I once tended bar in a casino. One of my customers (who was both an alcoholic and a gambleholic) once made a reference to a “Chicago bankroll,” which he maintained was a wad of one-dollar bills wrapped inside of a larger denomination bill — thus giving one the illusion of a big hunk of dough. While the bankroll has many variations — several of which are very politically incorrect (although the very premise of such is not exactly politically correct to begin with, so don‘t blame me, folks) — there is no doubt in my mind that Ulli Lommel’s Nightstalker was funded by such.
For those of you who have never seen a moving picture bearing a “Directed by Ulli Lommel” credit, allow me to sum it up in three words: you are fortunate. Lommel, a German-born filmmaker, began his movie career making them artsy flicks. In 1980, he directed The Boogeyman — a film that, for reasons unknown to this day, was a hit. Since then, Lommel has churned out one crapola feature after another (usually handling most of the pre and post-production work himself, but attributing it to many aliases), with his most recent ventures being poorly shot-on-video shitfests based on famous serial killers.
Nightstalker is absolutely unwatchable, even if you’re just looking for some cheap laughs. Set in the good ol’ early ‘80s, Ulli makes no attempt to hide or disguise the fact that it was shot in modern times and gives us the (highly inaccurate) tale of a young psychopath (the interestingly-named Adolph Cortez, who reads his lines like English is his second or third language) who roams the streets of Los Angeles shooting people. That’s the whole point of the film, people: a guy walks around, sucking on lollipops, shooting people. As simple a plotline like that might be, Ulli of course has to live up to his “standards” (cough, cough) of padding his film out as much as possible, be it with shaky half-assed artistic photography or corny half-assed attempts at dialogue — most of which is indecipherable due to the film’s piss poor captured-with-a-camcorder quality.