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Nightwing (1979)

Kathryn Harrold , Nick Mancuso , Arthur Hiller  |  PG |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Kathryn Harrold, Nick Mancuso, David Warner, Ben Piazza
  • Directors: Arthur Hiller
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: SPHE
  • DVD Release Date: March 4, 2011
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,688 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Nightwing" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

At the rock hovel home of Abner Tasupi (George Clutesi), a 92-year-old high priest of the Masakai, tribal deputy Youngman Duran (Nick Mancuso) finds the old man trying to bring the world to an end by summoning Yewah, the monster god of the Masakai who guards the gates of life and death. Called to the Mamoa ranch, Duran is puzzling over the strange razor-sharp wounds and smell of ammonia coming from a dead horse when a helicopter soon arrives bearing Walker Chee (Stephen Macht), a wheeler-dealer politician from the neighboring Pahana tribe, accompanied by a veterinarian who underscores Duran's observations as he takes samples to determine what killed the animal. After going to see Anne Dillon (Kathryn Harrold), a health service nurse with whom he's romantically involved, Duran returns to Abner's shack to find the old man dead, his flesh stripped raw like that of the Mamoa ranch horse. Meanwhile, when Anne takes four foundation missionaries out on a camping trip, as they are gathered around an evening campfire, they hear a strange keening sound just before thousands of bats come swarming down upon them. Newly remastered.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nightwing (from ancient Indian myth to reality) January 6, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Nightwing has to be the best Horror/Adventure film I have ever seen. The main star is an Indian reservation law enforcement officer, Deputy Duran. His job and life around the desert reservation was always boring and uneventfull until people start dying from a particular cause in the form of both bites and plague. The old man, Abner, who was kind of like a godfather to Duran, has babbled about an ancient Indian curse that was to end the world. When he is killed by the very thing that he told about and many others keep dying, Duran has to spring in to action with the assistance of a strange British scientist who has dedicated his life to the extermination of the problem, Vampire Bats! This is an extremely exciting movie which also carries valuable information about the nature of beliefs and customs of the desert indian tribes. I would recommend this movie to anyone who can appreciate a true classic!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally on DVD! May 23, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a dvd-on-demand from Sony, and they did a good job on the transfer. The widescreen image is colorful and clear (no 'washout'),looking better than it probably ever will (I noticed very little if any dirt or scratches), especially during the evening and morning shots out in the desert (e.g. Canyon de Chelly). Since this is a bare-bones release, there isn't even a scene selection option, though there is a good trailer (not the 1979 teaser but a lengthier trailer). The sound is a good balance of the melancholy Henry Mancini score, voices and some shrill sound effects in all your TV speakers during the bat attack scenes. It is a shame that they didn't get the running commentary by star Nick Mancuso and producer Martin Ransahoff (which is available for listening on the Internet), but I'm thankful to Sony/Columbia Pictures for finally making this available, and it's probably not going to get any better than this unless it happens to find its way to Blu-Ray. If you're a fan of this film, then get it while you can.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BE AFRAID OF THE NIGHT, BE VERY AFRAID!! November 28, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
FIVE STARS. One of my favorite Horror/SciFi movies. A sensational low budget movie that begins with a farming problem facing an indian reservation that quickly becomes the basis for a great, unpretentious horror movie, without all of the CGI and 'wire-kung fu' nonsense that predominates most SciFi. It stays on target with no diversions. The plot really hangs together well and the story is similar to "Alien" where the characters are so excellently drawn by the script and the actors, that the dangerous circumstances really mean something to the audience when the characters are threatened. With terrific performances by Nick Mancuso as Deputy Youngman Duran, Kathryn Harrold as the love interest, Strother Martin in a hoot of a role, Stephen Macht, portraying Walker Chee, as good as he's ever been, and David Warner in a totally arresting and surprising role, director Arthur Hiller gets a ton of mileage from the cast. When nature, science, love, greed, and Native American folklore and religion collide things really get out of hand fast, with Duran in the middle of things. George Clutesi deserves special mention for his portrayal of Abner, a central character who is Mancuso's native American spiritual guide. The sound track has mesmerized me since 1979 when the movie came out: totally nailed by Henry Mancini (and sitting on my 'best of the best' cassette tape). The opening sequence is beautifully photographed especially if you love the desert southwest as I do.

