Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nomads (1986) dir John McTiernan

I had never seen or heard of Nomads, McTiernan's first feature film - written and directed by him.  In all honesty I'm not surprised, it's kind of awful.  However, it's one of those 80s movies that is so bizarre and original that the awfulness is outweighed by the originality and imagery - example The Keep (1983).

The basic premise is French cultural anthropologist Jean-Charles (Pierce Brosnan) "discovers" a bizarre nomadic gang led by Adam Ant and Mary Woronov.  This turns out to be a bad thing since the nomads begin to terrorize him and his wife.  Okay, cool pretty straight-forward.  Here's the kicker - and not a spoiler - the last week of Jean-Charles' life is being experienced by Dr. Flax (Lesley-Anne Down) in a sleepwalking hallucinatory state after an emergency room encounter between the two.  To say anything more about the plot will give too much away but let's just say there's some weird shit going on.

It's not a fantastic film by any stretch but there are some concepts and imagery that I feel are going to stick with me for some time.  There's a briefly touched upon theme of the modern nomadic lifestyle (in reference to LA).  There are a couple of points in the movie that are genuinely spooky, not in a scary ooga booga way but in a that's just kind of unsettling way like Malcolm Morley's Beach Scene (1968):



Nomads isn't going to end up on the top of your "must see" spooktacular movie list but it is worth checking out.  It's certainly better than most of direct-to-video horror schlock out there.

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