Twisted Nightmare (1988)

R | 94 mins | Horror | 20 May 1988

Director:

Paul Hunt

Writer:

Paul Hunt

Producer:

Sandy Horowitz

Cinematographers:

Gary Graver, Paul Hunt

Editor:

Allen Persselin

Production Designers:

Hector Lopez, John Javonillo

Production Company:

United Filmmakers
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HISTORY

Portions of end credits on the print viewed for this record were illegible, and are therefore incomplete.
       The following voice-over narration is heard after opening credits: “Before the world existed, there was war. There was a power … an evil power. The legend began before time, but through the centuries, it has remained unchanged. Today the evil re-spawns here.”
       Opening credits list actor Fred Fein as a cast member. However, Fein’s name does not appear in end credits.
       A 1982 copyright notice appears on the film’s opening title. However, a 6 May 1987 Var advertisement and end credits list a 1987 notice for United Filmmakers, Inc. In copyright records, writer-director Paul Hunt formally registered copyright on 1 Jul 1987, under the working title, Ancient Evil.
       According to an article in the 2 Jun 1988 DV, the independent film was released “outside of New York [City]” in May 1988. The 20 Jun 1988 DV reported 20 May 1988 as the picture’s release date. The film opened on 8 Nov 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, as noted in the LAT review of the same day. ... More Less

Portions of end credits on the print viewed for this record were illegible, and are therefore incomplete.
       The following voice-over narration is heard after opening credits: “Before the world existed, there was war. There was a power … an evil power. The legend began before time, but through the centuries, it has remained unchanged. Today the evil re-spawns here.”
       Opening credits list actor Fred Fein as a cast member. However, Fein’s name does not appear in end credits.
       A 1982 copyright notice appears on the film’s opening title. However, a 6 May 1987 Var advertisement and end credits list a 1987 notice for United Filmmakers, Inc. In copyright records, writer-director Paul Hunt formally registered copyright on 1 Jul 1987, under the working title, Ancient Evil.
       According to an article in the 2 Jun 1988 DV, the independent film was released “outside of New York [City]” in May 1988. The 20 Jun 1988 DV reported 20 May 1988 as the picture’s release date. The film opened on 8 Nov 1988 in Los Angeles, CA, as noted in the LAT review of the same day. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
2 Jun 1988
p. 1, 23.
Daily Variety
20 Jun 1988
p. 118.
Los Angeles Times
8 Nov 1988
Calendar, p. 6.
Variety
6 May 1987
p. 285.
Variety
21 Sep 1988
p. 31.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
United Filmmakers Presents
A United Filmmakers Release
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir
Addl scenes dir/1st asst dir
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Wrt
Addl scenes writ
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
Dir of lighting/Lighting dir
Cam op
Cam op
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Still photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATORS
Set dressing
Set dressing
Prop master
SOUND
Sd mixer
Sd mixer
Sd mixer
Sd mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff assoc
Spec eff assoc
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Spec eff makeup
Makeup
Makeup
Makeup
Makeup
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
Hairstylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting dir
Casting assoc
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
STAND INS
Stunt coord/Stunts
Stunts
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Ancient Evil
Release Date:
20 May 1988
Premiere Information:
Regional release: 20 May 1988
New York opening: 14 September 1988
Los Angeles opening: 4 November 1988
Copyright Claimant:
Paul Hunt
Copyright Date:
1 July 1987
Copyright Number:
PAu000978501
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
94
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

Teenage Laura receives a letter saying she has won a free weekend at her old summer camp, Camp Paradise. Upon arrival, Laura and her boyfriend, Shawn, find their old friends Dean and Cheri, Gus and Sylvia, Tak and Jennifer, Ken and Julie, Nicole and Gus, Jeff and Nancy having a party. Gus tells Shawn he is surprised that Laura returned, particularly after her brother, Mathew, died at Camp Paradise two years earlier. Later, Gus and Sylvia go into the camp’s barn and find a litter of kittens, but Kane, the camp groundskeeper, orders the couple to leave. Sylvia returns to the party, but tells Laura she is going to sneak back into the barn to take a kitten as a pet. As she enters, a shadowy figure places a rope around Sylvia’s neck and hangs her from the rafters. When Gus finds her dead, the killer attacks, rips his arm off, and leaves him bleeding to death. In the morning, Shawn asks Tak how Laura’s brother died, and he explains that Mathew caught fire inside the barn and ran out engulfed in flames, but his body was never recovered and nothing inside the barn was burned. At the cabin, Dean senses something strange about the invitations they all received to come to the camp, and announces he and his girl friend, Cheri, are leaving. Agreeing with Dean, Ken tells girl friend Julie he is going to find Kane, the groundskeeper. After Ken leaves, Julie goes into the barn, discovers Sylvia and Gus’s bodies, and runs to the main cabin to telephones Sheriff Elmer Goodes. However, something disconnects the line. Julie flees to Ken’s car, but the killer breaks the ... +


