Nightmares Come at Night (1970)

a.k.a Les Cauchemars naissent la nuit

Paul Muller, Soledad Miranda and Jack Taylor star in Jess Franco's dull and slow paced film. Hardgore/Screen Entertainment UK R0 DVD.

The Film

The young Anna is suffering from vivid nightmares in which she commits murder. Her doctor, Paul (Paul Muller) is trying to treat her but having little success and Anna thinks she is going crazy. Meanwhile a strange couple watch over the house from a window...

Written by Franco himself, Nightmares Come at Night takes his normal dream-like ambience to the limits with the whole film seeimingly being a mix of dreams, visions and flashbacks. Unfortunately the script this time simply does not work; for starters we never care or know enough about Anna to sympathise with her plight, nor for that matter are any of the characters particularly well defined. The film lacks enough coherent moments to actually help move it anywhere and the slow pacing means that it drags heavily in several scenes which will often leave you struggling to stay awake. The attempted explanation at the end just comes off as tagged on and does nothing to resolve any of the issues. The only element of any real interest in the script is the depiction of Dr. Paul as a practicing Catholic, an usually uncritical perspective on the religion from this usually very anti-religious filmmaker, however seems to be completely forgotten later on the script.

Franco shows little flair here, his usually excellent night-club act is slow to the point of boredom. The eroticism present in many of his 1969/71 films is missing here, with the nudity presented in a much more 'matter-of-fact' manner, as per much of his later work. A Bruno Nicolai soundtrack adds some additional surreality to the film but is rather wasted. Diana Lorys gets the lead role here with Colette Giacobine as Cynthia, neither of them seem particularly interested and certainly do nothing to lift the film. Two of Franco's regulars Jack Taylor and Paul Muller give their usual solid performances with Muller in one of his largest roles for the director. Soledad Miranda is making her second credited appearance in a Jess Franco film (after Count Dracula (1970)) and gets only a mere cameo role with less than three minutes on-screen.

With an uninteresting plot that never once hooks you in, Nightmares Come at Night is simply a boring film with nothing to recommend it. Soledad Miranda fans will probably be disappointed as she has only very brief screentime. For Franco completists only.

In Brief

Anyone famous in it? Jack Taylor - American actor who worked with Spanish cinema legends Paul Naschy and Jess Franco.
Soledad Miranda - A beautiful Spanish actress who appeared in 6 Franco's films, including Vampyros Lesbos
Directed by anyone interesting? Jess Franco - the biggest name in euro-cult cinema with over 180 films to his credit, ranging from surreal erotica in Venus in Furs (1969) to modern surgical horror in Faceless (1988).
Any gore? A little blood.
Any sex? Some female topless and soft nude scenes.
Who is it for?
Only for Franco completists.


Visuals Cropped ratio - 1.33:1 fullscreen. Colour.
The print is noticably faded but generally free of damage.
This film was probably shot 1.66:1 and there is some slight cropping evident in a few scenes.
Audio English mono - recently created for the US DVD release, it is satisfactory and sounds like a contemporary dub track would.
Subtitles None.
Extras The disc includes:
  • Interview with Jess Franco - he discusses Soledad Miranda with a lot of detail (22 minutes).
  • Eurocine - an episode of the Eurotika documentary series about the French studio, illustrated with a lot of clips from rare Eurocine films, with some interesting interviews although sadly not with Franco himself. (25 minutes)
  • Trailer for the film - seems to be newly created.
  • A very detailed on-screen text biography of Soledad Miranda.
  • A number of trailers for other Hardgore/Screen Entertainment releases.
Region Region 0 (All) - PAL
Other regions? Also available on R1 DVD from Shriek Show - containing a better looking print and including the original and apparently superior French audio with subtitles. It does include the same interview but not include the Eurocine documentary.
Cuts? The film is believed to be fully uncut. French language print.



Return to main menu.

All text in this review written by Timothy Young - 6th January 2008.
Text from this review not to be used without authorization.

Please contact: