|Index||10 reviews in total|
First of all, lets clear something up. If you are a Linda Hamilton fan
who is hunting this flick down in order to catch a glimpse of the
lovely lady in an early role - Don't bother. SHE AIN'T IN IT!!!
Nonetheless, 'Nightflowers' works just fine without her.
Following the progress of two Vietnam Veterans through the soul desert of 70's New York, the film is little more than a handful of fascinating sequences in search of a plot, but holds the interest through offbeat, quirky characterizations and its one-of-a-kind atmosphere. It intelligently avoids any attempt at wider social commentary or 'message' and achieves a genuine, tragic power through chilly understatement and observation. Especially impressive is Gabriel Walsh, who also wrote the piece, as the most sympathetic of the vets. He's a gentle, simple soul who's overwhelming alienation is pushing him toward total breakdown.
The previous poster mentioned the powerful rape-and-murder sequence. This is in no way exploitative, the mise-en-scene (a shabby apartment observed by a distant, unmoving camera) brilliantly conveying the revulsion and horror of the act, and the ultimate hopelessness of it's perpetrators, with incredible power. Also gripping is 'Dancing Dannys' attempted pick-up of Walsh's character. It's beautifully played, tense and finally shocking.
I have an old, rather tatty VHS copy that I picked up in some back-street dive years ago. The advertising blurb and artwork, which includes photographs of scenes that appear to be from a different film altogether, promise an action-exploitation picture. 'Nightflowers', or 'Nightangels' as the ad-art proclaims it, is a far more personal and interesting work than that.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Following the financial and critical success of The Deer Hunter and to
a lesser extent Coming Home in the late 70s. Exploitation filmmakers
began making some astonishing movies concerning the same subject (War
veterans return home and the sometimes horrifying consequences).
Checkout the $6.50 cents budgeted Combat Shock. However one of the 1st
was this Gabriel Walsh scripted and acted hardly ever seen gem. Its'
plot is simple enough it follows 2 friends back from Vietnam living in
some sh*thole apartment in NYC in the late 70s and going about their
day to day business. What makes this stand out from the rest is an
appalling authentic rape/murder scene. The mundane way the violence is
committed by what up until this point was a semi likable character has
never left my memory (I saw it for the 1st time over 25 years ago). The
complexities of the relationship between the 2 friends (Guilt,
horrifying shared experiences) leads the other protagonist to
reluctantly help his friend cover up his crime. Yet the film still
hasn't finished and there's more to come "The Dancing Disco Danny"
scene in which the Gabriel Walsh character transforms from quiet barely
keeping it together but loyal friend into a cold vicious killer is
truly chilling. There are several more though less violent moments when
some extraordinary acting by particularly Gabriel Walsh is on view
suggesting frightening and severe psychological damage (The Vet Admin
Office scene for One) make this movie quite simply an unforgettable and
draining experience. The very VERY least this movie deserves is a
cleaned up print with extras DVD release by Blue Underground or Severin
or any of those specialist DVD releasing companies. Until then it will
remain a largely Unseen Gem Good Luck finding peeps.
*** Appendage*** Viewers of this great movie and by the way it's great news to hear it's finally going to get a DVD release this year 2013 have commented about Linda Hamilton's non appearance in this film. She's there just before the rape scene you see her walking up the steps outside the 2 main characters apartment. Then once inside it's a different actress altogether can't say I blame Linda for not appearing in the following scene.
Two disturbed Vietnam veterans live in a seedy New York apartment.Tommy is Irish-American,Nordi is Hispanic.They both are depressed,jobless and can't find loving girlfriends.Tommy suffers from horrifying post-Vietnam flashbacks.They post a fake advertisement "Apartment Rental:Young Women Only" and one of first applicants is a young hippie chick.When the girl comes to their rundown apartment she is suddenly raped and murdered by Nordi.The rape sequence is ugly and disturbing but surprisingly non-graphic."Night Flowers" is a bleak and forgotten drama influenced by "Taxi Driver".The atmosphere of urban decay is well-captured,the acting is believable and the score by Harry Manfredini is quite moody.8 out of 10.A must-see for fans of "Combat Shock" or "My Friends Need Killing".
Night Flowers will be released on DVD in 2013. The release will be made from the original tape owned by author, scriptwriter and actor Gabriel Walsh who co-produced the movie. It was recently discovered that "Night Flowers" was available on-line.The copies were unauthorized. Thankfully this situation has been remedied. The new DVD will be of a higher quality as it will be copied from the original master tape. Under consideration is the possibility of a commentary voice over by Gabriel Walsh about the making of the film, background to the story, the actors and crew involved and side stories behind the making of this movie. Night Flowers received the ecumenical award at the Montreal World Film Festival in 1979 and was particularly well received in Germany where TV stations organized discussion forums about the impact of war on soldiers.
My copy ran 84 minutes, and it bore an SP mark at the outset from
having been recorded. The print was an average video type print, not
bad, nowhere near DVD quality. It's available on the internet.
The title read "Night Angels". Hardly.
