Nikos the Impaler (2003)

Directed by: Andreas Schnaas

Written by: Ted Geoghegan


Joe Zaso ... Frank Heller
Felissa Rose ... Sandra Kane
Andreas Schnaas ... Nikos
Brenda Abbandandolo ... Daisy
Joseph Michael Lagana ... Pete Whittenberger
Mike Russo ... Ronnie
Dennis Keeley ... Jason
Steve Moramarco .... Mario
Tina Kay ... Olivia Bancroft
Sal Sirchia ... Don Cole

Special Appearances:

Roxanne Michaels ... Officer Felice
Darian Caine ... Hollie
Lloyd Kaufman ... Himself
Debbie Rochon ... Herself
Bela B. Felsenheimer ... Himself
Tina Krause ... Eva Braun

Release Dates: Weekend of Fear Festival: March 8, 2003 (Nuremberg, Germany); The Indepdendent Days Karlsruhe: March 29, 2003; The Splatterday Night Fever: April 11, 2003 (Saarbruuken, Germany); Sitges Film Festival: December 7, 2003 (Spain)




All of Romania feared Nikos (Andreas Schnaas), a bloodthirsty barbarian and cannibal, murderer of many.
But one moonlit night, a courageous few, with torches clutched in their hands, put the ungodly monster to an end by ripping out his insides.
Yet with his dying words, the maniacal Nikos claimed that not even death would stop him and he would return one day.

It is then present day and Nikos' mask and outfit is at a Manhattan famed Bancroft Gallery with other historical stuff there as it is a Romanian art exhibition.
A University teacher named Frank Heller (Joe Zaso) invites his students and his girlfriend Sandra Kane (Felissa Rose) to the museum and to understand the history of Nikos.
The students all get a kick out of what's there since they are into violence but Daisy (Brenda Abbandandolo) tells them that the legend of Nikos may not be a myth as some legends are true.
Suddenly in the hallways of the gallery there is a botched robbery attempt and somehow he accidentally brought Nikos back to life as the legend foretold and Nikos is hungry for blood!

One by one he slaughters people by slicing them in half, decapitatind and other grizzly murders he can commit.
The people are trapped in the gallery and only Frank and Sandra make it out alive.

Frank and Sandra are on the run all over Manhattan to try and escape the bloodthirsty Nikos and not even the police can stop him as Nikos kills them, some locals at a theatre, video store and a fitness centre.


