5 days ago
This is a terrible biopic of Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that this flick had nothing to do with Nightwish whatsoever! That was a dreary attempt at humor, but if I didn't work in a reference to the rhapsodic quintet of the same name, I would be disappointed in myself. For those uninitiated (ideally, everyone would be well-versed in Scandinavian "opera rock"), Nightwish is a fairly popular ensemble amongst metalheads. But that's neither here nor there. 1990's Nightwish is a quirky sci-fi/horror permutation that pulls from a plethora of genre platitudes. We get ghosts, aliens, mad scientists and...wait for it...Brian Thompson!
It was released by Vidmark Entertainment, so it has to be good, right? Well, it's not too shabby. You should know straight away that it's a mindfuck. While the script never approaches the capricious hogwash of a David Lynch production, it does leave itself open to interpretation. You'll have to be able to suspend the shit out of your disbelief. Usually, brainteasers tend to frustrate me. I hate it when a movie is confusing just for the sake of being confusing, and you can tell if it's intentional. For some wayward reason, Nightwish's discretionary antics didn't fray my last nerve. It's fucking bonkers, but I rolled with the punches. Why? Because at the end of the day, this fruit basket doesn't try to be more than a happy-go-lucky b-movie.
The plot follows a preeminent professor and a group of budding parapsychologists. Their experiments in the fields of hallucinations and lucid dreaming take them to an alleged haunted house. Once our characters are inside the cursed cubbyhole, Nightwish decides to open a can of Batshit Crazy. We encounter ectoplasm serpents, instant henchmen (just add trap door), insect-filled cadavers, The Entity-style spirit sex and Brian Thompson's face. The special effects are proficient. That's no surprise, as the gore was handled by the KNB boys. Overall, the acting is decent, but I didn't care about any of the key players. They couldn't die quick enough.
I'll be brutally honest. At first, the ending pissed me off in a major way. I was ready to rape and dismember a stuffed animal, but in retrospect, the ending fits the rest of the film. I don't know if I'm ready to admit it yet (baby steps, Dom...baby steps), but the final frames make sense. That said, Nightwish is deeply flawed. The narrative uses surreal dream sequences as a crutch. If you're not in the mood for a neighborly mindfuck, this film will leave a bad taste in your mouth. Me, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. And the cover art is beautiful. God, VHS rules so hard.
PS-Nightwish doesn't exist without Tarja. Fact.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 8:57 PM