ARROW BLU RAY RELEASE: Nightmare at Noon (1988)

Ken Griffiths (Wings Hauser) and his wife Cheri (Kimberly Beck, Massacre at Central High) are traveling across the highways of America via recreational vehicle — which as I’m obsessed with RV horror I already know is a bad idea — when they pick up ex-cop hitchhiker Reilly (Bo Hopkins), which also seems like a bad idea but it isn’t. What is the most horrible of all ideas is when they pull into Canyonland, Utah, a place where a mysterious albino — but come on, it’s John Carpenter, right? — played by Brion James is working with shadowy government troops and black helicopters to test a bioweapon on the small town, turning everyone there into zombies. Everyone but Ken and Reilly, who have only had beer to drink, and Sheriff Hanks (George Kennedy) — who claims to have not had water in years — and his daughter Deputy Julia (Kimberly Ross, Pumpkinhead) must stay alive as long as they can as the zombies attack the town.

Except that at some point, Hauser disappears and this becomes all about Bo Hopkins on a vision quest in the desert like a Western, hunting down the albino scientist and his men, as well as a lengthy helicopter chase.

Hauser may have not been in the film for an extended period because of his off-set problems. I’ve heard a story that his brother came to visit his motel room and Wings slammed his brother’s head through a wall, which got him arrested and Mastorakis had to pay his bail.

Yet Nico Mastorakis really can’t make a boring movie. This starts with late 80s computer graphics, a synth Hans Zimmer score and great scenery, plus it has a mini-reunion of the stars of Mutant. Actually, it’s very close to that movie to the point that it could be a parallel reality version of the last movie of Film Ventures International.

This is also the wet dream of Q-Anon lovers, as the albino and his black vans, helicopters and APE (Agency for the Protection of the Environment) henchmen all exist to destroy small town America. They’re probably making homosexual frogs, too.

The other title for this, Death Street USA, is better than what they used.

The Arrow Video blu ray of Nightmare at Noon has a new restoration from the original negative; a making of featurettewith commentary by Mastorakis; gehind-the-scenes footage; on-set interviews with actors Hauser, Hopkins, Beck, Kennedy and James; the trailer, an image gallery with the score from Stanley Myers and Hans Zimmer; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Graham Humphreys and an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Johnny Mains. You order it from MVD.

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