There were 39 films on the DPP list that had successful prosecutions against them but this film actually resulted in a distributor serving time in prison due to releasing a version that was just 60 seconds longer than the version granted a release in the UK by the BBFC. Was the film deserving of this type of action? Let us take a look.
Directed by Romano Scavolini, Nightmares In A Damaged Brain follows George Tatum, a psychiatric patient who embarks on a killing spree after he has escaped from the institution he was being kept in. Along the way, he attempts to contact his family, who are struggling themselves with issues, mainly unruly children.
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Is this a good movie? It is OK. Nothing special. It is a low level example of the genre but it is not without merit. Some of the set pieces are suitably gruesome and there are one or two above average performances from the cast. But, for all that is good, there is bad. The film is not particularly well shot or scripted. The main issue though is the gore. Look at the poor quality trailer above and you will see how overly bright the blood is. It borders on being orange.
The film is extremely messy in places. Set pieces set in scummy adult clubs or a family day at the beach could have been creepy in the hands of a decent director. Sadly, they do not deliver here and end up being part of a film which never really achieves its aim. As said though, the film is not without merit. It is acceptable, scuzzy trash. Nothing memorable but serves its purpose for the most part.
This one is more interesting than some others we have covered, due to the fact that the distributor of the film, David Hamilton Grant, was given an 18 month prison sentence for releasing a version of the movie that was 60 seconds longer than the approved version. Grant ended up serving 6 months of his sentence, but the whole experience was seen as a massive blow to the idea of freedom of expression. The idea of anyone serving time due to releasing a film is bizarre. Especially since the film is nothing more than you can find elsewhere. Yes, it is gory, but not excessively so. It is available uncut now, which makes the prison sentence even more ridiculous.