Les cauchemars naissent la nuit AKA Nightmares Come at Night (1970)

director: Jesús Franco
release-year: 1970
genres: horror, sexploitation, thriller
countries: Liechtenstein
languages: French
fests: Sexploitation Horror Fest (2022)

Sexploitation "horror" by Mexican/Spanish/French horror/softcore director Jesús Franco, but apparently filmed in Liechtenstein. A description as messy as this film.

Opening credits are just flashing between still images of naked scenes from later in the movie. I think we're in for some unabashedly pornographic garbage. Not that you should expect too much from something with the title "Nightmares Come at Night." I've never seen a Jesús Franco film, but I guess anybody who releases 7 erotic films per year isn't shooting for Cannes.

It opens with macaws, a naked woman complaining to herself about evil in bed, and a dream of murder-sex with an exciting out-of-tune piano piece. But how can it be a dream, when she awakens with blood on her hands!? She whimpers excessively, and returns to her macaws.

She takes a shower. Her roommate places a hand on her shoulder, and a solid 3 seconds later she screams and turns around. I'm afraid the acting does not improve. There's no need to understand French to know that the script is terrible and the delivery is worse.

The camera zooms in. Then it zooms out. Then it zooms in. Then it zooms out. They've got a zoom lens, and they are not afraid to use it. Sadly, they also don't know how to use it.

A doctor spins by and her roommate explains that the main lady is having psychotic visions and probably going nuts. Main lady overhears and is upset. Doctor leaves, and the two ladies have sex while the camera zooms in and out, and then pans sloppily away. The camera man does not have a handle on his gear.

She meets the doctor the next day for some extremely overly dramatic tirade about something unimportant and a whole stream of unnatural body movements. They finish the conversation in a car, which is shot out-of-focus for a surprisingly long time.

She hearkens back to her time working in a strip club. The flashback is a 20 minute strip tease, where we learn the difference between "naked" and "erotic," and that this film has no concept of the latter. She meets and falls in love with her now-roommate at the strip club in Zagreb, setting up some tenuous premise for the camera man to zoom in and out endlessly on both of their breasts.

I have more Jesús Franco films to watch after this, and I'm already quite sure that is not going to happen.

The horror theme starts getting introduced. After the first time she had sex with her roommate she started having creepy dreams about her roommate and macaws. I'm not sure if macaws are really horror birds, but they look like they're having fun in a pretty nice aviary.

A one-note sitar song plays in the background for far, far too long while the two girls just lay in bed naked and the camera zooms and zooms and zooms and zooms. Then we get to suffer through an even longer naked dance party to some Caribbean music. There is dust and a smudge mark on the lens during this scene.

Boring, boring, boring. I don't pay attention for a while, and then a guy who is probably a vampire shows up and gets a pretty neat flashlight strobe lighting scene. As for why there's a vampire, who really cares? The vampire dies too easily to be a vampire, and there's a subplot about jewel thieves.

Turns out it was a really bad "Gaslight" knock-off.

Everyone dies and nobody cares. The only good thing about the ending is that I don't have to watch it anymore. Also, most of the nightmares came during the middle of the day, not at night at all, so even the title was bad.