Teenage Laura receives a letter saying she has won a free weekend at her old summer camp, Camp Paradise. Upon arrival, Laura and her boyfriend, Shawn, find their old friends Dean and Cheri, Gus and Sylvia, Tak and Jennifer, Ken and Julie, Nicole and Gus, Jeff and Nancy having a party. Gus tells Shawn he is surprised that Laura returned, particularly after her brother, Mathew, died at Camp Paradise two years earlier. Later, Gus and Sylvia go into the camp’s barn and find a litter of kittens, but Kane, the camp groundskeeper, orders the couple to leave. Sylvia returns to the party, but tells Laura she is going to sneak back into the barn to take a kitten as a pet. As she enters, a shadowy figure places a rope around Sylvia’s neck and hangs her from the rafters. When Gus finds her dead, the killer attacks, rips his arm off, and leaves him bleeding to death. In the morning, Shawn asks Tak how Laura’s brother died, and he explains that Mathew caught fire inside the barn and ran out engulfed in flames, but his body was never recovered and nothing inside the barn was burned. At the cabin, Dean senses something strange about the invitations they all received to come to the camp, and announces he and his girl friend, Cheri, are leaving. Agreeing with Dean, Ken tells girl friend Julie he is going to find Kane, the groundskeeper. After Ken leaves, Julie goes into the barn, discovers Sylvia and Gus’s bodies, and runs to the main cabin to telephones Sheriff Elmer Goodes. However, something disconnects the line. Julie flees to Ken’s car, but the killer breaks the rear window and drags her out. Meanwhile, Kane tells Ken and his friends they should not have returned to Camp Paradise after what happened two years ago, and must leave now before it is too late. Ken hurries to the main cabin to warn Julie, but the killer slits his throat. While waiting for Laura to shower, Jennifer goes to the icehouse, and as she chips at an ice block, the door closes and locks her inside. Jennifer attempts to climb through an open skylight, but the killer tosses Ken’s body on top of it and she cannot budge his dead weight. After showering, Laura finds Nicole, Gerome, Jeff and Nancy heading to the camp sauna, but decides to wait at the cabin. Outside the sauna, as Jeff and Nancy leave, the killer runs a pole through their bodies. Then he goes into the sauna, kills Nicole with a sledgehammer, and smashes Gerome’s face into the sauna’s hot stones. Sheriff Elmer Goodes arrives at the camp and tells Laura he received Julie’s telephone call, but the line went dead. Kane informs the sheriff that Laura is Mathew’s sister. They split up and search for the teenage campers. Finding Shawn and Tak, Kane tells them to leave. He explains that the area now known as Camp Paradise once belonged to his tribe, before settlers massacred them. Kane’s grandfather, the tribal medicine man and sole survivor, placed a curse on the land. Tak and Shawn do not believe him, and Kane leaves. Suddenly, the killer appears and chases the teens to the cabin. There, Shawn locks himself and Laura inside, while Tak hurries to the icehouse to look for Jennifer. He moves Ken’s body out of the way, opens the sealed skylight, and helps Jennifer out. However, the killer appears and kills Tak, and Jennifer escapes toward the barn. Meanwhile, Sheriff Goodes sees Dean and Cheri walking along the road out of the camp. Dean tells him his car stopped because somebody put sugar in his gasoline tank. The sheriff drives them back to Camp Paradise, where Shawn and Dean have armed themselves with rifles. Going to the sauna, Sheriff Goodes finds the bodies of Nancy and Jeff, but before he can react, the killer rips his head off. Afterward, the killer chases Dean to a chain-link fence and, by raising his hand, calls down a lighting bolt that electrocutes the teenager. Returning to the cabin, the killer finds Cheri and impales her on the antlers of a mounted deer head. Inside the barn, Shawn sees Kane strangling Laura and shoots him with his rifle. Laura smiles and confesses to Shawn that the killer is Mathew, who, with her help, punished everyone for what they did to Mathew two years ago. The burnt and decaying figure of Mathew suddenly appears, and Shawn impales him with a pitchfork. However, Mathew pulls it out of his chest and kills Shawn. Witnessing all this from a window, Jennifer screams and awakens the wounded Kane. He tips over barrels of gasoline and tosses a lit match. The barn explodes with him, Laura, and Mathew inside. As Jennifer escapes in the sheriff’s car, the flames vanish and the barn reappears intact. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.