POSSESSED BY THE NIGHT
Possessed By the Night feels like Fred Olen Ray has taken Gremlins (1984) and crossbred it with one of his softcore bimbo films. The basic set-up of the film closely follows the plot of Gremlins the discovery of a magical creature in a Chinatown curio shop that is sold by the aging owners son, even down to a similar ending where the creature is reclaimed by the old man. Unlike Gremlins, the menace is reduced to a single creature and is mostly kept inside a jar (which is probably a good idea as the one scene when it is taken out and put inside the marriage bed reveals it as ludicrously cheap looking).
While on the one hand, Possessed By the Night is a blatant copy of Gremlins, on the other it is one of Fred Olen Rays standard bimbo films and the two make odd bedfellows. Olen Ray casts Shannon Tweed, an actress who has become a cult figure in the video-released horror and softcore market. She still remains a sex symbol and a queen of this particular exploitation niche market even at the age of 40. Not too surprisingly, Olen Ray has Shannon Tweed naked within a few minutes of introducing her. Olen Ray also has on board Sandahl Bergman. In the early 1980s, Sandahl Bergman made distinction first as a Broadway dancer and then as the female lead in Conan the Barbarian (1982) but her acting career never subsequently took off with the promise it was once seen as having. Here, having fallen into the orbit of Fred Olen Ray and ended up as one of his bimbos where she has a nude love scene in the films opening moments and throws her top off numerous times throughout it is clear that Sandahl Bergmans career has slid a long way down.
Possessed By the Night comes bereft of much in the way of underlying rationale of motivation at one point, Shannon Tweed is a secretary introduced by double-dealing agent Frank Sivero (and it is hinted, may not even be a secretary) with orders to steal the manuscript. Next, she metamorphoses into a deranged psycho and, in the most laughable scene, makes Sandahl Bergman and Ted Prior have sex at gunpoint. What makes the eroticism in the film so ungainly is its bizarre arbitrariness. One of the funniest scenes is where Shannon Tweed in her first day on the job, in perfect porn movie motivation, asks Ted Prior: Do you mind if I use the workout equipment in your bedroom when Im finished [work]? which then becomes a laughable sequence of sweatily eroticised half-clad aerobics that is all the more bizarre for both its total gratuity as a scene and the hyper-emphasized detail that Fred Olen Ray pumps into it.
Fred Olen Ray has made a lengthy list of genre films. These include:- The Brain Leeches (1977), The Alien Dead/It Fell from the Sky (1980), Scalps (1983), Biohazard (1984), The Adventures of Taura: Prison Ship Star Slammer (1985), The Tomb (1985), The Phantom Empire (1986), Cyclone (1987), Beverly Hills Vamp (1988), Deep Space (1988), Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988), Warlords (1989), Alienator (1990), Bad Girls from Mars (1990), Spirits (1990), Haunting Fear (1991), Scream Queen Hot Tub Party (1991), Wizards of the Demon Sword (1991), Evil Toons (1992), Little Devils (1993), Dinosaur Island (1994), Mind Twister (1994), Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfolds (1995), Cyber Zone/Droid Gunner (1995), Invisible Mom (1995), Star Hunter (1995), Night Shade (1996), Passionate Revenge/Friend of the Family II/Hell Hath No Fury (1996), Hybrid (1997), Little Miss Magic/Kidwitch (1997), Billy Frankenstein (1998), Dear Santa/My Dad Santa (1998), Illicit Dreams 2 (1998), Invisible Dad (1998), Active Stealth (1999), Fugitive Mind (1999), Invisible Mom 2 (1999), The Kid with X-Ray Eyes (1999), Prophet (1999), Critical Mass (2000), Sideshow (2000), Kept (2001), Stranded (2001), Venomous (2001), Thirteen Erotic Ghosts (2002), Final Examination (2003), Bikini-a-Go-Go/Curse of the Erotic Tiki (2004), Genie in a String Bikini (2004), Haunting Desire (2004), Teenage Cavegirl (2004), Glass Trap (2005), Tomb of the Werewolf (2005), Bikini Girls from a Lost Planet (2006), Bikini Pirates (2006), Ghost in a Teeny Bikini (2006), Bewitched Housewives (2007), The Girl With Sex-Ray Eyes (2007), Nuclear Hurricane (2007), Super Ninja Bikini Babes (2007), Polar Opposites (2008), Solar Flare (2008), Tarzeena, Queen of Kong Island (2008), Voodoo Dollz (2008), Dire Wolf (2009), Silent Venom (2009), Bikini Frankenstein (2010), Bikini Jones and the Temple of Eros (2010), Housewives from Another World (2010), Turbulent Skies (2010), Twilight Vamps (2010), Lady Chatterlys Ghost (2011), Little Witches (2011), Rewind Time Machine (2011), Super Shark (2011), Dirty Blondes from Beyond (2012), Abner the Invisible Dog (2013), After Midnight (2014), Unwanted Guest (2016), Stage Fright (2017) and The Twin (2017).