Nightwish (1989)

Written & Directed by: Bruce R. Cook


Clayton Rohner .... Jack
Alisha Das .... Kim
Jack Starrett .... Professor
Robert Tessier .... Stanley
Elizabeth Kaitan .... Donna
Artur Cybulski .... Bill
Brian Thompson .... Dean
Tom Dugan .... Wendall

Release Date: Direct-to-Video: December 5, 1989 (UK)




A group of graduate students with a Professor (Jack Starrett) go to a crumbling mansion so they can investigate paranormal activity and try to summon up the entity inside the house as it's apparently posessed by demons.
However, the Professor with his assistant Stanley (Robert Tessier) tortures the students and keeps them as prisoners to continue exploring the mansion.
One of them Kim (Alisha Das) manages to escape and discovers that the Professor and piossibly his students are aliens and use the mansion as a breeding chamber and using people for food.


We have an interesting beginning with Donna going outside somewhere in the dark with twisted moments on a canniballistic zombies that she encounters and trying to survive the mandess and then she wakes up from a dream project which is a perfect teaser showing that this wasn't for real at all.
We have a pointless moment with the students driving to the location to find paranormal events as well as the one driving Dean being arrogant about stuff which didn't do anything for me but there's a shocking moment when he literally runs over a rabbit on the road as well as Donna being upset with him for doing that as this shows nice timing.

There's strange situations when we spot the innkeeper whom is a mentally challenged fellow named Wendall towards Dean being arrogant and demanding with him with silly one liners on Wendall telling him his animals don't like him and moments like that which looked awfully corny to watch all of this and uninspired.
There's an oddly entertaining moment when the Professor handcuffs his students to try a paranormal experiment as there's neat cheesy green lit special effects surrounding them all when we see a hurricane and other stuff like that as this draws you in a bit as well as some of them acting scared about it all.
A nice surprising moment after this event happens with Stanley coming from a trap door and everyone realising that this was all a hoax as this may disappoint you horror fans who like paranormal flicks but yet there's more shocking moment on what the Professor does to one of his students Bill which makes you wonder as to why he did this and getting Stanley to dump his body into some pit with unpleasant sounds and making you cringe a bit but again this seemed terribly trashy too.
Nice itense moments when we spot Stanley torturing one of the other students as this looked mildly intense to watch since this clunker needed something to keep the viewers shocked.
Also we have a chasing moment throughout alot of the story here with Kim trying to get away from Stanley and the sturggling moments but doesn't look as powerful as I hoped that this would be. Also we have a moment when she knocks him unconcious when he falls down some steps and she tries to carefully get away which is too common to know that he will wake up and grab her foot when she thinks she can run away safely.
More cornball moment when Kim tries to contact the innkeeper Wendall and he acts strangely and rudely hanging up later on being a typical flake as this looked convincing with someone whom is hopeless when there's a deadly emergency happening.
Some effective moments when Dean is speeding away in his vehicle as well as seeing the green effects that we saw during the fake paranormal events coming in as this looked entertaining in a cheesy low budget horror fashion.
A nice creepy moment when Bill approaches Kim making out he will help her but is not the same as well as showing the breeding ground on dead bodies as well as slimy surroundings in which this to me looked lame to watch and unoriginal since we've seen these moments in old fashioned horror flicks. I mean it's good to pay a tribute to them but these moments bite the big one.
However we have a nice hallucination sequence that involves Donna and someone brings a glass case of tarantula's close to her face which looked genuinely creepy to watch all of this.
A good graphic shot when Kim enters a room and spots a moment on what happened to Dean as this can please the slimy gorehounds a bit but again we've seen these situations before.
Nicely concentrated situations when Donna tries to convince Lisa that she's human as well as the other surviving students with her getting paranoid showing nice timing wondering if these people are to be trusted or not.
The ending is very twisted saying it's a dream (No it isn't. This is the real thing)
Bottom line is that this film is off to a great start but yet it seems like a typical low budget horror flick that goes nowhere which it does. It is terribly bland, slimy and twisted but in a terrible way. Skip this and watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers instead of this bland ripoff.

Alot of the acting is a bit bad but there are some exceptions as I will do my best to see on what I can dig up here.... Clayton Rohner (Jack) seemed to have the nice guy looks and appeal to what he offers here. Seems to do well reacting to stuff or freaking out but at times it's a little much. Doesn't react as intense when his finger is cut off though as he could've made that moment alot more convincing.
Alisha Das (Lisa) does a splendid job with her role as a college graduate and does well ast being spooked too. She shows off great energy with her struggling or freaking out not being able to trust anyone as well as her fearful expressions. She seemed to be a nice key role to the story and does her characteristics quite well.
Jack Starrett (Professor) knew his stuff as the serious and evil one leading his students to danger. Offers a good still behavior as well as showing a great expressionless and emotionless attiude when he talks seriously towards others. Plus shows off some nice energy when showing his nasty side as well as stabbing someone which looked not too shabbily performed.
Robert Tessier (Stanley) had the perfect looks and appeal as his henchman in an igor type of fashion and can almost come across as powerful with his actions but at the same time seems to get carried away and losing his believeable intimidation. He was wooden at times too.
Elizabeth Kaitan (Donna) does well with her role as a nice girl in the film. She offers a nice innocence to her part in the flick as well as reacting unimpressed in certain spots as well as making all of this perfectly convincing. Shows off good enthusiasm when getting freaked out or trying to be convincing on a situation with her serious and no nonsense behavior. She really brought all of this to life a great deal.
Artur Cybulski (Bill) seemed to draw in well with his freaked out behavior or acting emotional in other spots along with showing good aggressions. Then he does well acting mysterious and creepy after he is no longer human as he studied this part quite well. Had an effective supporting role here.
Brian Thompson (Dean) had the mean macho body build looks as he comes off as a nasty type with his sarcasm but at the same time was awfully stiff and wooden in many areas of his performance. I've seen him do better in other shows but he wasn't cut too well for this one. Was okay when he gets aggressive but that's about it.
Supporting actor Tom Dugan (Wendall) is the best in this film although he only has a few scenes in the film as he lived to play a mentally challenged one who is the keeper of the mansion.
He certainly comes across well as someone dimwitted and a bit crazy. Also shows a nice versatality at the end of his performance.

Elizabeth Kaitan has a wet see through shirt and her breasts are exposed. She takes off her shirt aftwerwards asd well. During another sequence she has a see through blouse with her breasts totally revealed.
Alisha Das feels herself and unbuttons her shirt exposing her breasts

Some interesting horror violence in this film.
Theres a chopped off hand
A finger is cut off
Slimy corpses are in a nest for breeding
A cut off arm
A head is smashed open
A corpse is hung with the back of his flesh torn off
A slimey body with legs and arms are torn off

There's a cheesy rock n roll songtrack "Nightwish" performed by Mark Ryder and Phil Davies during the closing credits and also composed creepy and dark keyboard sounds to the film. There's effective music for when someone discovers on what is happening to the people put away there which has a spooky touch to it as well as we hear cheesy southern gutiar twnging in other spots since it takes place in a deserted area which seemed necessary to be put into the storylines. The odd effective flute echoing as well as high pitched icy keyboard playing which at times works in well.

(Phone rings)
Wendall: Ring, ring