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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Nightwish - Nightwish(Blu Ray) [Unearthed Films - 2019]

From the late 1980s, Nightwish is a decidedly hit & miss affair that sits somewhere between horror & sci-fi. The film brings together some interesting concept/ ideas, splashes of neat & creative gore, with often bland dialogue-heavy moments & a decidedly convoluted plot where you donít know what will be thrown at you next. From Unearthed classic line here we have a Blu Ray reissue of this lesser-seen picture- featuring a new print of the film, as well as a commentary track.

From 1989 Nightwish was written and directed by Bruce R Cook- whose only other directorial credit was little seen 1984 crime/ comedy The Census Taker, which featured a soundtrack from avant pop collective The Residents. I think to be fair/ frank Nightwish is somewhat of a mess- sure the acting and effects are captured well enough, but the pacing/ plotting is all over the place. The film often teases itís going to kick-in with either a good batch of effects, explanation, or focus- but itís not until the last quarter the film truly kicks into high gear with some effectively creative special effects and some feeling of jeopardy.
 
The plot finds a group of grad students taking part in dream testing, and investigating a house that is either haunted, the landing spot of aliens, or a satanic ritual hot spot. I guess youíd say itís a below-par mix of From Beyond & The X Files, with touches of female flesh, uneven acting, and some impressive dripping, cracking and twisted  special effects which do feel ahead of their time- and really thatís the one reason to watch the film through, which at times feels way longer than itís one hour and a half runtime. I have to say as a whole I found Nightwish most frustrating- as it often feels like itís ramping up to something, going to become somehow coherent & not keep throwing more & more stuff at you- but for most of itís runtime it gives you either- I guess itís down to ones patient for rather ham-fisted what's real/ not real cinematic brew.
 
 
Moving onto this new Blu ray reissue- and first off the release comes in a glossy slip sleeve, with this featuring slightly different artwork from the Blu ray case. Also with the release, we get a glossy & full color twenty-four inlay booklet- this opens with a two-page write-up about the film from Art Ettinger of Ultra Violent Magazine. After this, we get production notes about the cast and director- and a tone of great stills from the film, including of course effects shots. On the disc, we, of course, get the film, which gets a good and even 4k transfer- thereís a commentary track from the films executive producer Paul White and Unearthed films Stephen Biro, and this is a chatty- if at times little awkward track. White comes across a little dry, and forgetful- Biro tries to push the whole thing on, but it is a rather sporadic track- the pair discuss the locations, the scripts origins, funding, actors, etc- on the whole, is an ok commentary, but very much a one play track. We also get a photo gallery & original trailer.
 
Iíd say if you enjoyed messed-up 1980ís film that sits somewhere between horror & sci-fi then maybe give this a go- as it may click better with you than it did with me. Equally, if you're interested in ahead of their time effects this is worth picking up. Unearthed have certainly done a good job of this reissue- I just wish personally the film had done a bit more for me.

Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5Rating: 2 out of 5

Roger Batty
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