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July 3, 2014

Movie Review: Runaway Nightmare (Blu-ray, 1982)

It seems these days more than ever one of the prime go-to companies for exploitation, sexploitation and other assorted off-the-wall film oddities from the past is Vinegar Syndrome. Recently, Vinegar Syndrome has decided to handle some of their more obscure titles differently than much of their library with doing a very limited run of just 1000 total discs to be had for anyone quick enough to get their mitts on what could be a trashy collectible. Mike Cartel’s Runaway Nightmare is the most recent in the limited edition runs and I must say it really defies an explanation… but I will try my best.

A couple of dopey denim-wearing worm farmers named Ralph and Jason (Mike Cartel and Al Valletta ) witness a young woman being buried in the middle of the desert. Naturally, the two gentleman decide to jump to her aid. They dig her up and carry her back to their manor house on the worm farm where she eventually comes back into consciousness. What the fellas don’t know is that she has some friends waiting. This gaggle of sexy gals have a plan to take Ralph and Jason captive and make them their slaves.

Jason and Ralph don't put put up a very good fight so they are both brought back their house which is full of even more beautiful cultists, led by alpha-female Hesperia (Cindy Donlan, Schizoid). While the ladies want to torture and have their way with the boys, they have a much bigger reason for having them around, and that’s to steal some plutonium to make guns.

One of the big expectations, at least for me going into Runaway Nightmare was there would be a whole lot of T&A. There isn’t…but Cartel’s beast is a wholly unique animal that doesn’t need tits or graphic violence to bring the viewer to a place that is so ridiculous that you can’t not laugh – be it the awful acting, lack of music and sound effects or Cartel’s resemblance to Bruce Jenner. Runaway Nightmare is a very funny film, and I watched it completely sober. Some of the horror elements and unorthodoxed editing in certain spots do add a creepy feeling to some of the proceedings but it isn’t long before you’re laughing at another absurd moment on screen.

The extra features include a commentary with director Mike Cartel, Vinegar Syndrome’s Joe Rubin and writer Howard Berger. This is a fun listen that answers some of the MANY questions you may have after viewing Runaway Nightmare. Another very welcome bonus for those who thought the movie was lacking nudity will is a section of juicy alternate scenes featuring nudity. The nudity is essentially squeezed into various moments where the film cuts away. Oddly enough, these scenes are on video and look pretty out of place…but they are boobs and I was not complaining.

As I mentioned earlier Runaway Nightmare is super limited in quantity so you’re best to get on it as soon as possible before it's completely sold out. I wasn't expecting much but boy was I pleasantly surprised at how fascinating and downright comical this low-budget oddity was. Don't miss this one! Recommended

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