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​Episode 8: Nightmare USA: Volume 1, Part 1


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Kat and Samm are back for the eighth episode of Daughters of Darkness, which is the first of a two-part series inspired by Stephen Thrower’s Nightmare USA. This 500+ plus masterpiece is an in-depth examination of low budget American horror from the ‘70s and ‘80s, the type overlooked or even unheard of compared to mainstream fare like The Exorcist and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In the words of publisher FAB Press: “Nightmare USA explores the development of America’s subterranean horror film industry, spotlighting some of the wildest films imaginable from an era unchecked by censorship or ‘good taste.’ Ranging from cult favourites like I Drink Your Blood to stylish mind-benders like Messiah of Evil and ultra-violent shockers like Don’t Go in the House, Nightmare USA goes where no other in-depth study has gone before, revealing the fascinating true stories behind classics and obscurities alike.”

Kat and Samm discuss some of their favorite films from Thrower’s book, beginning with the exceptional Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971), an eerie reimagining of both the vampire myth and gas lighting plot, which explores a woman’s descent into madness in an old house in the New England countryside. Next up is Grave of the Vampire (1972), starring Michael Fucking Pataki, which is probably the only film in history to begin with a vampire serial rapist defiling a woman whose boyfriend just proposed to her by an open coffin. The still terrifying and strangely ageless Messiah of Evil (1973) reworks the Lovecraftian mythos while also following a young woman’s lonely search for her artist father in a small town by the seaside. For a complete change of pace, Godmonster of Indian Flats (1973) is the world’s most insane monster movie that’s not really a monster movie at all, about a mutant sheep and corruption in desert town. Kat and Samm close out the episode with a look at the rapturous The Centrefold Girls (1974), a proto-slasher about a moralist murdering the models of a nude magazine.

Definitely head on over to FAB Press’s site to pick up the somewhat recently reprinted Nightmare USA. Kat and Samm also mention Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s, a book Samm contributed to and which is being reprinted by FAB Press this summer and is now available for pre-order. Kat contributed a liner essay to Arrow’s upcoming release of classic film noir The Glass Key, which will be out in September and is now available for pre-order.

About Kat EllingerAbout Samm DeighanSubscribe on iTunes

About Samm Deighan

Samm Deighan is the Associate Editor of DiaboliqueMagazine.com and hosts their Daughters of Darkness podcast. She's the editor of Satanic Pandemonium, has contributed to Fangoria, Paracinema, and Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s, among others, and she's currently writing a book on WWII and cult cinema.

One comment

  1. Great episode! I love your podcast. Let’s Scare Jessica to Death is one of the most underrated films of the genre. Definitely going to pick up Nightmare USA and check out the other films I haven’t seen like Godmonster.
    On to Part 2…

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