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Overall Rating

Awesome: 0%
Worth A Look: 12.5%
Average: 12.5%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap75%

1 review, 2 user ratings

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Night to Dismember, A
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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"A film to dismember"
1 stars

Poor old Doris Wishman--even under the best of circumstances, the late directoress of NUDE ON THE MOON and BAD GIRLS GO TO HELL (among many other cheesy efforts) always had enormous difficulty making consistent narrative sense, or even figuring out where to point the camera in any given shot. While making A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER, Wishman ran into a problem that would have fatally discouraged many a creator far, far, far more talented than she: over half the film negative got destroyed by a disgrunted lab employee. But Doris Wishman was no ordinary filmmaker, in much the same way that Charles Manson was no ordinary Beatles fan...

This is all to explain why A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER is not simply just another Doris Wishman movie, which would be enough to put it in fairly rarefied bad-movie company. No, this film is a uniquely awful Doris Wishman movie, a wall-to-wall disaster that looks like something cobbled together by mental patients during Art Therapy Class. Where do we begin?

Well, Doris managed to solve her missing-negative problem by adding voiceover, which runs continuously throughout the film while somehow failing to explain much of anything. Our narrator spends half the time simply repeating what we're seeing. A man is seen climbing out of a lake; the voiceover chimes in: "Suddenly, a figure started to come out of the water." Good show, Mr. Redundant. And again: A detective happens upon a murder scene; our narrator informs us, "The man's head was on the floor!" (shot of plastic head on carpet) "the woman's head was in the fireplace!" (shot of plastic head burning in the fireplace). And it's not just the voiceover that got added in the editing room; the film was evidently shot without live sound, so virtually everything you hear--dialogue, sound effects, and so on--is dubbed, and very badly.

If you need to learn the value of a good sound effects editor, tune in here for a particularly vivid example of how not to do it. The sound job here is possibly the worst I've ever witnessed, anywhere, anytime, anyhow. The various sound effects are obviously patched together from different sources, the splices are extremely ragged, and the volume tends to rise and fall randomly.

The plot? Ha ha ha ha, speak not of such nonsense, you fool! It's got something to do with an ex-mental patient (played by '70s porn starlet Samantha Fox, actually sliding further down the Hollywood totem pole with this film) who may or may not be hacking people up with an axe. The murder scenes tend to happen in slow motion, in what I suppose was an attempt to cover up the lame-ass gore effects. Looks like they went through a lot of Koolaid.

In one scene, we get an extreme close up of a small creature that is intended to be taken for a rat. But look again, and hit the pause button if you must. That's no rat--it's a cat. If this movie had been more low-budget, it would have run into the negative numbers.

This movie is worthless. I cannot imagine anyone finding any entertainment value in this thing. It is tedious, uninvolving, and so technically inept it makes you yearn for the high gloss of WEASELS RIP MY FLESH. And it commits the gravest mistake of all: although it's nonstop terrible, it's not terrible in a funny way.

FYI, Doris Wishman was the one and same director who gave the world the infamous sex-change documentary LET ME DIE A WOMAN (1978), an incredibly bizarre and tasteless movie that must be seen to be believed. It's great fun at parties, trust me.

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originally posted: 10/04/04 21:45:56
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User Comments

6/30/09 mr.mike Long live Wishman! Oh wait she"s dead.... 4 stars
6/06/07 David Pollastrini great title 3 stars
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Directed by
  Doris Wishman

Written by

  Samantha Fox
  Diane Cummins
  Saul Meth
  Miriam Meth
  William Szarka
  Chris Smith

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