How could they? What happened? What in the process of making TOBE HOOPER'S NIGHT TERRORS went so utterly wrong? How could this movie be so incredibly poor? I was attracted towards this movie by its elegant cover, by the fact that Robert Englund (Freddy Kreuger) was in it, and finally that it was directed by Tobe Hooper, the man behind the first two TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRES movies and POLTERGEIST. Sure, every good director has bad movies, but this movie is so far below bad, so incredibly shoddy, so mind-numbingly awful, that it defies comprehension.
The plot: A young, cute American girl named Genie (Zoe Trilling) travels to Alexandria, Egypt to visit her archaeologist father. Now, when the camera pans over the skyline of "Alexandria," those discerning minds will recognize it as another city. I'll give you a hint: the city can be found in the home of the film's producer, Menachem Golan. That's right, it's Tel Aviv, Israel. The camera simply avoided all the sky-rise hotels on the Tel Aviv boardwalk in order not to give it away too easily. Anyways, I'll cut to the chase.
Genie is a ditzy little thing who walks around like an idiot wearing skimpy clothing in the Muslim Arab marketplace. Does she know anything about foreign culture? She runs into trouble with some of the men before being rescued by a mysterious woman who apparently has had a past with the girl's father. This woman takes Genie in and exposes her to a weird world of hedonists and mystics.
In the meanwhile we discover that Genie's father is a religious nut who must be called back to his archaeology dig, leaving the girl alone to do as she pleases in Alexandria. She accepts some strange man's invitation to go horseback riding in the desert and has wild sex with him. She goes to more weird parties. She hangs out with two American friends of hers who just happen to be in Egypt. The film just kind of goes on and on and on...
Throughout all this, we get random scenes of the Marquis de Sade in a dungeon in the 1700s (?!). The Marquis, played by Robert Englund, as you know, was a sick sadistic freak and liked to torture and be tortured. The film opens with some cool tortures of him, particularly one in which his eyes are burned with acid. Then, he stares at another prisoner until that prisoner pokes his own eyes out rather than looked at the maimed Marquis. This is cool stuff, but the movie forgoes it for this moronic girl in Alexandria.
Why is the Marquis in the film? Well, apparently his direct descendent lives in Alexandria and hosts weird parties of his own. Also played by Englund, we don't ever discover why this guy ends up in Egypt or what he really does with his guests. For some reason, he decides to imprison Genie leading to the anti-climactic and ridiculous finale, which involves torture, betrayal, and freaky mystics in robes. My question for the filmmakers is: “WHAT?!”
This movie answers not one of my many, many questions. For instance, what is the significance of the father's religiousness? What is his connection to the mysterious woman? Why are these people here? Why was this movie made? How could Tobe Hooper direct this crap? What is the fastest animal on earth? Why is the sky blue?
This movie sucks. It's not fun. It's not entertaining. It's boring. It makes no sense. There's not enough gore. There's not enough action. There's not enough anything. Don't be fooled by the director, the star, the attractive video box. The only fun I had in this movie was pointing out all the unanswered questions and watching the brief sex scene. The production values are shoddy. The acting is horrible, particularly Zoe Trilling’s acting...how did she get casted? Actually, even Englund's pretty poor. Man, the only thing which makes the title seem apt is the fact that I watched it at night and the terror of how awful it was.
Rating: PURE DUNG, zero stars (out of a possible 4)