Nightmare at Noon (1987)

Holy shit, this was exactly the kind of thing I wanted to see! Bo Hopkins and Wings Hauser are very different guys just passing through a small town in Utah when all of a sudden everything goes to Hell: all motor vehicles die at the edge of town, all outside communication has been cutoff, and the townspeople begin turning into psychotic raging zombies that bleed green and rival the worst PCP binge you’ve ever seen. So it’s up to Bo, Wings, Wings’ wife Kimberly Beck, sheriff George Kennedy, and the sheriff’s daughter/deputy, Kimberly Ross, to defeat albino Brion James and save the town from his evil government experiment. And in the process, they all learn a thing or two about friendship.

Yes, it’s absurd, in a Night of the Comet or Night of the Creeps kind of way. This is the kind of 1980s film that I love: ridiculous, colorful, violent, with a wonderful mix of sci-fi and horror along with a glorious amount of tongue-in-cheek humor. There is also a preoccupation with Westerns, and this movie wears its cowboy heart on its sleeve, from references to the OK Corral to a shootout at a drive-in theater that was supposed to be playing High Noon. The last half hour turns into gunfights while tracking men on horseback, followed by a helicopter chase that is surprisingly well done considering what the budget probably looked liked.

If it’s not lawyer Wings ranting about his rock star clients and complaining, or Bo cracking wise and staying cool, it’s the over-the-top performance of Brion and the wonderfully psychotic performances of all the townspeople screaming and raving as they chase after each other with kitchen knives or run one another down in their exploding cars. Sign me up for more of this!

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