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Case Number 01503

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A Night To Dismember

Elite Entertainment // 1983 // 69 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // November 9th, 2001

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All Rise...

The Charge

The only movie in history that makes I Spit On Your Grave look like Citizen Kane.

Opening Statement

In the annals of B-movies and its makers there are some that rise heads and shoulders above the rest. Renny Harlin is, technically, a B-movie maker who produces on an A-movie budget (i.e., Deep Blue Sea, Cutthroat Island). John Waters has been crowned the "king of smut" with his deliriously gross and twisted low budget films including Desperate Living, Female Trouble and his crowing achievement Pink Flamingos. The king of B-movies, as most everyone knows, is Edward D. Wood, Jr., maker of the ultimate "bad" movie Plan 9 From Outer Space. Wood is thought to be the worst film director in history, and Plan 9 From Outer Space is know the world over as the non-coveted "worst movie ever made" award.

Now, prepare to have all you've ever known about B-movies swept away. I give you the new king (or should I say queen) of bad movies…I present to you, faithful readers, with Doris Wishman's…

A Night To Dismember!

Facts of the Case

Suspected murderer Vicki Kent (porn actress Samantha Fox) has returned home from an asylum…but is she cured?

The Evidence

A Night To Dismember is a curveball out of nowhere from the canon of bad movies. Who knew this sucker even existed? Just when I thought I knew everything there was to know about sleaze and slime, I come across a movie that is so inept, so shoddily put together, and so…so…stupid, that it's hard to put into words how I feel.

I had no idea who Doris Wishman was before I received A Night To Dismember for review. The only information I have read on her comes from the back of the DVD case for A Night To Dismember, stating that:

"Doris Wishman is a one woman gang who wrote, produced, directed and edited her films in a career spanning four decades. She resisted the courtship of the major studios early on, and the suppressing conventions of mainstream culture and easy critical classification throughout, to produce one of the more idiosyncratic world views ever committed to film."

Hmmm. Interesting. This is my summation of that paragraph:

"Doris Wishman has made numerous low-budget films over her four decade career (though I'd readily call it a 'hobby' more than a 'career'). Wishman probably couldn't get any of her shit produced in Hollywood, and everyone else thought it was to weird, so she produced her own brand of crap independently. After spending years of smoking crushed up urinal cakes and pop rocks candy, Wishman is now considered not only a cruddy film maker, but also a lunatic."

I think that about covers it all. As for A Night To Dismember, this is not only bottom-of-the-barrel moviemaking, but also the grand poobah of all that is cheap and exploitative. There is no real storyline here, just reasons for showing strange camera angles and cheap (as in the .99 cent store) special effects. I'm assuming that the budget for A Night To Dismember was roughly that of a can or sardines seeing as the whole thing is set over bad dubbing, lousy voice-over narration, and cheap film stock.

There is no sane reason to review the acting or storyline in A Night To Dismember. Since this is practically a silent film and the lead actress is a hardcore porn star I think we can all safely assume that Oscar performances (much less community college performances) were not the main goals in this film. Doris Wishman shows that she is as competent a film director as I am an engineer for NASA space shuttles.

As for the rest of the film, all I can say is that if you are ever given the option of either having to sit through five minutes of A Night To Dismember or having rabid wolves gnaw off your private parts in a cold Alaskan winter…pick the wolves.

A Night To Dismember is presented in what appears to be 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen, but who really cares? The whole mess is marred by shaky camera work, out of focus shots, dirt, grain, bleeding and fading colors, terrible editing…A Night To Dismember is a mess and easily the worst print I've ever seen on a DVD (and this includes porn films starring blind midgets and donkeys).

Audio is presented in…Dolby Digital Mono? Surround? The package doesn't say, and in all honestly it doesn't really matter. During multiple scenes I could actually hear the thud of the microphone as effects were used, and the voiceover often changes pitch in mid sentence. The score sounds like stock music, the dubbing is completely out-of-sync, and the soundtrack feels like it was produced circa 1872.

The front of the package for A Night To Dismember states that the DVD includes a commentary with Wishman that is "one of the most entertaining commentary tracks ever recorded." Normally I'd cry foul for such blatant lies, but this time the company is right: A Night To Dismember DOES include one of the most interesting tracks ever recorded. Wishman is a brash, abusive, and obnoxious woman who seems to think she's a real, honest-to-God filmmaker. Her partner on the track is director of photography C. Davis Smith, a poor soul who takes much punishment from the abrasive gal (during the entire film Wishman tells Davis to shut up, quit interrupting her, and pay attention). While A Night To Dismember is one of the worst films ever made, this commentary track was endlessly entertaining. Also included on this disc is a very strange and idiotic promotional trailer for A Night To Dismember.

Now, does anyone have any lava soap and a scrub pad? I feel dirty…

Closing Statement

A Night To Dismember should be shoved up a yak's butt and never seen again by the general public. Or, maybe this is the perfect movie to watch while on a drinking binge to contemplate suicide. Either way, A Night To Dismember is easily a horror movie in the true sense of the word "horror." Doris Wishman, you old bat, please don't ever get behind a film, video, or even Polaroid camera ever again.

The Verdict

Elite Entertainment is slapped with a heavy fine for letting this movie see the light of day. A Night To Dismember is sentenced to…uh, let me see if I can't find that yak somewhere…

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Scales of Justice

Video: 5
Audio: 6
Extras: 25
Story: 1
Judgment: 2

Perp Profile

Studio: Elite Entertainment
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 69 Minutes
Release Year: 1983
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Bad
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Promotional Trailer
• Audio Commentary by Director of Photography C. Davis Smith and Doris Wishman

Accomplices

• IMDb








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