Based on a true story that filled Argentine headlines in 1981, NIGHTMARE'S PASSENGERS paints a convincing portrait of the disintegration of a family from within. The film opens on an empty car parked on a side street, blood dripping out of the trunk. The bodies of Luppi and his wife,
Bruzzo, are inside. Their two sons are arrested, and the youngest, Lenn, tells the story in flashback under interrogation. It seems their father, a Jewish executive in an arms firm with extensive ties to the military junta, has a closet streak of homosexuality. His wife is an alcoholic
nymphomaniac who is constantly trying to seduce her own son. Their children, two sons and a daughter, are horrified as their parents stage orgies in their home and they try to straighten them out, but to no avail. NIGHTMARE'S PASSENGERS ends with the parents realizing just how low they've sunk.
The film leaves open the question of who killed the parents, and when it was released, the actual case was still in the courts, though evidence pointed away from the children and to a right-wing paramilitary death squad. Technically, the film is up to the generally high standards of Argentine
cinema, and the performances impressively illustrate the weaknesses in the parents, particularly Bruzzo, and the helplessness of their children. Based on the book written by the younger son (with the help of a journalist) that exposed his parents' self-destructive habits and connections to the
military junta's "dirty war."
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