Nomads (1986) – By Mark Hite

Have you ever gone by a group of punk kids and thought to yourself,
“Man are they for real?” The movie Nomads will make you rethink paying
attention to them at all.

Nomads, staring Pierce Brosnan and Lesley-Anne Down, first came out in
1986. The movie itself was not a huge box office success. Top Gun,
Crocodile Dundee, and Platoon were already part of an impressive array
of flicks gracing the big screen that year. In simple terms, this movie
didn’t stand a chance.

The movie opens up with an overworked Dr. Flax (Lesley-Anne Down)
attending a disturbed patient (Pierce Brosnan). The patient is battered
up pretty bad and speaking gibberish in French. While she tries to
examine him, he sits up and bites her ear. Shortly thereafter the
patient dies leaving everyone wondering who he was. After getting
stitched up, Flax goes home for some well deserved rest. Immediately
she starts having unexplainable visions which are definitely not her

It turns out the strange patient she attended the day before was a
famed French anthropologist named Jean Charles Pommier. Flax starts to
go deeper into her strange visions and ends up passing out at work.
Flax goes full fledged into dementia and starts to have flashbacks
about Pommier’s life. It is at this point Flax leaves the hospital and
Pommier’s story comes into focus.

Weeks before his death, Pommier had just moved into a new home with his
wife. Immediately he finds out they are not welcome in the
neighborhood. A group of thugs in a black van vandalize his garage door
and continuously speed by his house. Pommier, being the inquisitive
anthropologist, grabs his camera one day and follows the van.

He snaps several pictures of the gang who are dressed up in 80s new
wave fashions. The gang run through town indiscriminately terrorizing
the common folk. Pommier keeps his distance but finally has enough when
the gang kills someone and drops the body into a trash bin. He is
chased away by the gang but later catches up with them and takes
several close up shots. Pommier develops the pictures and to his
surprise, the gang did not appear in them.

During all of this, the movie goes in and out from Pommier’s story to
Flax’s dementia. It turns out she is reliving his last few moments on
earth in full detail.. Meanwhile, Flax’s co-workers are looking for her
and find out she had called a place for the definition of the word
Inuit. The Inuit are evil Eskimo spirits that wonder the world looking
for victims to notice them.

Pommier’s visions continue to haunt Flax as she finds out how the
spirits terrorized him until his demise. Pommier is confronted by the
spirit of a nun who tells him to flee his house and his life. After
this vision he takes a crow bar to one of the Inuit but finds out it
has no effect. All of these visions finally lead Flax to Pommier’s old
home. It turns out that her role in all of this was to help his wife
escape from the Inuit. They do this successfully but find out that a
new, and familiar, member of the Inuit’s has been added at the end of
the movie.

The movie itself has a tendency to be very confusing. Flax’s visions go
in and out so the viewer never knows who’s reality they’re are
experiencing at any given point. However, this goes nicely with the
theme of the movie which is reality may be more distorted than you
think. The constant theme of what is there may not be is drilled into
the viewers head. The images are and themes are very dark throughout
the movie which goes well with the bleak plot line. Be warned though,
this is more of a psychological thriller than a horror film.

This film was directed by John McTiernan who at the time was also
directing a movie due on in 1987 called Predator staring Arnold
Schwarzenegger. It would be in 1988 when McTiernan gave us what some
consider to be the ultimate action flick, Die Hard.