Czech Occult Horror Anthology PRAGUE NIGHTS (1969) Coming Soon
Deaf Crocodile Films, in association with distribution partner Comeback Company, is thrilled to announce they will release a new restoration of the late 1960s Czech occult/horror anthology PRAGUE NIGHTS (PRAŽSKÉ NOCI), featuring episodes directed by Miloš Makovec, Jiří Brdečka and Evald Schorm. In the vein of horror anthologies like Mario Bava’s BLACK SABBATH, the long-unseen PRAGUE NIGHTS is a gorgeous and supernatural vision of ancient and modern Prague: caught between Mod Sixties fashions and nightmarish Medieval catacombs, and filled with Qabbalistic magic, occult rituals, clockwork automatons and giant golems. (In Czech with English subtitles.)
“PRAGUE NIGHTS is one of the rarest and most mysterious anthologies from the late Sixties,” says Deaf Crocodile Films’ Co-Founder and Head of Distribution Dennis Bartok. “It was the brainchild of animator, screenwriter and director Jiří Brdečka, who conceived of the film and directed the most amazing of its three episodes, ‘The Last Golem,’ set in the medieval Jewish community in Prague. The film was actually in production during the Soviet invasion of Prague in 1968, although the movie takes place centuries and worlds away from the tanks rolling through the streets of the city. It’s been something of a lost film for decades with only brief clips available online, so we’re incredibly excited to be working with Irena at Comeback Company and the Národní filmový archív to bring PRAGUE NIGHTS to the U.S. for the first time.”
Says Craig Rogers, Deaf Crocodile’s Co-Founder and Head of Post-Production and Restoration: “Dennis has unearthed yet another forgotten gem! I’ve always had a fondness for anthology horror films (CREEPSHOW, TALES FROM THE CRYPT, etc). PRAGUE NIGHTS is in that same vein -- with the bonus of being produced in the swinging 60s!”
Irena Kovarova of Comeback Company comments: “With this film, the American audience has a chance to sample genre cinema from Czechoslovakia, which doesn’t make it to these shores very often. PRAGUE NIGHTS exemplifies the breath of filmmaking in the country at that time. Dennis made a discovery of a film that even many Czechs (including myself) have never heard about before.”
PRAGUE NIGHTS (PRAŽSKÉ NOCI), 1969, Czechoslovakia, 99 min. Dirs. Miloš Makovec, Jiří Brdečka and Evald Schorm. A stuffy middle-aged foreigner, a businessman named Fabricius (Miloš Kopecký), lonely and looking for a night’s diversion, finds it in the form of a mysterious blonde, Zuzana (Milena Dvorská). In an abandoned cemetery, she tells him three tales involving black magic and erotic obsession. In director Jiří Brdečka’s stunning “The Last Golem,” a young rabbi (Jan Klusák) struggles to fashion a massive, silent giant out of living clay – until he’s distracted by a mute servant girl (Lucie Novotná). Utterly hypnotic and dreamlike, set to a haunting chorus of ghostly voices, “The Last Golem” ranks with Fellini’s “Toby Dammit” in SPIRITS OF THE DEAD as one of the finest supernatural short tales of the decade. In the second episode, “Bread Slippers,” an 18th-century countess (Teresa Tuszyńska) indulges her passion for sweet cakes, adulterous affairs, and secret kisses with pretty maids – until a mysterious visitor (Josef Somr) whisks her away to an abandoned mansion, where Fate has a different kind of dance in store for her. In the final story, “Poisoned Poisoner,” a ravishing murderess in the Middle Ages dispatches lecherous merchants to the tune of upbeat 60s Czech Pop songs (scored by the renowned Zdeněk Liška). A true rediscovery for horror and fantasy fans and lovers of the occult, PRAGUE NIGHTS has been restored for its first-ever U.S. release by the Národní filmový archiv, Deaf Crocodile Films and Comeback Company. In Czech with English subtitles.