I recognized Jose Perez from a later movie he did with Robert Mitchum "One Shoe Makes It Murder". Here, he and Gabriel Walsh play Vietnam vets (Nordi and Tom) who visit a VA hospital now and then. Tom's psychiatrist can't do much for him. He's distant, remote, dulled emotions, uncommunicative, sexually dysfunctional. He seems to be improving as the movie progresses because he meets a girl who loves him, but put a gun in his hand and he reverts to his Vietnam training. Nordi is talkative, horny, angry, and unable to interact with women normally. He is violent but it's not apparent on the surface.
The movie is like cinema verite in places, where you cannot tell the difference between extras if they are used or real New Yorkers. We are talking seedy and lower class New Yorkers. There is one scene at a women's wrestling match that really is very realistic and could be real.
Overall, the movie is slow, and we are the viewers looking into these men's private lives and their tawdry surroundings, like the athletic facility where Tom works at first. The documentary quality does not spare the viewer's feelings in a rape-murder scene (although there is no open sex and no blood) the way it is prolonged and realistic. The movie is not preachy, it does not moralize, but it shows broken lives and really a broken society in the kinds of subsidiary characters that appear throughout the film. That included Tom's family, the neighbors, and a hustler. The police were simply ineffectual, and so was the psychiatrist. It's pretty much a downbeat assessment of this stratum of society, but I'd say that if the film maker did the upper class or the ruling class, it would come out the same way.
There were places where I felt that Walsh's intelligence showed through and it was out of character for Tom. That and the pacing detracted, but the film was well above average in trying to express what the film writer saw as the truth. That writer is none other than Gabriel Walsh himself. I think he wanted to show the de-humanization brought about by soldiers fighting in these wars like Vietnam, and he succeeded.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Recently found a copy of this rare title and quickly purchased it. I
watched the film carefully and could not find Linda Hamilton anywhere!
*sad face* She is clearly listed in the ending credits as "Wafer" and
in another article about the film, she is listed as a "stripper".
The film's other titles are "Night Angels" and "Scars". If anyone has any more information about this film, please post a review. Thanks! Overall, the film felt authentic, was well performed and chilling. After reading some of the other reviews, it seems this film is a gem, showcasing new young talent, up and coming. The rape scene is hard to watch but is not gratuitous. Good luck finding a copy!
Two Vietnam vets, Tom (Gabriel Walsh) and Nordi (Jose Perez), live pretty sad lives in a crumbling New Jersey town. Sharing a one room apartment, they talk about their inability to hold down real work, struggle to get noticed at the VA and fail to connect with women. This changes for Tom when he meets Marcella (Sabra Jones) and they begin a relationship. However, he can't escape his past with Nordi and the co- dependent, toxic relationship soon takes a gruesome turn. I wasn't quite sure where to put this independent drama, but I guess here is the best place since not a lot of people have heard of it. This is one depressing flick, but I was captivated by it the whole time. Walsh also penned the screenplay and he gives a really good, subdued performance. Director Louis San Andres does a great job of capturing a decaying New Jersey and New York to match the characters mental breakdowns and increasing isolation. There is also a really harrowing scene about 40 minutes in that is totally unnerving, thanks mostly to Andres filming it in a wide shot done in one long take. Sadly, this was his lone feature film.
I saw this film years ago and can vaguely remember it - one thing that
stick in my mind is the appalling rape scene. Two guys who live in a seedy
apartment put an advert in a window for a 'female flatmate'. A girl comes
along and when she meets the two guys and sees the state of the flat she
quickly tries to leave, but is stopped, forced to the floor and raped
This is an unpleasant film about a disturbed Vietnam vet and his buddy and the whole movie is steeped in oppression - you'll want to take a valium and a shower after watching this.
That said, it's a shame it's not out on video or DVD as I wouldn't mind seeing it again to see if its quite the same film as I recall and also to see Linda Hamilton in her first ever movie role!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I didn't really like this movie. I couldn't stand any of the
characters. The two main guys were Vietnam Vets who were trying to
readjust to life after the war, a lot like Travis from Taxi Driver.
Their lives are miserable, and when they are able to trick a women into
coming up into their apartment, one of them rapes and kills her. The
rest of the movie follows them around through their sad lives, getting
bad jobs, being treated poorly, and not making any friends. At the end,
another guy comes into their apartment with an interest in renting, and
again, they end up hurting him. The movie ends with them in jail and I
didn't disagree for a moment when they said that being there wasn't
really much worse than how they had been living.
I did like some of the scenes filmed in the city--New York, I assume. I actually watched this movie because it was supposed to have the actress who played Maria from Sesame Street in it, but I never saw her. Some people will say this was a depressing story, but I thought it wasn't interesting enough to evoke even that emotion.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This had all sorts of potential, this one. It had depressed Vietnam
vets, just like Cannibal Apocalypse. But no, this was a so-called
serious study into Nam vets left to rot in New York, spending their
days lusting after women and being a bit dysfunctional.
Yep, it's arty reflective time with this one - The main protagonist, Tom or whatever, can't stand anything...so drifts between jobs, women, witnessing rape/murders, going shopping, meeting his dad, scratching his nut sack and doing nothing. That's the film...
Other than the hilarious Danny Disco scene at the end, I can't think of many ways to recommend this film. It's truly dire, navel gazing nonsense that seems to somehow trap the energy of Taxi Driver etc by presenting a gritty picture of late seventies New York. It's not very good.
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