeff Farley, Esther Goodstein, and Christian Farrel. It's a fun look back at the film with plenty of behind-the-scenes video and stills, detailing the making of it and selling the difficulty selling the film to a distributor before landing the 8 Films To Die For deal. We also get a Film Score Audio-Only Track that runs 61-min with 40 tracks. The single disc release arrives in a standard keepcase with a single-sided sleeve of artwork.
- NEW! There's Something Out There: The Making of Nightmare Man featurette including interviews with director Rolfe Kanefsky, actors Tiffany Shepis and Blythe Metz, and crew members Jeff Farley, Esther Goodstein, and Christian Farrel (26 min)
- Creating a Nightmare: The Making of Nightmare Man (22 min)
- Extended Scenes (16 min)
- Tiffany's Behind-the-Scenes (18 min)
- Flubbing a Nightmare Gag Reel (7 min)
- Stills Gallery 95 min)
- Promo Reel (5 min)
- NEW! Film Score Audio-Only Track (61 mins, 40 Tracks)
- Audio Commentary with director Rolfe Kanefsky, producer Esther Goodstein, and cast member Tiffany Shepis
Screenshots from the Ronin Flix Blu-ray: