24 July, 2014


I purchased this hardbox clamshell prerecord from MILLION DOLLAR VIDEO CORP. in Los Angeles in 1994.

This delirious, highly stylized 1982 remake of NIGHTMARE COME AT NIGHT remains one of my favorite Jess Franco films from his visually striking Golden Films Internacional period. Lina Romay plays the role of the victim of a criminal plot engineered by a phony nightclub hypnotist (Daniel Katz, dubbed by Franco regular Antonio Mayans). The female lead in the original was memorably played by Diana Lorys (GRITOS EN LA NOCHE, RESEDENICA PARA ESPIAS, THE BLOODY JUDGE). This version has a rather more upbeat ending and is done in a totally different visual style, emphasizing saturated tropical colors and Dutch camera angles, as illustrated in the caps. 
Drug party: Tilt Camera.

[From the Video Box copy on the back cover: "A beautiful who captivates the minds of men. A businessman whose wife in constantly complaining about how little time he dedicates to her. A professional photographer who will do anything for money. These are the elements for a movie in which sex and erotism {sic} are only surpassed by the tension and horror of a crime." I guess this kind of sums up the plot and characters. I'm not sure if the "beautiful" woman is meant to be Lina Romay or Carmen Carrion, the latter a villainous in the mystery story. The plot is basically the same of NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT, with the exception of the "happier" ending, which is boosted by the sudden appearance of Jess Franco himself, as the heroine's therapist, who shows up with a small army of heavily armed police.

Some of the music is recycled from Daniel White's trademark score for LA COMTESSE NOIRE (1973) aka FEMALE VAMPIRE. NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT may have stronger lead performances by Paul Muller and Ms. Loryr, and a more compelling score by the great Bruno Nicolai (which maybe my personal favorite of this scores for Jess Franco) but MIL SEXOS.... has an arrested visual style of its own which completely immerses the viewer into the disordered mind of Irina, who shares the name the is played by the same actress who portrayed the title character in LA COMTESSE NOIRE. This film illustrates that while Jess Franco may have a tendency to tell the same stories over and over, he manages each time time he repeats them to conduct fascinating variations in style, tone and atmosphere.

A good quality version can be found on Youtube, albeit in Spanish language only. When I interviewed Jess Franco about this film in 2004, he called it one of his "black" films ie Film Noir, and expressed surprise that I singled it out for praise. 

This title really needs a HD release with English language options. More caps, taken from the MILLION DOLLAR VIDEO Spanish language VHS, and comments will follow.

(C) 2014 Robert Monell

No comments: