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Night of the Hunted DVD Review – 1980

NightOfTheHuntedDVD_Redemption

Language: French
Directed by Jean Rollin
Cast: Brigitte Lahaie, Vincent Gardére, Dominique Journet, Rachel Mhas

Synopsis
A young man(Vincent Gardére) is driving down the road one night when he comes across a beautiful young woman(Brigitte Lahaie) on the side of the road wearing nothing but a white night gown. She’s disoriented and doesn’t seem to remember who or where she is. A mysterious naked red-headed woman watches them in the woods. He takes her back to his apartment and proceeds to get the quickest pickup sex ever in the history of cinema. He then leaves for work and tells her she can stay. And minutes later, two strangers seem to enter the apartment and informs the woman that she won’t be able to remember anything after 5 minutes. They take her back to something they call the “black tower”, which houses other people who can’t remember who they are.

DVD Release
La nuit des traquées was released by Redemption(a division of Salvation Films) in 1999. The film boasts a 1.66.1 letterbox print which is good for the most part. There are definitely some grain and scratches but its never un-watchable. There appears to be some reel damage as well. The Audio is mono, which comes out pretty clear. Italian dialog with optional English subtitles.

One down factor for the Redemption DVD is their little one minute self promotion video that plays before the feature. It’s on the same track as the film itself. Make it skippable, I know I could of fast forwarded but that’s besides the point. I have nothing against boobs, or lesbian vampires! Shame on Salvation films for the DVD cover, it’s terrible. Also, the film’s trailer plays after the main feature is finished, so the trailer is on the same track as the movie too, just at the end. Meh.

Extras

  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Production and Publicity Still Gallery

If you’re looking for a better edition of La nuit des traquées, there is apparently a 2 disc Collector’s edition over in Europe. Released by Encore Films – it boasts a new anamorphic 16:9 transfer from original negative, remastered sound track, interviews, audio commentary by Brigitte Lahaie and Jean Rollin, booklet with essay and rare photos and alternate scenes to make the film “Hard”. Region Free in PAL format. Expect to pay $30-40 dollars for it. It also sports a better DVD cover!

Thoughts
The Night of the Hunted is an unusual step away from traditional Jean Rollin films. The film manages to carry a rather surreal, often dream like quality throughout. Former porn star Brigitte Lahaie stars as Elysabeth, a young girl who is having trouble remembering things that are happening. Her memory seems to reset itself every 5 minutes. She does a pretty good job at being convincing and hot. She has the whole girl next door thing going on. It just goes to show you the big difference between porn stars now and back then.

The idea of losing one’s mind slowly is an interesting one. A radiation leak has affected people and the government decides to hide them away in a “black tower”. A Doctor(Bernard Papineau) and his assistant Solange(Rachel Mhas) try to find a cure as the people become reduced to an almost zombie like state. For awhile, I thought this would be Jean Rollins’ way of explaining a zombie outbreak.

The movie has a great sense of eeriness to it. The scene that stands out to me, is when Elysabeth walks through the building where the other amnesia patients are One woman desperately flips through a photo album trying to remember her family. Others are just moaning and crying. And in typical Jean Rollin fashion, several are hiding their pain through sex. There’s a male patient who starts to get it on with a female patient in a sauna room. And as he’s in mid-stride, starts to strangle the woman till she’s dead. Throw in a creepy janitor who likes raping the female patients and you have the making of a good Euro-sleaze.

Conclusions
The Night of the Hunted isn’t the best movie, but it does have have it’s charm. The Redemption release is good if not flawed. I doubt we’ll ever see a better Region 1 release, so don’t hesitate to grab it if you are interested.

* Editor Note: I was wrong about not seeing a better release, there is now a Blu-ray from Redemption films. *

Rating

2.5 out of 5