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NIGHT DREAMS

Although little known today, this was one of the most revolutionary porn films of the 1980s, and remains a high point in a format that contains very few.

The Package
     Upon NIGHT DREAMS’ first appearance in 1981 it was widely recognized as a watershed in XXX filmmaking, heralding a porno renaissance that never quite occurred. Still, writer/producer Stephen Sayadian, a.k.a. Rinse Dream, did his best to elevate the industry with the popular (and highly overrated in my view) 1982 feature CAFÉ FLESH. Sayadian also turned out a NIGHT DREAMS 2 and 3 in 1989 and ‘91, respectively, but neither of those shot-on-video snooze-fests came close to replicating the brilliance of the first NIGHT DREAMS. Other Sayadian features include PARTY DOLL A-GO-GO 1 & 2 (both 1991), UNTAMED COWGIRLS OF THE WILD WEST 1 & 2 (both 1993) and the non-porno DR. CALIGARI (1989).
     NIGHT DREAMS’ talented director Francis Delia broke out of the porn ghetto with the so-so 1988 thriller FREEWAY, and now works largely in television, while co-writer Jerry Stahl went on to become a successful TV scribe, novelist and offscreen druggie.

The Story
     A couple of bored workers in a futuristic sex clinic are monitoring the thoughts and fantasies of a severely repressed woman. They attempt to electronically stimulate her libido, resulting in a succession of eerie and bizarre erotic reveries.
     In the first of the heroine’s fantasies she’s ogled by giant clown heads, one of which penetrates her with its penis-like nose. Following this is a more elaborate sexcapade involving lesbian cowgirls in a surreal western setting, and then the woman is ravished by Arabs in a harem. She also tries to seduce a robotic man, but upon unzipping his fly pulls out a dead human fetus.
     A succeeding fantasy has the woman raped in a bathroom. Next she sucks off a guy encased in a giant cream of wheat box while another guy outfitted as a slice of bread plays a saxophone. She later wakes up in bed beside a large gasping fish, and eventually winds up in Hell.
     The sex clinic workers become worried that they might have over-stimulated their subject as she retreats ever further from reality. They keep up the stimulation, however, as the woman undergoes a final orgasmic fantasy.

The Direction
     For all its qualities, it’s important to remember that this film is very much a product of the porn industry, meaning the acting and narrative--which is really just an excuse for a lot of extended fuck scenes--leave much to be desired. But the filmmakers worked overtime, creating a subconscious fantasia worthy of David Lynch.
     The highly artful, expressive lighting and evocative sound design are of a quality that’s all-but unheard of in adult moviemaking, and conjure a genuinely eerie and nightmarish atmosphere. Much of the imagery is arrestingly bizarre, from the giant clown masks that assault the heroine early on to that horny guy in the cream of wheat box. There’s also a haunting rendition of “Ring of Fire” by Wall of Voodoo that perfectly underscores the cowgirl sequence. While NIGHT DREAMS only partially makes the grade as a real movie, by porno standards it’s a veritable masterpiece.
 

Vital Statistics

NIGHT DREAMS
Caribbean Films

Director: “F.X. Pope” (Francis Delia)
Producers: “Frank Delia” (Francis Delia), “Rinse Dream” (Stephen Sayadian)
Screenplay: “Herbert W. Day” (Jerry Stahl), “Rinse Dream” (Stephen Sayadian)
Cinematography: “F.X. Pope” (Francis Delia)
Editing: Pearl Diamond
Cast: Dorothy LeMay, Loni Sanders, Jennifer West, Kevin James, Fast Steppin’ Freddie, Paul Berthell, Ken Starbuck, Jacqueline Lorains, Danielle, Andy Nichols
 

     

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