Home » Welcome to Spring Break is a Lost ’80s Title That Should Stay Lost [Retrospective]

Welcome to Spring Break is a Lost ’80s Title That Should Stay Lost [Retrospective]

Welcome to Spring Break

In Welcome to Spring Break, Diablo, a sadistic gang leader from a small tourist town is executed by way of electric chair. But, wait. He may be back from the grave and slaying spring breakers with his electrically charged motorcycle seat. As young tourists begin turning up dead, the local authorities become more and more convinced that they are dealing with Diablo’s wraith. The fun-loving spring breakers will need to steer clear of the ballistic biker baddie if they intend to escape with their stupid little lives.

Welcome to Spring Break (originally released as Nightmare Beach)is a really awful movie. The film was clearly shot on no budget. The acting, the script, the set pieces, the effects, and the direction are all very low rent and offer no redeeming qualities. The film occasionally veers into ‘So Bad it’s Good’ territory but it’s mostly just really, really bad.

The character development is nonexistent. And the key players are all reduced to mere caricatures of ‘80s slasher film stereotypes. That is largely based on the weakness of the script but can also be attributed to very poor performances from almost every cast member. The only performer in the film that offers anything of value is John Saxon (A Nightmare on Elm Street). It’s a mystery why Saxon took the role in the first place but regardless of his motivations, he is one of the only things about the film that isn’t terrible. Other than Saxon, the film’s cast is made up of a bunch of no-name actors, most of whom didn’t go on to do anything to speak of after this atrocity.

Italian director Umberto Lenzi directed Welcome to Spring Break. However, he was (apparently) so embarrassed by this heap of crap that he took on the pseudonym Harry Kirkpatrick. Even a director known for making B-grade exploitation flicks didn’t want to be associated with this low budget slasher.

In addition to directing, Lenzi also co-penned the script under the same assumed name. Vittorio Rambaldi and James Justice (who worked under a pseudonym) also worked on the film’s poor attempt at a screenplay, which feels like it took about an afternoon to write. It is unoriginal, features an asinine twist that makes very little sense, and offers nothing of substance to the viewer.

The film’s soundtrack is even bad. The track that plays along with the opening credits is vaguely reminiscent of Debbie Gibson, only worse. And the rest of the songs that play during Welcome to Spring Break are as bad or worse than the opening track.

The effects are (not surprisingly) also poor. Some low-budget ‘80s slasher films were able to get by on body count and gore. But that is not the case with Welcome to Spring Break. The gore is too tame to outweigh the picture’s numerous shortcomings. And the body count isn’t nearly high enough to make the viewer forget what an utter load of crap they are subjecting themselves to.

If you have made it this far without seeing Welcome to Spring Break, consider yourself lucky. It is a poorly put together slasher effort with bad acting, a generic soundtrack, an uninspired script, and nearly nothing of value. If your curiosity gets the better of you and you want to check it out, the flick  received a DVD from LionsGate a few years back. Said release contains the awesome special feature that is ‘full screen version of the film’.


Director(s): Umberto Lenzi
Writer(s): Umberto Lenzi, Vittorio Rambaldi, James Justice
Stars: Nicolas de Toth, Sarah Buxton
Year: 1988
Studio/ Production Co: Elpico S.A.
Budget: Unknown
Language: English
Length: 90 Minutes
Sub-Genre: Slasher

Liked it? Take a second to support Tyler Doupé on Patreon!
Share This Post
Written by Tyler Doupé
Tyler Doupe' is the managing editor at Wicked Horror. He has previously penned for Fangoria Mag, Rue Morgue Mag, FEARnet, Fandango, ConTV, Ranker, Shock Till You Drop, ChillerTV, ComingSoon, and more. He lives with his husband, his dog, and cat hat(s).
Have your say!