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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Night Has a Thousand Desires aka "Mil sexos tiene la noche" [Blu-ray]

 

(Jesús Franco, 1984)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Golden Films Internacional S.A.

Video: Mondo Macabro

 

Disc:

Region: FREE! (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:32:14.987  

Disc Size: 24,114,769,872 bytes

Feature Size: 19,374,851,328 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.99 Mbps

Chapters: 10

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: December 13th, 2016

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 2.4:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

LPCM Audio Spanish 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps / 16-bit
 

Subtitles:

English, none

 

Extras:

• Interview with writer Stephen Thrower (33:12)
Eurotika! Documentary on Jess Franco - The Diabolical Mr. Franco (24:41)

More From Mondo Macabro (11:11)

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: 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.

In the 1980s, after the death of the Spanish dictator, Jess Franco returned to his native country and made a series of films in which he was given almost total freedom. Night Has A Thousand Desires is one of the most artistically successful of these films. It's filled with familiar Franco touches - artful cinematography, atmospheric locations, naked women, an avant-garde soundtrack - and it features one of Lina Romay's most committed performances. This world Blu-ray premier includes a number of exclusive extra features.

 

 

The Film:

Pointless mild erotica to some, a delicate, precious invocation of a dream state to others, Mil sexos tiene la noche is a thing in itself. Sharing the cast with Historia sexual de O and unfolding in the familiar environs of hotel rooms and balconies, Mil sexos tiene la noche is one of Jess Franco’s more inspired attempts at blending minimalism, sex and hysteria while catering to erotic cinema market. This broadly outlined tale of possession and murder begins with Daniel Katz and Lina Romay performing a magic number in what must be a hotel lounge. It is established that the two have a psychic link. Soon the passionate, vulnerable Lina falls victim to her own craving for affection before delving into the world of sexy hallucinations and ultimately becoming a living instrument of murder.

Excerpt from KinoDetour located HERE

One of roughly twenty films Franco made for Golden Film in the early 1980s – many shot partially on the Canary Islands – NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND DESIRES boasts gorgeous backdrops and striking architecture, and slick Techniscope cinematography in which Franco's trademark zooms are more considered and the minimalist compositions are elegantly framed and lit (often utilizing natural light for chiaroscuro imagery while the flatter lighting for the sex scenes ensures that everything is well "exposed"). While the Spanish title MIL SEXOS TIENE LA NOCHE and clairvoyant aspect of the story suggest an homage to John Farrow's 1948 film noir THE NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES (translated into Spanish as MIL OJOS TIENE LA NOCHE), references abound in the film to Franco's own filmography. The theme of mind control dates back to THE DIABOLICAL DR. Z while the story seems to be a remake of NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT while incorporating elements from Franco's earlier SUCCUBUS. The ending is rather pat, eschewing the tragedy of NIGHTMARES or the sting-in-the-tale of SUCCUBUS for the police wrapping everything off (presumably some real Las Palmas cops rather than costumed actors). Besides the Irina and Lorna character names carried over in the thin narrative, the score attributed to Pablo Villa – a joint pseudonym of Franco and Daniel White – excerpts White's theme for FEMALE VAMPIRE amidst a cacophony of organ, pan pipes, Romay's shrieks, and Franco's own voice moaning and spouting gibberish seemingly down a hollow tube.

Excerpt from Eric Cotenas Review at DVDDriveIn located HERE

The pace is leisurely. One viewer described it as hypnotic, rather than erotic, but all in all, Jess was in rare form on this film, which deserves a tip of the hat for some of the camera work. Of course, Franco made his usual use of the zoom, but he also did some very clever things with selectively focusing and unfocusing, and dissolving from scene to scene. He also made good use of his surroundings as filler footage and employed some nice jazz numbers in the nightclub scenes. (Franco is a huge jazz fan and a composer himself.)

Excerpt from Scoopy (Movie House) located HERE

 

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

NOTE: Not be to confused with the Essential Noir "Night has a Thousand Eyes" with Edward G. Robinson - reviewed HERE.

 

Night Has a Thousand Desires hasn't been treated well on video and despite the soft, waxy appearance of this Mondo Macabro Blu-ray it's no doubt the best we've seen from this strange quasi-erotic Franco film.  Colors can look impressive at times and the many close-ups showcase some pleasing visuals with lots of eyeballs.  The 2.4:1 film doesn't show significant damage but the soft, flat image may not appeal to some but, again, it may never look better than this. This Blu-ray image is what it is and while I don't rule out digitization or DNR - this seems in-line with other productions of similar ilk and time period. I doubt this ever looked crisp, anyway.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

Mondo Macabro use a linear PCM 2.0 channel (16-bit) in the Spanish language. The audio equally has production-related limitations but is fairly consistent - the score is by director Jesús Franco (as Pablo Villa) - sounding as if culled from his other films - and it stumbles alongside Night has a Thousand Desires actually sounding appropriate for what the devil is transpiring onscreen. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.

 

Extras :

"The Diabolical Mr. Franco" is one of a twelve-episode TV series titled EUROTIKA covering a variety of Eurocult filmmakers and genre trends. Narrated by Penelope McGhie (who would also narrate a similar later eight-episode series titled MONDO MACABRO), the special traces Franco's career in the conservative, Catholic Spain of Francisco Franco through the different periods of filmmaking less censorious parts of Europe including career highlights like THE AWFUL DR. ORLOFF, SUCCUBUS, A VIRGIN AMONG THE LIVING DEAD, and FEMALE VAMPIRE with commentary from actors Michael Lemoine (SEVEN WOMEN FOR SATAN), Monica Swinn (THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY, Brigitte Lahaie (FASCINATION), and Caroline Munro (SLAUGHTER HIGH along with Eurocine producer Daniel Lasoeur (ZOMBIE LAKE). Produced in 1999, it predates the wider availability of a number of pivotal titles in the director's filmography as well as titles like NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND DESIRES from his post-Franco Spain period. Stephen Thrower, author of the mammoth two volume MURDEROUS PASSIONS: THE DELIRIOUS CINEMA OF JESS FRANCO, appears in a featurette covering Franco's return to Spain. Unfettered by censorship with the establishment of the "S" Classification, Franco also found creative freedom in an agreement with Golden Film for which he produced nearly twenty films in between 1982 and 1985. Franco discovered, however, that the producers had more money than know-how, and that his films received little distribution domestically or overseas (THE INCONFESSIBLE ORGIES OF EMANUELLE was the only Golden Film that was dubbed and appeared on US cable as EMANUELLE EXPOSED while some of the other titles made it stateside as Spanish-language releases for the Latino market). Of the feature, Thrower discusses the themes and character names it carries over from past Franco films like THE DIABOLICAL DR. Z and NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT, the striking use of locations and architecture of the Canary Islands and the Costa del Sol, the hermetic atmosphere of the story's setting, the cast of actors who appeared almost exclusively in the Franco films shot in Las Palmas, and the score which includes passages from FEMALE VAMPIRE and DEVIL HUNTER."

 Eric Cotenas from the Cineventures Blog

 

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I continue to struggle with Jess Franco's work although I might put this in the upper half. Night Has a Thousand Desires is like most of his work and I, personally, have trouble following a plot - although I can appreciate the atmosphere and characters. I, again, didn't find this exceptionally erotic although I started to get into the film's strange aura. The Mondo Macabro Blu-ray (nice cover) is probably the best the film will ever see for home theatre presentation and the interview extras support further value. Not for everyone but those keen probably already sense a curiosity for indulging. To each his own. 

Gary Tooze

January 4th, 2017

 

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

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Gary W. Tooze

 

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