Sunday Streaming:: Nomads (1986)

Can I recommend 75% of this movie and warn you about the remaining 25%? If you can appreciate a thoroughly eighties supernatural thriller complete with a shamelessly obtrusive soundtrack, grievous apparel and a near non-stop barrage of light shafts shooting through Venetian blinds then you, like me, will want to see this. The rub is that to experience these wonderful things you’ll also have to endure PIERCE BROSNAN speaking with an excruciating French accent. It sounds easier than it is. My tip is to use your imagination and pretend that it is not happening, that’s what I did. I just kept a straight face and willed myself into hearing something different than what I was. It’s worth the effort because as mawkish as this movie can sometimes be, it also, occasionally, hits a profoundly eerie note especially if you watch it late at night when your brain is partially defenseless. There’s a scene in this flick involving a nun that is straight out of THE SENTINEL. I’m not exactly sure what it meant or why it happened but it spooked me all the same. In fact, there’s much creativity on display involving the mixing of perspectives and realities, even if every artsy stab doesn’t successfully hit its mark. I’m even going to forgive the near nuclear level of soapy melodrama it secretes because I’m rationalizing that it adds to the dream like tone. But again, you must brace yourself for the accent.

You’d never know it but NOMADS is about a group of wandering evil spirits haunting L.A. in the guise of MTV-style hooligans. Once you become aware of them you’re better off dead because they will not stop harassing you and they will even drive motorcycles into your house! There’s a lot of delectable mumbo jumbo about these rascals being attracted to places where awful things have occurred and about Los Angeles being built on a desert that no one should call home. As far as my needs are concerned though, the most important thing to know about this demonic tribe is that they are portrayed by the likes of ADAM ANT, JOSIE COTTON and I shit you not, MARY WORONOV!!! Witnessing WORONOV dancing on the hood of a car is worth enduring a thousand phony baloney accents! Sorry, I don’t mean to beat a dead horse, it’s just that I’m convinced that BROSNAN’s accent is solely responsible for this movie being marginalized and worse still, it’s really so unnecessary to the story! (Seriously, if I was a producer who saw a rough cut I would have got on the horn and demanded the whole thing be re-dubbed.) Sans grueling accent, you may not have a blockbuster but at least you’ve got a stylish, super-quirky, mind-trippy, cult-oddity that ridiculous though it may be, leaves a uniquely haunting impression. Frankly I’m a little surprised that writer/ director JOHN McTIERNAN was ever allowed to work again, but I’m so glad he was because he later delivered the classics DIE HARD and PREDATOR! Tres bien!

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pipt (@pipt)
8 years ago

I LOVE Nomads! I think I rented on VHS in the ’80’s about 100 times. Watched it again a couple of years ago and, you’re right, Pierce Brosnan’s accent was so distracting. Still, cool stylised ’80’s movie, would be a good double bill with The Hunger!

stevil1981 (@stevil1981)
8 years ago

Unk, you magnificent bastard! you just inadvertently solved a NTT for me. Never actually watched the movie but came across the trailer years ago and obviously didn’t take in the name but the moment I clicked play I knew… Damn, I love that feeling!