If you haven't read the other reviews yet, stop now and see the movie. Hopefully, you haven't read the spoilers. Let the movie take you on the journey. I think you'll enjoy it, if horror and SciFi are your main interest. Pop some popcorn, grab some sodas and enjoy this delightful romp!! I watch the tape often and have ordered the DVD for a permanent keeper. Five Stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Calder
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film was a problematic endeavor based on the far superior book. For whatever reason - perhaps because of the misguided criticism (it was a work of fiction after all) the author was taking from some academics - the Hopis and Navajos of Martin Cruz Smith's book were changed to fictional Nation names for the film. This somewhat undermines the audience's connection between the movie's characters and their Southwest surroundings right from the start. Worse, however, was the decision to cast actors of European/American descent to play several roles that could have gone to American Indian actors. For some reason this is still occasionally done with indigenous characters, and it remains a bizarre mistake. While Stephen Macht and Nick Mancuso turned in fine performances, actual indigenous actors would have been much more appropriate. . .even casting unknowns. David Warner also did ok, but some of his dialogue was amped up too much for the film and created a character that is occasionally over the top. The early meeting with Youngman in the Hogan seemed particularly poorly executed and needlessly changed from the dialogue of the book. Many scenes also feel rushed.

The bat effects in the film are well known and not for their strengths. Carlo Rambaldi had a solid reputation at the time he was chosen to helm the effects for this film, but for whatever reason he dropped the ball entirely in this picture. The effects range from mediocre to bad, even for the time. The film came out when critics were chomping at the bit to tear up anything reminiscent of "Jaws" - so the weak effects provided additional fodder. On the bright side, Henry Mancini's soundtrack is quite good and atmospheric.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Bats without a belfry.
This is less a horror movie about bats than it is a film about greed and the willingness to do anything to anyone in order to gain untold wealth (in this case oil). Read more
Published 2 months ago by Einsatz
5.0 out of 5 stars An old favorite
One of my favorite movies, made from my favorite book from one of my favorite authors (Martin Cruz Smith), plus it stars Nick Mancuso in his gorgeous prime. Read more
Published 4 months ago by SA
5.0 out of 5 stars Been looking for Nightwing on DVD for 10 yrs.
The picture and sound is crisp and clear, 1st time I have seen the movie in over 20 years and still enjoy this movie.
Published 6 months ago by Itch
2.0 out of 5 stars In Goes the Good Book, Out Comes the Bad Movie
Upon watching Nightwing, I asked myself: Did I watch the same movie as these other reviewers giving it five stars? I don't see how it's possible. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Bill the Cat
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD video as good as I rembered in the theater.
This movie is a vintage collector's item in the Native American Movie genre. This video was very a hard video to find. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Dustin Numkena
5.0 out of 5 stars NIGHTWING dvd
Saw this movie on tcm ,wanted to buy it but for a long time could not find it,finally Amazon once again came through and I had to buy it and was very pleased .
Published 8 months ago by ninja
4.0 out of 5 stars a very scary movie - dont watch it alone
this is a very scary movies i would recommend you not watch alone and especially at night. even so I liked it
Published 9 months ago by drusilla p.
5.0 out of 5 stars Indian
This movie is a must see. It has great Indian folklore and the scenes are great. It has mysticism and magic rolled up in one. The story line is great and it never is boring.
Published 13 months ago by Paula L. Fernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars A bit corny, but kept us entertained till the end.
This is an old movie and a bit corny at times, but it's a classic. I'm so glad I got this movie at last and also got one for one of my sons since it's one of his favorites too. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Arlene Stecher
4.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite non-mainstream movies
I have been looking for a good quality DVD forever and this finally showed up! I could not be happier with it.
Published 14 months ago by Joseph R. Norman
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