Saturday, April 1, 2017

DREAMSCAPE (1984) Blu-ray review

Dreamscape (1984) d. Ruben, Joseph (USA)

Dennis Quaid stars as a psychic who primarily uses his brainwave powers for picking winners at the race track until former mentor Max von Sydow tracks him down and blackmails him into joining a top-secret government project where he can enter people’s subconscious through their dreams with a little help from beepy and flashy technology. But, as with any good top-secret government project, he quickly learns that all positive creations can be turned to evil ends....

This trippy little sci-fi/fantasy flick beat Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street to the punch (by three months) with the “die in your dreams, die in real life” mythos, and the all-star cast is undeniably impressive (Eddie Albert, Kate Capshaw, Christopher Plummer, George Wendt). However, it’s the ultra-creepy David Patrick Kelly (“Warriors...come out and play-ee-ayyy!!”) who steals the show as Quaid’s rival, a dream assassin as nimble with shapeshifting as he is with a set of nunchaku.

The special effects and makeup by Greg Cannom and Craig Reardon (memorably realized in the form of “The Snakeman”) still hold up three decades later, and director Ruben (The Stepfather) keeps the action zipping along such that the leaps in logic don’t distract. Chuck Russell, who would later helm the best of the Elm Street sequels (Dream Warriors) and The Blob remake, co-wrote the script alongside Ruben and David Loughtery.

Shout! Factory has served up a new Blu-ray that earns its “Collector’s Edition” banner, with commentary by producer Bruce Cohn Curtis, Rearden, and Loughtery, and an hour-long making-of featuring many of the cast and crew, as well as an extended 15-minute segment with the generous and thoughtful Quaid. Definitely worth the upgrade.

Dreamscape is available now from Shout! Factory and can be ordered HERE:


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