Night Has a Thousand Desires – Mondo Macabro (Blu-ray)
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
Release Date: December 13th, 2016
Approximate Running Time: 92 Minutes 14 Seconds
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVCC
Sound: LPCM Mono Spanish
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.95
"In this surreal and sensuous mystery/noir, Lina Romay (The Female Vampire, Lorna the Exorcist) plays Irina, a partner in a male-female mind reading act. At night she experiences vivid and charged dreams which end in murder. It seems that the people whose minds she reads are being killed off one by one." - synopsis provided by the distributor
Here’s the information provided about this release's transfer, “Brand new HD transfer from original negative.”
Night Has a Thousand Desires comes on a 25 GB single layer Blu-ray.
Disc Size: 22.4 GB
Feature: 18 GB
The source used for this transfer is in great shape. Colors look vibrant, flesh tones look healthy, details look crisp, black levels are strong, and grain remains intact.
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 background noise or distortion; dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. The score for the film sounds robust, and ambient sounds are well represented.
Extras for this release include a Mondo Macabro preview reel, a Eurotika! episode titled The Diabolical Mr. Franco (24 minutes 41 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English and French with non-removable English subtitles for French) and an interview with author Stephen Thrower (33 minutes 12 seconds, Dolby Digital stereo English, no subtitles).
Throughout Jess Franco’s film career, which spanned seven decades. He not only worked in all 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. Night Has a Thousand Desires is part of a series of films that Jess Franco made in the 1980’s in Spain for Golden Films Internacional. Other films from this period of Jess 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 of 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 keep things moving forward as Night Has a Thousand Desires gravitates away from reality, there are more grounded moments that occur in between these aforementioned moments of surrealism.
From a production standpoint, Night Has a Thousand Desires is yet another crystal-clear example of Franco's being able to create something out of virtually nothing. From a visual standpoint, Night Has a Thousand Desires does not disappoint, and in most regards, it far exceeds expectations. There are no thrown away moments, no matter what the camera is focused on. This extends to the female cast, who all look exquisite throughout. Also, Night Has a Thousand Desires' score reuses music from Female Vampire.
There is a satisfying mix of bloodletting and eroticism. When it comes to that latter, Night Has a Thousand Desires is far from being the most erotic film by Jess Franco. That being said, the more surprising aspect of Night Has a Thousand Desires is when it comes to moments of carnage. Night Has a Thousand Desires delivers moments that are arguably on par with Jess Franco’s best moments related to carnage.
In terms of performance, the entire cast more than holds its own in their respective roles. The standout performance comes 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 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 gets a first-rate release from Mondo Macabro that comes with a solid audio/video presentation and a pair of informative extras, highly recommended.
Written by Michael Den Boer