More than ever before, TV & Film have become an essential source of escapism from our daily lives. As the COVID-19 virus continues to be Public Enemy #1, we have spent a record-setting amount of hours devouring every bit of content that can help distract us from the very real-life horrors of the outside world. Every morning we are greeted with rising death tolls, increased infection rates, and store shelves still empty of essential supplies. But amidst that chaotic news cycle of scary statistics and petrifying projections, there are truly uplifting stories that show the strength and compassion humans are capable of in times of severe unrest.
For every alarming announcement from the World Health Organization, there is a story of a local business stepping up to manufacture hand sanitizer on the same equipment that, only weeks ago, was used to distilled gin. For every news bite about persons charged with spreading the virus intentionally, there are stories of neighborhood orchestras performing from the balconies of their high rise for everyone locked inside to enjoy.
We are currently living through what will surely be our generation’s most traumatic event. While most of us (myself included) are flip-flopping between debilitating dread and manic optimism, there are hundreds of thousands of frontline workers providing healthcare, stocking grocery store shelves, and responding to emergencies. We call these people Heroes – not to pat them on the back, but because they run into frays like this while the rest of us flee for our lives. Crises such as this remind us that there are people out there who have made it their entire mission in life to serve and protect the public.
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As you’re reading this, an overworked politician is trying to talk down a crowd of scared citizens from rioting and looting; A tired paramedic is racing toward a hospital in an enclosed space with a highly-contagious patient; A police officer is trying not to think about whether or not he has just been infected after a thief spit in his face while being handcuffed.
If escapism is supposed to give us a break from the world we know exists, there are no films more fantastical than ones that portray emergency service workers as anything more than heroic. This month at Nightmare on Film Street, we invite you to walk the scummy streets of crime-infested cities, to see the world through a dark prism of bad and worse, and to wallow in the sadistic mind of criminals hiding in plain sight. This April, we’re focusing our attention on cops & robbers, law-abiding citizens & criminal masterminds, corrupt police officers & violent vigilantes.
As always, the amazing editorial team here at Nightmare on Film Street are working hard to help you revisit and re-evaluate your favorite Cops ‘n’ Killers, including Nancy‘s Father, Lieutenant Thompson of A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Patrick Bateman of American Psycho (2000). We’ll also be defending movies that have gone criminally underrated for ar too long, including William Friedkin’s Cruising (1980), and *ahem* Chris Sivertson’s I Know Who Killed Me (2007). Sprinkled in and amongst retrospective, reviews, and breakdowns of the tropes we’ve come to love (Hello, cops-gone-rogue and bad guys with over-expository monologues) we hope that we can introduce you to your new favorite movie. Abandon your fears of the real world with us, with only for an hour or two, by exploring the world of cinema. Let these films entertain you and distract you because sometimes there is no better cure for your concerns than Escapism. Fill your prescription, take as needed, and consult your local film critic immediately if symptoms persist.