fredag 10 januari 2014

Cataclysm aka The Nightmare never ends (1980)

My favorite part of lovely 80s cheese Night train to terror is the final episode where a woman has nasty about nazis and demons and discover an emissary of Satan living on the earth as an immortal. Every story in that movie is edited down from a full length movie which meant I had to track it down and watch it in its entirety. Which I now have done and what a glorious movie it is, loaded with some of the worst acting I have ever seen in my entire life! I bring you... CATACLYSM!

Brilliant surgeon and devout catholic Claire Hansen has dreams about demons and it doesn't help that her atheist husband James has written a book called God is dead that he is about to publish. When watching a show in Las Vegas a psychic "helps" her to a vision where a Nazi officer kills a group of Jews just for fun, this will supposedly show her that evil really exists. While this is going on Nazi hunter Abraham Weiss sees one of his tormentors on live tv, a young man who hasn't aged a day and also happens to be the very same Nazi that Claire Hansen saw in her vision. Weiss enlists the help of his neighbor, Lt Sterne played by the one and only Cameron Mitchell, but Sterne doesn't believe a word of what he is saying. Later that night Weiss goes to the home of the Nazi and is promptly killed by a demon. Now we add another character to the melting pot, Father Pappini, who is convinced that something really really evil is about to go down and is trying to convince James Hanson that what he is doing is wrong. And so forth. Lot's of plot here. It's actually not half bad as far as God Vs Satan plots go. Really.

The one thing that strikes me about Cataclysm is how fucking awful the acting is. It sounds like every actor is reading their lines from a paper, and failing at that. Cameron Mitchell, Richard Moll as James Hansen, Maurice Grandmaison as the priest and possibly Robert Bristol as the evil demon Nazi are the only ones that don't need to feel shame but the rest of them... GOD DAMN! Faith Clift who plays Claire Hansen is so catastrophically bad in this role that milk would turn sour if she read her lines in the vicinity. I watched Night train to terror just a few weeks ago but didn't remember it being that bad (maybe I was swept away by the megacheesiness of the whole enterprise?), could it possibly have been re-dubbed? I need to watch the damn thing again.

But apart from the atrocious acting, Cataclysm is quite a fun movie apart from the fact that the most fun bits (the stop motion demons) doesn't even appear in the original movie, they were shot specifically for Night train to terror. The plot is fairly ambitious and manages to keep you entertained throughout the whole movie with fun, delirious set-pieces up until the deliciously grand guignol ending which quite frankly is a stunner. The version I watched was the one called The Nightmare never ends which supposedly is edited, which might explain the missing violence from Night train to terror (or was that shot specifically for NTTT? I have no idea, I need to watch the extras. I'm a bad boy, I didn't do my research). Code red supposedly has the rights for Cataclysm so here's hoping for a complete version sometime in the future.

Hell yes, I loved this in spite of all its faults. Pun intended. And if you don't have the chance to see this version at least buy Vinegar syndromes wonderful blu-ray of Night train to terror. It's totally worth it.

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