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Note:
The UNofficial reviews tend to be a lot more favorable than the official reviews. The official reviews do not give the movie enough credit. The writers for the "official" reviews obviously: 1) lack imagination, 2) forgot about the tremendous amount of censorship that had to be worked around in order to create the film, 3) forgot about the film's tiny budget and pressure induced deadline, and crutially, 4) were trying to compare this movie with ones containing million dollar special effects, space age architecture and things that couldn't possibly have been achieved during the filming of "Nightmare on the 13th Floor". If the writers would have honestly had given the movie a true unbiased look, they might have seen that, for what it is, the movie is truly spectacular.



[1990.10.31]

When you're a kid, the giddy joy of celebrating Halloween comes from knowing deep in your consciousness it's all really make-believe. But really good horror movies temporarily suspend that knowledge, making you believe what's happening on screen.

And that's the problem with "Nightmare on the 13th Floor," the USA Network's contribution to tonight's wide schedule of Halloween-oriented programs (at 9 on the basic service, with repeats Nov. 4 and 10). Not for one second do you believe in this original film's hackneyed premise.

The disbelief extends further. How could four respectable actors -- Michele ("L.A. Law") Greene, James Brolin, Louise Fletcher and John ("Cagney & Lacey") Karlen -- be involved in such a mess?

For the record, Greene plays a reporter who checks into an old Victorian hotel in Los Angeles to research a travel feature. During an elevator mishap, she thinks she sees a murder taking place in an eerie gas-lit hallway. But the hotel doctor (Brolin), head housekeeper (Fletcher) and a police detective (Karlen) all pooh-pooh the story.

Naturally, the reporter snoops around and discovers there once was a 13th floor in the building, long since sealed off after a series of ax murders in 1901. A satanic cult comes into play and . . . well, you finish. There's not much mystery, the special effects are not very special and the acting is little better than you'd find in your local haunted house.

Written by:
Steve McKerrow

[1990.10.31]

Slick, stupid and not scary, "Nightmare on the 13th Floor" (8 p.m. Wednesday, USA) stars Michelle ("L.A. Law") Greene as a travel writer who moves into the lavish Wessex Hotel to research an article and discovers that its problems are more serious than slow room service: There`s a satanic cult conducting ritualistic murders on the hotel`s 13th floor. James Brolin is the cult leader in this poor excuse for a movie.

Written by:
Rick Kogan

[1990.10.31]

Michele Greene (L.A. Law) plays a travel writer who checks into a grand Victorian hotel to review it. Now, when you or I have a bad hotel experience, it's because the sheets are dirty or the room service is slow. But when Michele Greene has a bad hotel experience, she finds...a Satanic cult led by an ax murderer who has turned the hotel staff into blood-drinking zombies!! Try getting mints on your pillow with this crew.

The Halloween thriller Nightmare on the 13th Floor should have been a hoot. Instead, it's a drag, hokey and talky and jerky. At the climax, the Satanist leader comes at Greene, swinging his ax and moaning, "You're number 16, the last one I need your life!"

I have a question: If something naughty happens anywhere in America on the night this movie is shown, will one of those right-wing fundamentalist groups that deplore Halloween and want to ban heavy metal sue the USA Network for promoting Satanism? I'd hate to encourage censorship, but if something legal could be done to keep this cable channel from making these awful TV movies...D-

Written by:
Ken Tucker

[1990.10.31]

The premise of an innocent protagonist accidentally stumbling across some kind of devilish cult has driven all sorts of creepy films: "Rosemary's Baby," "Race With the Devil," "Harvest Home," "The Wicker Man," "All the President's Men," et al.

To that frightful list do not by any stretch of imagination add "Nightmare on the 13th Floor," a pathetically unspooky TV movie airing at 9 tonight on cable's USA Network.

The idea isn't a bad one: What if all those hotels that skip from the 12th to the 14th floor, supposedly from superstition, really do have a 13th floor, where bad things happen to good people? This hotel's 13th floor, however, is the sort of "ooh, scary!" environ where you'd expect to find Count Floyd, not Beelzebub. Hokey Halloween.

Michele Greene ("L.A. Law")--hitting an absolute career low already--plays a travel-magazine journalist who starts to notice strange things while freeloading in a classic L.A. hotel, like the fact that other guests check in but they don't check out. Despite a busy lobby, the place seems to have a higher vacancy rate than Stephen King's Overlook; pursued by sluggish, walk-don't-run satanists, Greene is able to run around the place for minutes banging on doors without raising a soul.

Greene hits one note: perky. She tries for terrified later on in the proceedings, but never manages to look too worried, despite the rapidly advancing death rate around her. Her performance shines, however, compared to the I-hope-no-one-sees-me-in-this laissez-faire lassitude of Louise Fletcher and the half-asleep hamminess of James Brolin. Poor Brolin is so unthreatening as an ax-wielding physician that he is reduced to whining for Greene to come back and be bludgeoned: "Elaine, Elaine, you can't do this to me! Your life makes me immortal! Please, I'll live forever!"

Count your blessings, James. To sit through "Nightmare on the 13th Floor" (which has repeat airings Nov. 4 and 10) is truly to know what it's like to have lived forever.

Written by:
Chris Willman

[1990.10.29]

And at 9 p.m. Wednesday on USA Network, Nightmare on the 13th Floor weaves an original tale of ritualistic killing by a satanic cult.

...

Finally, USA presents a world premiere Halloween thriller, Nightmare on the 13th Floor, Wednesday night. L.A. Law star Michele Greene portrays a travel writer who unwittingly uncovers cult murders regularly conducted on the 13th floor of the Wessex Hotel. Emmy winner James Brolin and Oscar winner Louise Fletcher play hotel employees who try to deter her investigation.

Written by:
Diane Joy Moca