‘Nothing But The Night’ is a bit of a one off, which is wholly appropriate given that it was the sole product of Charlemagne Films, a company set up to make intelligent horror films but lost so much money that they folded before they could make a follow up.
The narrative takes a while to come together but, ultimately, it turns out to be a curious mix of (to paraphrase the US poster) science and the occult, with some lovely Highlands and Islands scenery and a great cast, including Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Diana Dors, Kathleen Byron, Keith Barron, Fulton Mackay and Cassandra out of ‘Only Fools & Horses’ as a kid who WILL-NOT-STOP-SCREAMING and, ultimately, will utter the greatest lines ever spoken on film by a child:
"You've destroyed my dreams. I curse your cruel God"
At its core is a rather disquieting tale of child abuse in a remote orphanage, but perhaps not in the way that you might immediately think. There’s also a marvellous sequence in which dear old Diana Dors (playing a crazy, shouty clairvoyant) goes feral, running around the countryside evading the authorities like a chocolate munching Ray Mears in a ginger wig and red leatherette rain coat.
Little seen, somewhat neglected, this film always reminds me of a pleasing mix of ‘The Damned’ and ‘Scream and Scream Again’, and although it’s no kind of masterpiece, it nevertheless has strange ideas and weird horror at its core, and that’s like Turkish Delight on Toast for me.