Night Has a Thousand Desires (1984) Poster

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The Night of the 1000 Sexes...
Carlos_Lohan20 December 2007
One of those obscure hypnotic efforts our beloved sleaze director Jesus Franco filmed after he returned to his natal Spain in the 80s. Full of surreal situations, very explicit sex and a naked Lina Romay wandering around. This one is actually one of his all-time bests. Beautifully filmed and very surreal, using to a great effect the Spanish locations, and the sight of the beautiful nude body of Lina Romay is enough to make this one a essential movie for fans of the sleaze master. The music score mix some of the cues from Female Vampire, along with a new one, also by Franco regular Daniel White. The plot is very similar to that of Franco's Nightmares Come at Night and Voodoo Passion, but in my opinion, this version surpasses those movies as it's a much more mature effort. Franco finally created a movie where reality melts into an erotic nightmare!

Similar to Macumba Sexual in style, this is a great surreal softcore-almost-bordering-on-hardcore erotic horror flick from Franco. A 8 out of 10.
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Great Visuals But Bland Story
Michael_Elliott23 April 2017
Night Has a Thousand Desires (1984)

** (out of 4)

Irina (Lina Romay) and Fabian (Daniel Katz) are working as mediums and making a pretty good living at it. Before long Irina starts having horrible nightmares and soon she thinks that her dreams might actually be happening and she could be murdering men.

MIL SEXOS TIENE LA NOCHE is known under several different titles but it's basically a remake of two previous Jess Franco movies. I really wasn't a fan of Franco's NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT or VOODOO PASSION and I'm not really a fan of this third version either. Out of the three versions I think this one here is the best as there are plenty of good things about this picture but in the end it just didn't really keep me entertained.

Many have called in a drug orgy and that's a pretty good way to look at it. This film was made in 1984 but it certainly looks like something that would have been released in the late 60s because there's a lot of psychedelic moments and there's no question that it appears to be someone suffering from a drug high. I really thought that visually this was one of the director's most impressive films. The cinematography is extremely good and it's clear that a lot of thoughts went into the images, the music selection and especially the editing.

I thought Romay turned in a pretty good performance as the woman who is slowly falling apart not knowing what is real and what is reality. The screenplay is mainly visuals so there wasn't a need for a "performance" but Romay was good. The supporting cast isn't nearly as interesting thought. Those looking more more graphic sex or nudity will be disappointed. Yes, there's a lot of nudity from Romay but it's not really the main focus of the picture.

The biggest problem I had with the film is that it just didn't really draw me into it. If you can get caught up int he visuals then you'll probably enjoy the noir/mystery that is going on a bit more than I did. To me the film just didn't work nearly as well as it could have. Everything is there on a technical level but the story just doesn't work.
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8/10
Franco at his finest - somebody get this film on DVD now!
Lars Jacobsson17 April 2009
This obscure Golden Films production got to pop the Franco-cherry on my new movie projector. It was just the right choice! Lina Romay, chubby like she just walked out of an Anders Zorn-painting, plays Irena (Female Vampire flashbacks, anybody?) who's part of a kind of hypnosis nightclub act with the magician Fábian. He's not a very nice guy and uses his hypnotic powers to use poor Irena as an instrument of vengeance, sleeping with and killing off his enemies. Or is the whole set up just part of her nightmares? An unusually good, hypnotic (in both meanings of the word) sleaze flick that really shows what Franco can achieve with extremely limited resources - some hotel rooms, a handful of actors (the same old faces that's in all films from this period), a film camera and some re-used Daniel White music. Man, I really love this stripped down Golden Films stuff when it's done right and this films is much closer in spirit to, say, Macumba Sexual than Mansion of the Living Dead. Parts of the film are almost delirious. There's a thick, intimate atmosphere and interesting experimental photography. Some scenes are almost bordering on the poetic, for example we have a beautifully shot long kiss filmed through a glass door, bathing in sunlight. Say what you want about Lina's acting capacity but here she gives all she's got, somewhat reprising her roles in Female Vampire and Doriana Gray. Even though the story itself is more similar to Nightmares Come at Night. Highly recommended!
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6/10
Spoilers follow ...
Nigel P11 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The early Eighties saw Jess Franco returning to Spain to take advantage of the newly relaxed censorship that had for so long caused him to pursue his film-making elsewhere. The dreamlike plotting to this is not dissimilar to 'Macumba Sexual (1981)', with Lina Romay playing a character (Irina), who once again comes under the spell of a distant voice calling her. She is sensitive, telepathic, and this forms part of a stage act.

Much use is made of sound in this film. Unless the delirious qualities are alerting me to it more than usual, it seems the incidental music (the usual heady cocktail of jazz and more ethereal 'scapes) and the sound of the sea are meshing to produce something almost hallucinogenic. I also notice musical cues from other films, even Daniel White's pieces for 'Zombie Lake (1981)' reappearing here. White and Franco himself are quoted as providing the music, as well as writing and directing. Franco even has a couple of brief appearances in the film, as Psiquiatra (uncredited). This, and other editing roles, seem to indicate this really was a labour of love for him.

As ever, his choice of locations is exemplary, and his blurring/soft-focus camera habits truly do evoke a trippy atmosphere. In many ways, this film could have been made twenty years earlier. It works hard to draw you in, yet I remained unmoved for a lot of the time, and I'm not sure why. Rather like being the only sober member of an inebriated group, somehow I felt somewhat excluded from the party. Perhaps because, apart from a disembodied voice, there was no palpable threat, at least not one that was revealed until the last five minutes. The finale, in which some explanation is given to events – and the twist – seems rushed.

In all, I preferred the 'easy' seduction of 'Female Vampire (1975)', or the more frightening 'Macumba Sexual'. These films didn't seem to work so hard at being immersive experiences, and yet somehow succeeded in ways 'Night Has a Thousand Desires' doesn't. Not that this isn't enjoyable, especially if you like Franco.
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7/10
MIL SEXOS TIENE LA NOCHE (Jesus Franco, 1982) ***
MARIO GAUCI27 October 2010
Of the six Spanish Franco films I've watched from the late 70s and early 80s, this is easily the most satisfying; ironically, I had this DVD-R for a year and a half before deciding to check it out (and, in fact, hadn't watched any new title by the director since that time)!

The plot may be trite (made even less intelligible by the lack of English subtitles) but it's basically a pot-pourri of Franco's favorite themes set within familiar surroundings and, therefore, wholly fascinating (resembling most closely NIGHTMARES COME AT NIGHT [1970] but is actually superior to it) – the night-club act, the shady deal, the mystical influence, the duplicitous partner, the murders committed in a trance, the unlikely psychiatrist hero (played by the director himself). The film's trump card, then, resides in the typically dreamy visuals (which come across even in the print of variable quality that I watched – for instance, a most effective subliminal image of star Lina Romay about to carry out her first 'assignment') accentuated by the languid pace, the exotic Canary Island location and the score (a lovely romantic theme offset from time to time by weird ambient sounds).

Maybe I've been away too long but the copious sex scenes didn't feel overlong this time around, and weren't even as explicit as I had come to expect in a Franco film from this liberated era: two in particular were actually quite well done – the 15-minute drug-fuelled orgy which is the centre-piece of the film (culminating in multiple murder), and the scene towards the end between the heroine and one of her victims making love against a hotel window (highlighted by the intruding rays of the sun and the beach scenery being reflected on it). As in most of these cheaply-made but surprisingly accomplished films (save for the occasional jerky camera move or unwarranted zoom on female pubic hair!), the cast list assembled is very sparse – led, of course by Romay (plump but gorgeous in one of her best roles); the remaining actors, however, fare less well (with the villain coming off – no pun intended – as particularly ineffectual).

Until now, I hadn't been as impressed as I know others were with Franco's efforts from this particular phase in his career; however, Severin Films' decision to release a few of them on R1 DVD (which is in itself a brave move, given their high sexual content…but, then, there's always Franco's passionate and consistently enjoyable interviews to look forward to for the more casual fan!) may help to redress the balance and put a different perspective on this hitherto untapped and largely neglected period: two are already available – MACUMBA SEXUAL (1981; I actually watched this one via an unsubtitled DVD-R and liked it quite a bit) and MANSION OF THE LIVING DEAD (1982; which, in view of its affinity with Amando De Ossorio's cult "Blind Dead" series of films, I'm interested in regardless) – and with a couple more on the horizon – THE SEXUAL STORY OF O (1981; which, again, sounds intriguing) and THE INCONFESSABLE ORGIES OF EMMANUELLE (1982; decidedly unappetizing, unless anyone cares to chime in with a statement to the contrary!), one hopes that MIL SEXOS TIENE LA NOCHE (which roughly translates to NIGHT OF A THOUSAND SEXES, but its meaning is anybody's guess!) itself won't be too far behind…
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