Starring: Dorothy LeMay, Andy Nichols, Jennifer West
Director: Francis Delia
Synopsis: In an experiment, a pair of scientists use electric jolts to induce a sleeping woman to have erotic dreams. - Via IMDB
Why it is Notable: Inducted into the XRCO Hall of Fame in 1992.
"I can feel your eyes like fingers touching me in certain places."
Fucking hell, this movie is intense. I was hoping for something on the level of Through the Looking Glass or The Devil Inside Her. I got exactly what I asked for and more. Truly, I have been blessed.
Mrs. Van Houten, played by Doroth LeMay, is the subject of a sexy sleep experiment. Two scientists, Jennifer West and Andy Nichols, use eletroshocks to give her erotic dreams.
This movie starts out strong.
The first dream, Van Houten lays in a dark room, with images of creepy clowns and cupie dolls flashing on screen. Slowly the camera advances on a giant jack in the box. When it bursts open, the clown within brandishes his bare dick and leers at the camera. We get a good look at the makeup, which is fairly impressive. The clown's lower face is exaggerated, with an elongated nose, prominent chin and a split smile that allows for his tongue to be of use. The soundtrack is an unsettling cacophony of laughter and dog barging as the clown eats Mrs. Van Houten out.
Roughly halfway through the scene I began hoping that the clown would use his nose on her, otherwise what is the point?
Whoever decided to have that happen, be it the director, the writers or the actors, thank you. It made my night.
Next, Mrs. Van Houten comes across a campfire in the desert where a pair of cute but vacuous cowgirls are making out and speak in tandem. The three of them fuck to a cover of Johnny Cash's Ring of Fire, performed by the band Wall of Voodoo. It's a fine scene. The face on the blonde cowgirl, played by Danielle, is pixie-ish and sweet, while the brunette, played by Jacqueline Lorians, has an amazing tongue that she seems to know how to use. Some shots are obviously simulated sex, or involve the bare minimum amount of contact but the three ladies are still sexy, together or apart. One factor that makes this scene memorable is that it's practically fully lit by the campfire. Everything is bathed in both shadows and a warm glow. It gives an impression of intimacy and coziness.
As the experiment goes on, the doctors become more and more enthralled by the experiment, and more turned on.
Mrs. Van Houten is once more transported to another dream, where she's fucking a hookah pipe, then is spit-roasted by two men in vaguely Middle Eastern attire. It's relatively tame, all things considered, and is fairly docile, given the set up.
The movie goes on like this, shuffling through scenes of erotic encounters like a deck of cards and Mrs. Van Houten expects nothing but pleasure. Not everything is sweet dreams and when she encounters a true nightmare, it's incredibly disturbing. It's so unexpected and visceral that it is bone chilling. This scene was so inventive and unique and yet it was also familiar, the sort of nightmare anyone could have. Thoroughly disturbing, I still get shivers thinking about it.
The dream sequences range from unsettling, to mundane, to comically bizarre. I don't want to spoil every dream and nightmare that Mrs. Van Houten goes through but it culminates into a dream where she falls into Hell and is deliciously fucked by the Devil, played by Ken Starbuck, and subject to his torturous toys and horny minions, played by Loni Sanders and Michelle Bauer. It was delightful and Ken Starbuck is clearly enjoying himself.
During an otherwise unremarkable dream sequence there's this lovely shot of a naked and weakened Mrs. Van Houten crawling across the floor in order to retrieve her high heels. The shot is well composed, with a good use of perspective and shadow. Of all the creative characters and setups, the fact this caught my eye deserves mention.
After suffering for her sins, Mrs. Van Houten's dream-self ascends to Heaven where she fucks a handsome angel played by Kevin Jay. The scene is extremely gentle and sweet. At one point the angel picks her up and dances around with her weightless in his arms as they kiss, her gown swirling ethereally in the breeze and it's so tender I melted a little. He's much better in this than he was as Johnny Rico in Café Flesh. Maybe his jaw had time to rest…
Soon, maybe too soon, the experiment ends. But for how long? And who got more out of it, the patient, or the doctors?
Nightdreams was conceived by the creators of Café Flesh and it's evident. Not only are several actors cast in both films but the creativity in each scenario could have easily been featured set pieces on the stage of Café Flesh. Having watched Nightdreams, I now want to revisit Café Flesh. Maybe I didn't give it a fair shake the first time.
The director is known for several music videos, from The Ramons to Weird Al Yankovic and, looking through his work, his style is all over this movie. All his work shares the same off-kilter energy.
The sets, when there are sets, have a reasonable degree of effort put into them, and the sound design keeps reminding the viewer that something is not quite right about all this.
Nightdreams is a little bit Sex World, a dash of Through the Looking Glass, echoes of The Devil Inside Her, and a whole lot of art and imagination. It is on par with the aforementioned and the creativity and make-up makes it remarkably memorable. I am very glad I watched this. If you want some creepy with your adult viewing I highly recommend Nightdreams. I can almost guarantee that it will show you something you've never seen before.
Best Moment:There are so many to choose from. I'm going to go with the clown nose fuck because I asked and the movie delivered. I felt seen.
Worst Moment:Nothing's really bad. The horror elements worked well. I suppose all I can say is that the ending was a little confusing.
LILITH'S SCORE: 4/5
Until next time, my voracious voyeurs. I’m Lilith, and I’m always watching.