4.9/10
63
2 user 3 critic

Dark Dreams (1971)

A young couple inadvertently gets mixed up with a coven of Satanic worshipers.

Director:

Roger Guermantes

Writer:

Canidia Ference
Reviews
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Cast

Cast overview:
Laura Cannon ... Girl with Whipped Cream (as Kitty Cat)
Patrice De Veur Patrice De Veur ... Sorceress
June Dulu June Dulu ... Black Girl
Tom Lee Tom Lee
Harry Reems ... Jack (as Tim Long)
Alan Martin Alan Martin
Darby Lloyd Rains Darby Lloyd Rains ... Girl in Blue
Tina Russell Tina Russell ... Jill (as Lina Russell)
Storm Cloud Storm Cloud
Suzy Mann Suzy Mann ... Sorceress' Younger Self (as Stella Worth)
Yoryck Yezno Yoryck Yezno
Arlana Blue Arlana Blue ... Belly Dancer
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Storyline

A young couple inadvertently gets mixed up with a coven of Satanic worshipers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

a tale of erotic fantasy

Genres:

Adult | Horror

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 July 1973 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Inner Circle See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

213 Releasing See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Referenced in Playboy: The Story of X (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Travel Bye
(title theme)
Sung by Bill Dean
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User Reviews

 
Better the Devil You Know
3 May 2015 | by NodriesrespectSee all my reviews

While certainly interesting from a historical perspective as one of few ambitious precursors (along with the Amero Brothers' BACCHANALE) to porn's 1972 breakout hit DEEP THROAT, the four and a half intervening decades have not been kind to DARK DREAMS' indigestible mishmash of free-form narrative and experimental filmmaking techniques straight out of '60s underground cinema. Something of a labor of love for mysterious husband and wife team Roger Guermantes and Canidia Ference (revealed by Harry Reems as coming from a background in glossy commercials for screens both large and small), it seeks to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear but succeeds only in obliterating the erotic energy of an early "name" cast through skewed camera angles and excessive editing which never allows the momentum of any sexual set-up to build. Included as part of Alpha Blue Archives' Satanic Sickies box set (though barely qualifying), the movie suggests writer Ference took a crash course in witchcraft slash devil worship (Anton LaVey for dummies ?), hence the brief historical overview related via voice-over narration (by the kindly old hag, rather well-played by one Patrice De Veur) before sparse credits roll.

A genuinely haunting theme song ("Travel Bye" sung by Bill Dean, presumably not the obscure '60s crooner who scored a modest hit with "Secret Crush") accompanies newlyweds Jack and Jill (Reems and Tina Russell) as they embark on their honeymoon along a deserted country road. He tries to get fresh with her while driving but she wants him to hold back until they reach the hotel which (incredibly) leads to his wondering whether she'll be worth the wait ! Anyway, their car has a flat tire and without a payphone in sight they find refuge at the palatial home (in fact, a magnificent Connecticut mansion once owned by Charlie Chaplin's sister) of aforementioned alchemist. Ever the gracious hostess, albeit with a hidden agenda, she offers them tea while they wait for help to arrive which is when all hell breaks loose. So far, the film has put nary a foot wrong, boasting fairly decent cinematography by Czech ex-pat Werner Hlinka (who shot Anton Holden's sturdy sexploiter TEENAGE TRAMP) while paying lip service to one of horror cinema's most hackneyed set-ups just a few short years away from receiving its definitive lampooning in Richard O'Brien's creme de cult ROCKY HORROR (eventually PICTURE) SHOW.

It's only when the sorceress's spectacles come off and she magically morphs into the younger but strangely similar (kudos to casting) Suzy Mann, a fly by night starlet also in Roberta Findlay's ALTAR OF LUST, that the film falls literally and irredeemably flat. Subscribing to the Eduardo Cemano school of screen sex, incorporating but a wisp of graphic footage to assure audiences that the action is "real", is not necessarily a bad thing in itself. Fragmenting the fornication footage through constant cutting away to Satanic paraphernalia or some spoilsport's ghoulishly grinning visage on the other hand certainly does qualify as such. Arguably the first certifiable superstar of commercialized 'core, Russell looks as ravishing as she ever has but the rug's pulled out from under her dainty tootsies by an annoying jump cut ("meanwhile...") occurring whenever the humping threatens to heat up. You just know you're in deep trouble when even a supposed Sapphic slurp-off between Tina and delectable Darby Lloyd Rains refuses to register under such dire circumstances.

Reems fares little better in lukewarm liaisons with Jewish princess Laura Cannon (who was to prove an above average actress in Andy Milligan's non-X FLESHPOTS ON 42ND STREET) and a gallon of whipped cream and an understated interracial - if indeed such a beast even exists - with long-forgotten black beauty Kitty Cat who also appeared in Gerard Damiano's SEX USA. Arlana Blue pops up out of nowhere (dare I say out of the...blue ?) to demonstrate her belly dancing skills as she would also do on Danny Steinman's vastly superior HIGH RISE. Adding insult to injury, the lion's share of lascivious action is scored in a method akin to Chinese water torture by notorious avant-garde composer Charlie Morrow, rather fittingly described by my esteemed fellow reviewer as "POLICE ACADEMY's Michael Winslow meets Satanic porn" ! Morrow's musical doodling was to eventually find a perfect home in Ken Russell's weird if rather wonderful ALTERED STATES. The vapid blond beach boy type groping Tina's goodies in the shower (with no XXX follow-through) is Tom Lee, simulated stud for hire on some of Marsha Jordan's most threadbare showcases such as THE RANCH HAND and LOVE FROM Paris. In the end, not much to get your knickers in a twist over but of comparatively more interest to film buffs with a penchant for the outré rather than erotica enthusiasts looking for any sort of thrill.


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