Night Dreams (1981)

May 7, 2013 by adamsunderground



Pass on viewing this nightmare of pretentious film student trash. (The movie–not this review. Oh, well–it sucks too.)

A young suburban housewife in a hospital gown, Mrs. Van Houten, alternates between convulsion and masturbation while laying on the floor of a bare, dimly lit room, as her vivid hallucinations of outlandish sex consume her. Aside from the gown, she wears a slim metallic headband of neurological sensors, which are monitored by two clinical researchers, a man and a woman. They observe and stimulate their subject’s unconscious mind from behind a two-way mirror in the adjacent control room, jammed with television monitors and electronic gear.

In bouts of near-conscious lucidity, aware of the observers whom she cannot see, Van Houten openly boasts of her sexual allure and adventurousness far outside societal expectations of a mere housewife. The two researchers, often at odds about Van Houten’s well being, are twisting her dreams so that she may experience her first orgasm, despite risk of inducing permanent catatonia in the subject. Screaming in rebellion at their efforts, Van Houten claims that the roles are reversed midway through the session, that they are the subjects of her own manipulation. At the end of the movie, she is released from her cell and rationally confronts the pair in their control room to reiterate that they are subjects of the scientific study, not her.


Dorothy Lemay (or a member of Guns N Roses?) in the average amount of light for most scenes of this film.

This is the entire premise of Nightdreams, the thinnest veneer of storyline placed atop several painfully dull attempts to shock the audience with bizarre nightmare vignettes or frustrate viewers with poor sex scene execution. Nightdreams fails to succeed in any genre, whether it be horror, erotica, or whatever. All of its sex scenes are dark to the point of visual obscurity, beyond the limits of imagination, and the lead actress is overshadowed in beauty and energy by her costars—that is, if you can discern her features at all. An another stag film with bullshit pretensions toward high-concept artistic expression, it’s entire status of a classic in the erotic genre is completely undeserved. Only nostalgia for the period can be the explanation. Like the ephemeral appeal of the New Wave adaptation of its song Ring of Fire by Wall of Voodoo, Nightdreams offers nothing original of its own for posterity. If you want sexual sci-fi horror, Demon Seed is more effective at arousal (R-rated) mixed with terror.

Total Grade: F

Specialty Grade


Screenplay D


Acting C


Cinematography D
applications-multimedia Film Editing F


Visual Effects D


Audio D


Sound Editing F


Audio Effects F


Musical Score D


Production Design F


Adults Only


Expose Excellence in Erotic Film



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