Written by: Michael Den Boer on January 8th, 2017
Theatrical Release Date: Spain, 1984
Director: Jesús Franco
Writer: Jesús Franco
Cast: Lina Romay, Daniel Katz, Carmen Carrión, Albino Graziani, José Llamas, Mari Carmen Nieto, Mauro Rivera, Jesús Franco
BluRay released: December 13th, 2016
Approximate running times: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: LPCM Mono Spanish
BluRay Release: Mondo Macabro
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.95
Throughout Jess Franco’s film career which spanned seven decades. He not only worked in all the of the major genres, he arguably invented a few genres along the way that are undeniably indebted to him. Another constant change throughout his career was the wide variety of producers that he worked with and it is through these various collaborations that his work has been broken down into subsections. Case in point, Night Has a Thousand Desires is part of a series of film’s that Franco made in the 1980’s in Spain for Golden Films Internacional. Other films from this period of Franco’s career that have gotten English friendly releases include, Mansion of the Living Dead, Macumba sexual, The Sexual Story of O and The Inconfessable Orgies of Emmanuelle.
The premise for Night Has a Thousand Desires is simple and the narrative is actually pretty straight forward. It is what comes after the initial set up where reality slowly starts to fade away in place of surrealism. And to keeps things moving forward as the film gravitates away from reality are more grounded moments which occur in between these aforementioned moments of surrealism.
From a production stand point this film is yet another crystal-clear example of Franco being able to create something out of virtually nothing. From a visual stand point the film does not disappoint and most regards it far exceeds expectations. There are no thrown away moments in this film and no matter what the camera is focused on. You can be assured that he locations are exploited. This extends to the female cast who all look exquisite throughout this film. For this film’s score Franco reuses the score from Female Vampire.
Though there is a satisfying mix of bloodletting and eroticism. When it comes to that latter this film is far from being the most erotic film from Franco. With that being said, the more surprising aspect of this film is when it comes of moments of carnage. This film delivers moments that are arguably on par with Franco’s best moments related to carnage.
Performance wise the entire cast are more than hold their own in their respective roles. With this film stand out and performance coming from Lina Romay (Lorna The Exorcist, Exorcism) in the role of Irina, a mind reader whose gift gets her in trouble and puts those around her their lives in danger. Overall Night Has a Thousand Desires is an extraordinary film that firmly deserves its place amongst Franco’s best films.
Night Has a Thousand Desires comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. For this release a brand-new transfer was created from the film’s original negative. Colors look vibrant, flesh tones look healthy, details look crisp and black levels remain strong throughout. Grain looks natural and there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with one audio option, a LPCM mono mix in Spanish and included with this release are removable English subtitles. There are no issues with back ground noise or distortion, dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. The score for the film sounds robust and the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented.
Extras for this release include, the Mondo Macabro trailer reel, an Eurotika! episode titled The Diabolical Mr. Franco (24 minutes 31 seconds) and an interview with author Stephen Thrower (33 minutes 12 seconds).
The extra titled The Diabolical Mr. Franco had previously appeared on Mondo Macabro’s Diabolical Doctor Z DVD, albeit in a shorter edit. This extra includes comments from Jess Franco, Brigitte Lahaie, Michel Lemoine, Daniel Lesoeur, Penelope McGhie, Caroline Munro, Monica Swinn and Nigel Wingrove.
Topics discussed in the interview with Stephen Thrower include, Franco’s return to Spain to make films & why he returned to Spain to make films, Golden Films, having creative freedom during this phase of his career, the cast & information about them, locations featured in the film, how music in the film originally appeared in the film Female Vampire and his thoughts about the film.
Overall another exceptional release from Mondo Macabro, highly recommended.