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“Nightwish” proves no matter how boring a film can be, it’s always worth watching when you’ve got the talents of KNB EFX slinging silicone.

University students and their professor go to a remote location to investigate reports of supernatural happenings. Let’s dig into 1989’s NIGHTWISH, directed by Bruce R. Cook!

As I See It

I love it when Sci-Fi/Horror is plunged into a rural setting. It reminds me of films like Phantoms, where the juxtaposition of dusty cornfields and vast landscapes lends to the threat. No help is coming!

The professor is an unlikely, hollow villain (the real villain should just be the alien entity). You know he’s going to meet his demise by the end of this nonsensical story.

I was disappointed that there wasn’t much work for the KNB crew through most of Nightwish, but once we hit a little over an hour in, they got to really shine in the alien cocoon lair. With the walls oozing and corpses pustulating beneath the web like mucus, this is the currency the three titans of gore dealt in so efficiently.

It’s a stark contrast between the practical gore and the laughable computer graphics blob snake.

I’m not really sure what they were ultimately going for with this film. Maybe it was just meant to be an exercise in some gross-out (the spider helmet) horror, but they really dropped the ball by not utilizing KNB more. This could have been a home run with a script written to exploit the strength of their work.

The Wizard of Oz-like ending was odd, especially wrapping it with a character who was part of the supporting cast.

It was all a dream… Or was it?

Famous Faces

Elizabeth Kaitan (Donna) was Jennifer in Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, and Robin in Friday the 13th Part VII – The New Blood.

Clayton Rohner (Jack) played the good guy, Rick Morehouse, in the underrated coming-of-age comedy Just One of the Guys and Chaz in April Fool’s Day.

Brian Thompson (Dean) first brought his chiseled chin to the screen as one of the Punks at the beginning of The Terminator. He also featured alongside Stallone (Cobra) and Van Damme (Lionheart).

Of Gratuitous Nature

Donna starts out wearing a thin white undershirt and underwear in the opening, which becomes completely see-through as she emerges from the dream tank. A very appropriate and necessary uniform for a university experiment. Kim’s erotic, self-pleasure dream is equally “necessary” in the alien’s lair.


If the credits say KNB, then that movie is for me. There is no FX studio I love more. A testament to how much I love KNB: Pumpkinhead is one of my favorite films of all time.

Many of you know that was the legend Stan Winston’s first film as director. His team of very capable artists handled effects duty and, of course, did a phenomenal job. That said, I still think KNB made an even better Pumpkinhead in the sequel, even if the original movie is far superior.

Ripe for a Remake

I don’t like the story, so there’s nothing to mine here.


No progeny to report.

Where to Watch

Fringe specialists Unearthed Films put out a Blu-ray version. You can stream Nightwish on Tubi, Night Flight, Fandor, Screambox, and Amazon’s Freevee.

Overall Rating (Out of 5 Butterflies): 2

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