Plot: This movie centers on two short films, surrounded by various segments designed to create a grindhouse style experience. In Manhunt, a man finds himself forced to endure an escalating series of horrific challenges to survive, while Stripper with a Shotgun is about, well a stripper with a shotgun. These shorts are presented as an old school double feature with the intermission content like skits and other shorts, hosted by a deranged woman in a nurse/clown costume.
Entertainment Value: I appreciate the sentiment behind Grindhouse Nightmares, as it tries to capture that old school grindhouse vibe, but the end result is a chore to sit through, even as someone who loves the concept. Linnea Quigley is either awful or hilarious (or both) in the host role, looking off screen at cue cards and stumbling over even short lines. The introduction alone is immense level cringe, but the various little pop up burst are just as bad. I love Quigley and her involvement was a draw here, but I was more baffled than entertained by her performance. The Manhunt short is like a dull Saw rip-off burdened by a ridiculous Liam Neeson sound-a-like voice over, which is humorous for a short while, but soon grates. The intermission segments are passable, short enough to not overstay their welcome, but totally forgettable, while the second short Stripper with a Shotgun fails to deliver. The premise seems like a can’t miss, but it almost makes Manhunt look decent. I really wanted to like this one, but Grindhouse Nightmares is a total mess and even for genre fans, likely to be a test of patience to sit through.
This one has some splashes of blood, but it is rather hokey and thanks to the overly amplified “grindhouse” print damage, hard to appreciate. In truth, this gimmick is run into the ground here and is used far too much, whereas some light use could have added a nice flair. Some of the bloodshed is also low end CGI, so while there is some crimson, between the CGI and obscured visuals, it barely registers. The clown host promises nudity and the movie delivers, with a few topless scenes after the intermission and of course, a fake penis. So the light sleaze is appreciated, even if it isn’t as prominent as you’d expect from an indie grindhouse tribute. The dialogue earns a little thanks to Quigley’s bizarre performance and a humorous segment with Michael Madsen, but otherwise, bland and forgettable stuff. This continues in the overall insanity, as the movie just fails to spark that grindhouse magic and comes off like a mash up of leftover material.
Overall Insanity: 1/10