Nightwish – USA, 1988 – reviews

NEW! Rate this movie! Press a star to vote anonymously
[Total: 10   Average: 2.6/5]


‘In your dreams, no-one can hear you scream’

Nightwish is a 1988 American paranormal horror feature film written and directed by Bruce R. Cook. The movie stars Clayton Rohner, Alisha Das, Jack Starrett, Robert Tessier and Elizabeth Kaitan.


Art director Robert A. Burns worked on Re-Animator; Tourist Trap and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, among many others. KNB handled the special effects.

Nightwish is released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 13, 2019, by Unearthed Classics. Extras include:

  • Exclusive detailed booklet
  • Trailers
  • Alternate slipcover
  • Audio commentary by Paul White and Stephen Biro



A professor and four graduate students journey to a crumbling mansion to investigate paranormal activity and must battle ghosts, aliens and satanic entities…


Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …features absurd dialogue, hot chicks, and an entertaining albeit non-linear plot. I’d say give a watch for Thompson and Kaitan alone. Nightwish features roadkill, alien cocoons, a dude that p*sses his pants, zombies, a retarded gatekeeper, severed fingers, and tarantulas.” 80s Horror Central

” …while there is so much going on here, I was never distracted from a completely predictable climax that I knew was coming since the first two scenes of the film. With a couple of scary gore effects and Brian Thompson, Cook’s film is not a complete failure. Trimming some of the fat would have made a leaner, meaner Nightwish.” Charles Tatum


It’s like the director came up with various ideas and then dropped them. To make up for it, there’s some decent special effects involving alien breeding scenarios, nudity (Elizabeth Kaitan and Alisha Das) … and some interesting visuals bringing to mind some Stephen Sayadian weirdness mixed with something you might see in Night Train to Terror.” Horror Fan Zine

“It’s basically a blend of Flatliners and Invasion of the Body Snatchers with a dash of The Twilight Zone and it’s mainly set in a haunted house. It’s one of those movies that could only happen in the ’80s and it’s pretty damn great.” Tony the Terror


” …Bruce R. Cook obviously mastered enough know-how and control of the camera to give Nightwish some nice atmosphere, but his script is a mixed up mash of a car wreck that can’t figure out exactly what it is, what it wants to say or where it wants to go, and completely lacks any concept of logic, reality, continuity or other such necessary features needed to make a story.” A Wasted Life

Main cast and characters:

  • Clayton Rohner … Jack
  • Alisha Das … Kim
  • Jack Starrett … Professor – Family Reunion; Grizzly II; Race with the Devil
  • Elizabeth Kaitan … Donna – Necromancer; Friday the 13th Part VII; Silent Night, Deadly Night 2; et al
  • Artur Cybulski … Bill
  • Robert Tessier … Stanley – Fertilize the Blaspheming Bombshell; Double Exposure; The Velvet Vampire
  • Brian Thompson … Dean – Flight of the Living Dead; Doctor Mordrid; Fright Night Part 2
  • Tom Dugan … Wendall
  • Gayle Vance … Fruit Stand Lady
  • John Hayden … Fruit Stand Boy
  • Jared Coulter … Ghost Boy
  • Kazuko Ohashi … Slug Girl#1
  • Elizabeth Hegyes … Slug Girl#2
  • Joanne House … Title Sequence Model

Filming locations:

Los Angeles, California

Technical credits:

  • 96 minutes
  • Ultra Stereo






Choice dialogue:

Dean: “The highway’s mine!”

Bill: “There’s only one paranoid in this room. Or is he a schizoid?”

Image credits: Sangue Doce | VHS Collector

MOVIES and MANIA provides an independent aggregated range of previews, opinions and reviews from a wide variety of credited sources, plus our own reviews, in one handy web location. We rely solely on the very minor income generated by affiliate links and internet ads to stay online and expand. Please support us by not blocking ads on our site. Thank you.      

4 Comments on “Nightwish – USA, 1988 – reviews”

    1. The plot is all over the place, as was the case in many late 80s horror movies. It’s vacuous and unmemorable, although it at least looks good thanks to Robert A. Burns’ set designs and the KNB special effects are enjoyable. A wasted opportunity as the cast is ok too. On YouTube…

Leave your comment here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.