Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Nightwish (1989)

As the cameraman for such instant non-classics as He’s My Girl (1987) and Big Bad Mama II (1987), amongst other crap, Bruce R. Cook obviously mastered enough know-how and control of the camera to give Nightwish some nice atmosphere, but his script is a mixed up mash of a car wreck that can’t figure out exactly what it is, what it wants to say or where it wants to go, and completely lacks any concept of logic, reality, continuity or other such necessary features needed to make a story. (Of course, it’s all a dream within a dream within a dream that’s not within a dream that is within a dream, so perhaps it is logical that there is no logic in the film.) True, the gore level is satisfying enough, as are the looks and tits of the two babes (Alisha Das (the brunette) and Elizabeth Kaitan (the boobs)) and the muscles of the tertiary male lead student (Brian Thompson), but the film pales in comparison to other great linear flicks of the same year such as Brian Yuzna’s Society, for which Cook was director of photography. Everyone dies at the end of Nightwish, as they rightly should for being such idiots, but then comes the twist ending revealing (surprise!) that it is all a dream after all.... or (bigger surprise!) is it really? But between the "twist" ending and the equally "twist" beginning, four idiot students go to a house with a nasty reputation to help an obviously unhinged parapsychology professor do some tests and end up facing ectoplasmatic "ghosts," scary apparitions, slug-like alien parasites, reanimated dead and a variety of other mismatching ideas before they all go bye-bye. It is rather a shame to think that this was one of Jack Starret’s last acting jobs before dying of kidney failure later the same year. The occasional character actor and director of such trash classics as The Losers (1970) and Cleopatra Jones (1973) deserved either something better or over-the-top terrible than this cinematic abortion to bow out with.

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