After I tried to watch Bad Sister, the next film on my DVR was Break-Up Nightmare, a film which premiered on Lifetime on March 6th.
Break-Up Nightmare is a film from The Asylum, the same wonderful people who have given us the Sharknado films, Wuthering High School, and Santa Claws. As I’ve made clear on this site, I absolutely love Asylum films. Though their films may be low-budget, they’re often more entertaining than the big budget epics that are released by the major studios. Full of inside jokes and deliberately over-the-top storylines, Asylum films are the perfect party movies. These are movies that demand to be seen with a group of your closest and snarkiest friends. Needless to say, when Break-Up Nightmare opened with that “The Asylum presents…” credit, I was excited.
Break-Up Nightmare is actually a little bit more serious than your typical Asylum film but then again, it’s not about flying sharks or talking kittens. Instead, Break-Up Nightmare deals with a serious subject. Or, I should say, at the least first 45 minutes deal with a serious subject.
Recent high school graduate Rachel (Celesta DeAstis) is taking a year off before going to college, mostly so she can work and actually be able to afford to go to the best music school possible. Her jerky jock boyfriend, Troy (Mark Grossman), has received a football scholarship and will be leaving in the fall. However, before Mark leaves, he convinces Rachel to pose for some pictures (yep, those type of pictures) so he won’t forget her while he’s away. Rachel later asks him to delete the pictures but soon discovers that Troy didn’t do so. She also discovers that Troy has been getting texts from another girl and she dumps him. When Troy starts to get belligerent, Rachel’s mother — Barbara (Jennifer Dorogi) — kicks him out of the house.
Free of Troy, Rachel looks forward to getting on with her life. Except, of course, people are looking at her strangely. At work, scummy frat boys show up and ask her provocative questions. At the movies, a creepy middle-aged man sits down behind her and asks, “How’s it going?” Finally, Rachel’s best friend, Ryan (Freeman Lyon), shows her a revenge porn site called LifeRuinerz.com. On the site, Rachel sees the pictures that Troy took of her.
Rachel’s life starts to spiral out of control as, apparently, everyone in the world has either seen the picture or heard about them. When she goes to the police, she’s told that the cops are busy solving real crimes and don’t have time to help someone who voluntarily posed for smutty pictures. At church, the sermon is about the dangers of lust and a judgmental old woman glares at Rachel and tells her that she should dress more modestly. (Been there.) Someone breaks into the house and spray paints “Whore” on the garage door. When Barbara demands that the site remove her daughter’s pictures, she soon finds that her face has been photoshopped into a pornographic image and she loses her teaching job.
And, through it all, Troy continues to deny having put the pictures on the site. It’s easy to suspect Troy because he’s such a jerk but then suddenly, he’s arrested on child pornography charges. Rachel only has to look at one picture to realize that, just as happened to Barbara, Troy’s face has been photoshopped onto someone else. But if Troy isn’t the one responsible, who is?
Meanwhile, pervs across the world are sitting in front of their laptops and watching Barbara undress, the result of a hidden webcam that someone has placed in the house…
So, Break-Up Nightmare starts out as a fairly serious look at revenge porn and it actually makes a lot of important points, the big one being that the whole “pay us and we’ll remove your picture” thing is a scam. There were certain parts of Break-Up Nightmare that hit close to home and made me cringe because, quite frankly, we’ve all been there and we’ve all done things without considering the consequences. But, of course, this is an Asylum Film and, once the important lessons have been taught, the film goes totally batshit crazy in that way that we all love. Suddenly, the film isn’t just about revenge porn. It’s about a diabolical stalker who has come up with a needlessly complicated scheme to accomplish a single goal.
And you know what?
We wouldn’t expect or want anything less from either The Asylum or Lifetime. All you people who complain about plausibility or plot holes, you can go watch another network and think about how you’ve got it all figure out. It’s the implausible melodrama that makes a movie like Break-Up Nightmare fun.
That said, the main reason I liked Break-Up Nightmare was because of the very realistic and truthful depiction of the loving, protective, and occasionally testy relationship between Barbara and Rachel. Jennifer Dorogi and Celesta DeAstis were totally believable as mother and daughter. Barbara may have been overprotective but she was also not going to let anyone get away with hurting her daughter. Barbara basically spent the entire movie kicking ass and it was a lot of fun to watch.
Go Break-up Nightmare.