Monday, February 6, 2017


Director - Joseph Ruben (The Good Son, The Stepfather)
Starring - Dennis Quaid (Pandorum, Drunk History), Max Von Sydow (Game of Thrones, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Christopher Plummer (Priest, Up)
Release Date - 1984
Genre - Horror/Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Tagline - "Enter a world beyond your wildest imagination where anything can happen"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

      A few years back I stopped by an old thrift store that has since closed to see what all I could find.  They had a fairly decent size VHS collection so I made my way through each shelf to see if they had any gems.  I did find a few movies that I thought were cool along with several movies I had never heard of.  Among the stack was several mid-90s Nickelodeon tapes along with two variant covers of Scream and a former rental clamshell of Dreamscape.  When I finally made it home I shared a picture of my plunder on Facebook and within minutes I had several collectors hitting me up wanting these finds.  I thought I had found some cool finds but I didn't think they were that special.  I immediately sold them and for a damn good price but I often wondered what made Dreamscape so damn special.  I had never heard of the film before that day but for the right price the VHS was gone.  Not long ago my friends over at Scream Factory released the film on blu.  I reached out to them for the opportunity to finally see the film and they were kind enough to hook me up with a review copy.  Thanks guys!
     The film follows psychic Alex Gardner (Quaid) who has a gambling problem and has run into trouble down at the race track.  To make matter worse, the IRS is after him over his winnings.  A government agency, working with an university, is creating dream sharing technology that puts a psychic in the dream of a patient where they are able to help them overcome sleep disorders and the like.  Alex agrees to help them if they keep the IRS off their back.  He meets everyone involved with the project including the arrogant Tommy (David Patrick Kelly).  Tommy rubs Alex the wrong and when the president needs their help he learns that Tommy is working for an outside source and plans on killing the him.  He must stop Tommy and save the president or die trying.

     I was definitely curious about Dreamscape.  What made that VHS so special?  Was that particular release rare or was that movie fucking amazing?  I had to know.  After seeing the film I can easily say that it was fun but not what I was expecting.  I am now convinced that the VHS was unique to collectors.  The acting in this one is not the best I have seen but it is still fun.  I'm not used to seeing Dennis Quaid in roles while he was this young but he was able to conjure up a stereotypical 80s male that didn't have a care in the world and a heart of gold.  His character was highly entertaining but easily forgettable considering the time period and the countless raunchy teen comedies that was released.  The remainder of the cast does a solid job as well but none stand out like Quaid.  The story for this one is not that original and would go on to influence several other films along the way.  Also, the story fails to capitalize on the actual story they have before them resulting in a rather lackluster viewing experience.  The film makes you think that it is going to be an adventure film reminiscent of Indiana Jones but is actually science runs amok with very little action.  The artwork for the film is all wrong.  With all that being said, the scenes for the film actually have great pacing.  Very few scenes are slow which really helps hold the viewer's attention.  Finally, those of you looking for blood and gore will not find it here.  There is some decent effects with the dream dogs and snakeman but they are not utilized enough.  Also, we get tons of visual effects that are great for an 80s sci-fi flick but does not stand up well over the years.  Overall, Dreamscape was not the film I was expecting.  I was looking forward to an adventure film with some great monsters and lots of action.  Instead, we get a little action, no adventure, and a little monster action.  It is worth a watch but don't let the film's artwork paint the picture for you.  

No comments:

Post a Comment