Night Has a Thousand Desires (1984)

Comments Off on Night Has a Thousand Desires (1984) 11 August 2017


Studio: Mondo Macabro 

Theatrical Release: March 5, 1984 (Spain)

Blu Ray Release: December 13, 2016

Director: Jess Franco

Not Rated

Review by Travis North

Jess Franco alert! That’s more of a warning for anyone unfamiliar with Franco’s insanely expansive filmography. If you are aware of his work, you are either going to skip this review instantly or read on to find how well Mondo Macabro deals with the prolific pervert.

Night Has a Thousand Desires begins in a nightclub where “The Great Fabian” is performing some hypnosis tricks on Irina (frequent Franco muse Lina Romay). He asks strangers to pull items from their pockets and has the blindfolded Irina describe them. She is quite successful, enough that she can read a note that says the owner only has a few hours to live. That’s an interesting start at least. After that it plods along at a typical Franco pace.

Fabian seems pretty bored with his life, reading from the Necronomicon in his spare time and blowing off the advances of Irina. They spend a lot of time nude but he eventually dumps her. This causes her to start to have erotic dreams that morph into nightmares. She looks for support in an older female neighbor, who might secretly be scheming with Fabian. Irina’s nightmares continue, but now she visits some of the people that were in the nightclub. She alternately fools around with them or eventually murders them in her dreams………or is she doing it for real? While you ponder that mystery prepare yourself for plenty of Franco’s quirks, both good and bad.

He lays off the zoom lens a bit in this one, but there are still looooong stretches of no dialogue, people walking slowly from one side of the frame to another, accompanied by wind blowing noises and strange, jazzy music. It reminded me a bit of Carnival of Souls, just with tons of blowout and boobers. This is shot on some really nice locations so even if it’s slow moving it is nice to look at. This is so deliberate and dreamlike that I would not recommend trying to watch this late at night. While this comes through in the sex department, the violence is little more than some fake blood on a blade and not graphic at all.

The disc itself has a great picture for a movie from 1984 (which shocked me since it looks pretty 70s). The HD video doesn’t do favors for many of the actors, with close-ups revealing unflattering blemishes and body hair. Mondo did a great job here. There are some special features that include an interview and documentary on Jess, which I thought were decent introductions to Franco but aren’t meant to be exhaustive. You might not be a huge fan of his work, but it’s always interesting to listen to him talk about his career. He’s certainly not above being blunt and a critic of his own work, which is refreshing. That and you are guaranteed to see him smoking. If you are a fan of his already you’ll probably buy this no matter what, but others looking for extreme sleaze might want to start with a different Franco title.

Movie Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Blu Ray Rating: ★★★★☆ 

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