An interesting prologue as there's a no budget black and white prologue in which we spot the sacrifice of Nikos as well as the gruesome moments that happens during the struggling moments that we see in the flick, Plus a real gross out moment before this barbarian dies which was for shock value as well.
Then there's a nice clear opening sequence taking place on the Manthattan bridge which was nicely photographed as this was a nice look at New York.
Then we have a secene with the lead character Frank Heller instructing his class and the students interations on the legend of Nikos as some of it looked amusing with the jokings and wit involved and some of it looked pretty stale and uninspired while watching all of this draw into the scene.
Some fun touches with a discussion between Frank and his girlfriend Sandra Kane on going to the museum on the history of Nikos and his slaughterings. This looked rather amusing to watch that I must admit.
Interresting conversations from everyone at the museum with fair humoress one liners especially coming from an arrogant one named Mario and the owner Olivia Bancroft whispering profanity in his ear which was a memorable scene offering a decent sense of humor.
Also good discussions with Daisy discussing Nikos and the legend of him returning as well as Frank doubting it after the centuries that has passed by which works in well for a horror flick.
Interesting close up shots on a criminal shooting one of the security guards and the results to the bloody gunshots as this looked mildly suspenseful as well as nice inside shots on a wooden crater that shows Nikos' mask and blood dripping down in which this leaves a clue that something deadly is going to happen. Plus a nice shot on Nikos' hand crashing through the crater grabbing at someone as well as the slayings which is a fine start off to a splatter flick.
A nice moment when things are silent while Olivia checks up on things and spots some gruesome dead bodies as well as Nikos appearing before her as it has a nice cheesy horror feel to all of this. Then more gruesome moments starting to happen.
We even spot a cheesy but nifty scene when Nikos throws his blade like a propellor towards another victim in which this was well put into the story with the slapstick moments that go on here.
We spot a situation when the surviving gang tries to run up the stiars to get out of the museum and one of them gets grabbed by Nikos with good gruesome results which was well done and can please the gorehounds.
Great slapstick timing when both Frank and Sandra going to an officer telling him they're being chased by a maniac and his response was "Welcome to New York" in a goofy way which was impressive for a film such as this one along with them trying to talk to him on the moments and him not believing their story. Plus a good moment when they point out this maniac as well as a car nearly charging towards him and he uses his sword to blast a laser blowing this vehicle up which looked impressive as well as cheesy effects on this which looked totally computerised but it looked fun to watch at the same time if you're in the mood for a no budget type like this one.
We spot a good still moment with two employees at a health club as one of them named Hollie is about to take a shower before closing time in which there's close drawing cards of her undressing and taking a shower which killed too much time but this was supposed to leave an impression that she will be slayed while this goes on as in most horror flicks that is the case.
Also there's another employee that tries to force Nikos to get out as this looked corny and cheesy to watch but yet an impressive killing moment when Nikos uses a big weight against him as by how it's done looked like a good murder weapon.
A nice moment when Sandra spots Nikos as he storms across a sidewalk going towards a lesbian bar as this looked campy to watch along with good close up shots on lesbians in the skanky looking bar making out etc. as well as a butchy one trying to come on strong towards Sandra when she tries to warn them as this looked strongly put into the story.
Effective and campy moment when two police officers go to a movie theatre to see if things are abnormal due to Nikos which was interesting when it shows posters and movie listings by Andreas Schnaas which is a nice tribute since he's involved with this flick as well as the police having corny discussions wondering why people weren't screaming watching a horror film and other trashy one liners like that. Then good shots on slaughtered corpses in the movie theatre when they shine a flashlight on them along with Nikos himself coming in for the killing offering nice trashy horror timing once again.
The best moments are yet to come when Nikos goes to a video rental store using his magis on movie posters with interesting special effects on what looks like characters from the movies coming to life as that's on what it seems at first which offers more campiness fun to the story.
Also witty interactins on bumbling employees at the store as well as Nikos doing them in including customers that are b-film celebrities from Troma Team talking amongst themselves discussing movies like Toxic Avenger before Nikos coming in for the kill as this was a well remembered moment for the viewers that saw this. It's a must see indeed.
Plus nice effects on some smoke inside the video store and the characters that Nikos brought out of the posters springing out including a zombie with some police struggling against this being as this looked impressive to watch.
Perfect moment during a ceremony where these character come to join Nikos which was nicely drawn into the story as well as Frank and Sandra trying to put a stop to everything during the final moments which was full of action and fun to watch. However there's cornballish moments like Hitler coming into the story as well which looked awfully silly. Well Nikos put an end to this character he brought to life.
Bottom line that this this was a typical made on video flick that offered nothing but slayings and gore with a weak plot. Yet, I admired this film for what it was. It almost reminded me of one of those Troma Team type horrors as this one had alot of tongue and cheek and cornball dialogue.
The film kind of reminded me of a very bad Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan clone.
There's alot of pointless dialogues during a historical museum which was probably an excuse to make the film run for a while before the killer arises and does his slayings and attempting to have a bit of a plot before it becomes a killing spree which it failed to do so.. It is a fun party flick to watch with friends but not meant to be taken seriously. There's alot of graphic gory effects which looked interesting plus some cheesy computerised effects too. It's a movie so bad it's good but only if you're in a partying type of mood with friends is the only time to watch a film like this. However, it did seem to have a minor cult fanbase surprisingly since alot of gorehounds who enjoyed splatter flicks got a kick out of this one. Also, the killer wears an armor mask to carry on the tradition of any kind of killer doing away his victims like you see Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees do except this killer really takes it to the extreme when he slaughters his victims. When this killer is walking down a street in New York was way too corny and not convincing at all due to a lack of a budget. Of course a door was left open for a sequel during the ending of this film.

The acting for the most part is pretty bad and amateurish. Joe Zaso (Frank Heller) seemed a bit stiff at first when teaching his students or saying his lines but seemed to get into character in a mediocre fashion later on as he showed off a nice presence in his role as well as trying his best to show some energy into whatever he was doing. He wasn't the best by any means though.
Felissa Rose (Sandra Kane) seemed to have alot of fun in her role and tried hard to get into the spunk of things with her bubbly attitude at first but she is as always over the top with her freaked out behavior and screaming along with her frusterated attitude. She was never really a character actress and stiff with her lines. She seems a little better in this one than other work I've seen her in which says very little. You might get a kick out of her cussing out here and there.
Andreas Schnaas (Nikos) was wooden in his growly voice as the evil mutant barbarian but does know how to swagger towards someone before doing them in and his blocking is in fair shape when he swings his sword. His acting abilities really need improvemtns big time.
Brenda Abbandandolo (Daisy) who had the main supporting role did a good job as she was probably the best out of them all. She had the brainy college girl looks as well as coming across wisely with her words as well as having a good level headed seriousness by what she was talking about since she seemed to study this part well. When she is scared stiff she is okay but needed a bit of a push to make those moments more convincing.
Joseph Michael Lagana (Pete Whittenberger) seemed to have the right goofy student looks as well as showing off okay wit on what he's talking about in the classroom or museum scene's but at the same time was amateurish within whatever he does at the same time especially his death scene which looked lamely performed.
Mike Russo (Ronnie) was not meant to be a character actor in any way as he tries too hard and is over the top within whatever he does here. Also he devastating reactions and sobbing was terribly performed or when he freaks out trying to get away. Sorry folks he just doesn't cut it right.
Steve Moramarco (Mario) seemed to have pulled his weight a little better as he totally shows it off as someone whom is an arrogant and negative person at the museum in which you wouldn't want to cross as well as not knowing how to be nice. He draws this all in greatly and had the right looks and appeal to this. Yet when he screams or freaks out at the end of his role he is quite off.
Tina Kay (Olivia Bancroft) seemed to breeze through nicely as the owner of the museum having a good sharp attitude as well as having a nice smooth clear voice and seeming to be getting into her role in a decent fashion. Seems to do well as a level headed type but yet her screaming was terrible and very low on energy during the end of her performance.

There is a full nude scene on moan queen Darian Caine's character taking a shower at a Fitness Centre.

This was the goriest slasher film I've ever seen (Until I saw Violent Shit).
You got it
Intestines being ripped out
Chopped off heads
Bodies split in two
Faces and arms torn off.
Everything that is graphic and gruesome.
This was probably one of the reasons why the flick was not rated as it would qualify an X apart it from being an indie film.

A great heavy metal soundtrack composed by Function Zero and Marc Trinkhaus with heavy guitar riffs during the slaugherings giving it a real cheesy balls to the wall feel. However there's alot of techno music in other spots which sounded incredibly annoying and didn't seem to fit into the story. There's some nice hissing and ochey sounds for the ceremony near the end of the flick which sounded greatly done. Also there's scratchy sounds during the prologue of the film having echoey grungy effects which is unique but at the same time quite trashy sounding. The opening score had a somewhat cheesy almost disco like theme almost seemed to borrow a bit off those 70's crime shows like Shaft for example with a mix of current music too. Didn't seem to fit the opening unfortunately.
We have a metal songtrack by indie bands but we hear a a song during the closing credits by Andreas Schnaas himself which rocks!

Sandra: We're not gonna take anymore of your shit Nikos! We're from New York!