Director: Chris Fisher
Screenwriters: Chris Fisher

Institute History

  • 2003 Sundance Film Festival


Inspired by true events, director Chris Fisher's haunting and visually inspired debut, Nightstalker, tells the tale of horrors that take place when the sun sets over the city of Los Angeles. Twilight ushers a demon into the mind of Richard Ramirez, aka the Nightstalker, and sends him raging through the city streets, spastic on crack cocaine, contorted by paranoia, and mauling random women in bouts of bloody, satanic sadism. Ramirez's misogynistic crimes particularly incense Gabriella Martinez, an exceptionally beautiful rookie detective who cares for her doddering, religious-fanatic mother at home and struggles with sexism from her colleagues at work. As the Nightstalker slithers in and out of East Los Angeles homes, Martinez's keen instincts keep her hot on his trail, and as she draws closer to capturing the menacing beast, she finds she must confront her own life choices and question the existence she has created for herself.

The scintillating Roselyn Sanchez brings to life a new kind of heroine as the sexy and enigmatic detective Martinez, while Bret Roberts gives us a chillingly memorable human monster as the murderous Ramirez in this richly stylized psycho-horror film. Chris Fisher's indelible Nightstalker may haunt you well after you turn your lights out tonight.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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