""Nightmare at Noon" is an action/adventure film from Greek director Nico Mastorakis. This statement in and of itself probably does not raise much interest, but it should for those viewers who have witnessed the sleazy film "Island of Death." Mastorakis made that movie back in the 1970s when he needed to do something outrageous in order to raise funds for his more "serious" projects. If this film, starring George Kennedy, Bo Hopkins, and Wings Hauser, is one of these "serious" efforts, we are all in a lot of trouble. "Nightmare at Noon" is an atrocious film, a huge mess of a movie that fails to pass the test in nearly every category of cinematic achievement. The acting, script, pacing, editing, plausibility, and cinematography all grind to a shrieking halt at various points throughout the movie. It sounds terrible, does it not? The picture does fail with frightening regularity, but it is also one of the most entertaining action films I have seen in eons. "Nightmare at Noon" is so hilariously over the top and so unbelievable as to defy description. It really deserves a place on some "so bad it's good" list somewhere.A small town out in the middle of nowhere serves as the starting place for Mastorakis's picture. A secret government agency, at least one that looks government and looks secret, sends a batch of goons out to the water supply of this isolated hamlet. Led by a mute albino (Brion James, in serious camp mode as the pasty-faced maniac. He never says a word in the entire film!), the government thugs shoot a weird fluid into the water that turns townspeople into zombies. Caught up in the unfolding madness are Ken and Cherie Griffiths (Wings Hauser and Kimberly Ross respectively), a Hollywood lawyer and his wife who are taking a trip across the country in a motor home. Along the way, the two pick up retired cop and roaming vagabond Reilly (Bo Hopkins), a man looking seeking solace on the highways of America. The three find themselves in a heap of trouble after rolling into the contaminated town. The town sheriff (George Kennedy) and his deputy daughter soon team up with the three outsiders when it becomes apparent that the residents of the village are falling under the spell of some strange infection. We know trouble looms because one of the town's most respected members guns down his own son during a virus induced fit.The albino and his foot soldiers made sure no one could leave town once the infection begins to spread, so the Griffiths, Reilly, and the surviving members of the police force must come to terms with the unfolding disaster in order to survive. As more and more of the town's denizens go slowly crazy from drinking the water, our gang of heroes gather up a mess of firearms and head out into the streets. What follows is a hodgepodge of exploding cars, gun battles, and a few personal tragedies. The idea here is getting out of town and away from the shuffling creatures, which obviously will not be as easy as it sounds. Eventually, Hopkins assumes the role of leader and goes after the men responsible for this crime. The showdown in the desert involves a lot of flying bullets, a helicopter chase, and the predictable triumph of good over evil. If the movie only incorporated these elements, it would not deserve any attention whatsoever. The fun comes from watching Mastorakis ramp up the explosions, the gunfire, and the downright ridiculousness of the whole thing.I cannot name one scene that stands out because so many things rise to the occasion. Hopkins shooting a nut on a motorcycle, with the attendant slow motion shot of said biker arcing through the air on fire, may rank as one of the more memorable sequences. George Kennedy's hysterical performance as the confused town cop is probably the best thing going for this movie, however. His facial expressions as he tries to mentally overcome the corrosive effects of the tainted water he drank with his morning coffee are priceless, just priceless. Moreover, when he finally loses it, some of the government goons light him up with a flamethrower. We literally see an engulfed Kennedy stumbling around before diving into the back of one of the G-men's vans. And then the van blows up like a nuclear bomb. You want more incredibly improbable situations? Just check out the helicopter chase at the end, where missiles fired from one of the choppers hits cars parked out in the desert (they blow up, too). What in the heck are these vehicles doing out in the middle of nowhere, you ask? Because the script called for them to be there, silly! There is plenty of hilarious overacting (see Wings Hauser every five minutes) and plenty of continuity errors as well. I am at a loss to explain the presence of Cherie Griffiths, grinning like a fool and seemingly unaffected by her viral infection, safely ensconced in the motor home at the end of the film. Why did she get better when everyone else died horribly? Who knows? If you cannot see the cheesy greatness of this film, you have no business watching B movies. The DVD looks good for such a schlock presentation. There is plenty of information about the film and bios for the cast. There are even several other trailers for cheapie flicks, and the movie is in widescreen! I'm tellin' ya, I just have to buy this one before I forget about it. Yes, it's bad. Yes, it's cheesy. Yes, it is loaded with ham handed performances from actors who should have known better. But that is what ultimately makes "Nightmare at Noon" a keeper. One of the best B movies I saw in 2003."
It's no nightmare watching this movie-it's a dream.
Adam Paul Bailey | australia | 03/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is an excellent movie. George Kennedy who plays the sherriff in it is really appealing. And ofcourse Kimberly Beck out of Friday the 13th the final chapter adds more appeal to this movie but due to the script she isn't in it as much as she should be.
Nightmare at Noon is about a mute albino and his henchman who contaminate the water supply of this small town and turn people into violent maniacs.The sherriff's daughter thinks it can't be the CIA doing it in their backyard so it must be some foreigners who are doing this.Possibly Russians.
The sherriff denies he had any water but he probably had a coffee and soon he becomes affected by the contaminants.
Brion James plays the albino and justice is delivered to him in the form of Bo Hopkins when the ex-cop gives him enough of the contaminants to send a whole town mad. This is after various interesting shootouts between the bad guys and the goodguys and oh yes, a helicopter chase."
This is a really good action movie.
Joseph M. Callen | St. Joseph, Mo. | 01/19/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a really good action movie that will keep you totally entertained."
T. A. Hansen | eagan, mn USA | 06/15/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This is a horribly unentertaining movie. I have seen other Nico Mastorakis' movies, such as Zero Boys and Bloodstone which are B-movies but entertaining. I'm not going to cut him any slack with the old cliche, this is so bad it's good. This movie is the nightmare and the DVD is overpriced on Amazon.There are a bunch of extras: trailers, DVD specs, Nico Mastorakis' ongoing documentary, and a filmopgraphy. The DVD is widescreen and the actual image and sound quality is good."
Pretty good action film...that doesn't take place at noon.
grmonli | Long Island,New York,USA | 12/30/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As action/thriller movies of the 80's go this one isnt too bad. After all a movie with the trio of Bo Hopkins, Wings hauser and George Kennedy...how good could it be? But if your looking to kill an hour and a half you could waste time in worse ways. The movie, a story about the people of a small desert town going mad and on many homicidal rampages, due to the poisoning of their water supply by a mysterious albino stranger and his gang of green coverall clad henchmen, oddly enough keeps your interest. You just kind of "need" to know what is gonna happen next. The few special effects arent bad, plenty of car wrecks and some really fun shots of peoples turning pale and zombielike and oozing green blood when shot. The rampages reminded me of what life might be like if everyone gave into their urges at all times. Sorta like road rage eighties style. The major criticism I have is that the ending leave's you with some major unaswered questions. Like, why did the albino poison the water? Who was he? Who was he working for? How did the hero's wife get cured? Its kind of hard to get the answers since the villian, Brion James, never utters a word through the entire movie. But then again...the others did enough talking. Watch it...have fun...let go."