Filmhydra
The Nightmare Sisters in succubus form, trapped inside a pentacle.
Above: Roar, oh no, we’re tied up! Again, roar!

Nightmare Sisters (1988)

đź‘™ Serious question here. Who the hell does a seance with a crystal ball?

Reading time: 2 minutes.

When filming wrapped on David DeCoteau’s third film, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-a-Rama, the crew had some time and film left over. So they shot another movie at DeCoteau’s house. It took them about four days, a feat they achieved by cutting so many corners the film is spherical. Nightmare Sisters is an exercise in padding in more ways than one. It disappeared almost immediately, with only 2,000 tapes distributed and a brief appearance on cable television.

Nightmare Sisters tells the tale of three uncool sorority members abandoned by their sisters who, bored, invite similar uncool fraternity pledges over for a party. As you do, the six perform a seance to liven things up a bit. This leads to Marci, Melody, and Micki (Brinke Stevens, Linnea Quigley, and Michelle Bauer) being taken over by succubi, and their geeky guests have to save their souls.

Dukey Flyswatter dressed as a fortuneteller.

Flyswatter’s performace somehow manages to offend multiple contenents simultaneously.

The movie has a lot of T&A, sometimes staged in harsh fluorescent lighting. There is also a tiny, grim-looking mint-green bathtub. DeCoteau crams all three possessed nerds in there, leaving barely enough room for water. I hear this scene is what made the movie so compelling to collectors.

But before you get there, you must endure a gauntlet of truly atrocious acting. The movie opens with the most cringe-worthy scene ever committed to film, a fortune-telling sequence performed by horror-punk singer and B-movie scriptwriter Dukey Flyswatter. The performance would be deeply offensive if it weren’t so confusing about which ethnic group he was trying to offend. Even the atrocious fake-southern accent Flyswatter is playing against pales in comparison.

Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, and Linnea Quigley in ugly clothes

80s Proto-Grunge right here, folks.

That’s followed by a lengthy and apparently unedited sequence where we establish the hell out of Marci, Melody, and Miki being unattractive, undesirable, and nerdy. When I was a young amateur movie critic, my mother explained that it’s far easier to make a pretty woman ugly. Perfect example: this movie. Michelle Bauer wears a fat-suit and, true to stereotype, is continually stuffing her face. Linnea Quigley has a rat’s nest for hair and a false overbite. Brinke Stevens wears glasses and affects a laugh-snort personality.

The movie is eighty-two minutes long. Thanks to all the quote-unquote character building, we don’t get to the action for thirty-eight of them. As much fun as it is to see Stevens, Quigley, and Bauer together, it’s hard to point to this as a good example of low-budget, high-velocity filmmaking. It is amateurish beyond words.

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