Sunday, July 17, 2016

Rare TV Flix: Nightwing (1979)

Sorry, DC Fans.  Instead of being about Dick Grayson fighting crime in Bludhaven, this is about Indians fighting Bats in New Mexico.  There are still Bats involved at least!  Today's Film is Nightwing, a 1979 TV Movie about Animals on the loose (again).  There's no drugs or zoo escapes this time- just Nature being a dick.  The Story is a bit more complicated than that- it's also more obtuse.  This one is more about the Native Americans in New Mexico and their Heritage than, you know, the Plot of the Film.  To be fair, there was a bigger focus on Native Americans in the '70s- that's good.  The problem is that it takes away from what the Movies like this usually do.  I guess if you think that those Films are shallow, this may be a positive for you.  There are many Cast Members to note here.  For example, David Warner plays the Richard Dreyfuss role here as this is a post-Jaws Film.  It is also worth noting that Nick Mancuso plays the Native American bad guy (as it were) here...despite being Italian.  Close enough?  The Plot involve Vampire Bats, Indian Law and all sorts of vague mystical stuff.  Is it worth tracking down and tagging?  To find out, read on...
A Village area in New Mexico is having some troubles with strange illness, so they call in some help (Mancuso).
Unfortunately, he's more in this for himself.  Specifically, he wants to drill for oil!
Warner comes in as a hired Expert to deal with the suspected Bat Colony and there are some issues.
On top of all that (plus a Subplot with a Shaman), our Hero has a Love Interest.

So with all that, you have to wait about 45 minutes for any action (more like an Hour if you saw it on TV)!

Bat attack!  Hide Bernie Sanders there!
The Love Interest is the only to escape the attack, but now she is stuck in the middle of nowhere.

I bet you have more respect for your Cell Phone now!
They finally start dealing with Bats about an hour or so in.  They have to find a cure for the Disease that they are carrying.
Will our Hero going on a spirit journey help?  I sure hope so.
They eventually manage to set the Cave on fire (which has something to do with Shamans or something) and the day is saved.  Hurray.
It is...alright.  Nightwing is a Film that seemed to want to you to watch it for the Animals, but get drawn in by its weird Subplots instead.  Well, that didn't exactly work.  Tricking me into downloading and watching the Film over 35 years later wasn't exactly your plan.  Even so, I do like David Warner and the Story isn't bad.  Unlike most of these things, there's just not much in the way of the Animals.  The Beasts Are On The Streets came out a year earlier for TV and had lots more of that.  Who knows- maybe the giant mechanical Bat refused to work when they started shooting.  One thing I didn't mention earlier was that this Film was Directed by Arthur Hiller.  How you go from Silver Streak to this is anyone's guess.  If you get into the Story and all, this will work for you.  I should note that we get a Scene roughly an Hour in where the guy working with Mancuso just plain stops to recap the last 10 minutes.  Yes, I was there- thanks!  Nightwing is less weird and obtuse than bad, as opposed to this unfortunately-dated effect...
Next up, a Blaxploitation Film with a twist.  Will it be a big one or not?  Stay tuned...

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