Monday, June 14, 2010

Summer Shocks 1984: Dreamscape

The summer of '84 was the world-class geek summer of such heavy-hitters as Ghostbusters, Gremlins, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (who wouldn't give to have a summer like that this year?) but my personal favorite was Dreamscape. It wasn't hyped that much and I'm not sure how well it did at the box office but I took to it instantly.

As one of the first PG-13 movies, Dreamscape embodied the purpose of that rating and it was truly the perfect movie to see as a young teen. It wasn't so intense that it freaked me out but it was certainly edgier than a kid's film. It was pretty scary in parts (with some rad FX!) and it even had some mild sexual content that was satisfyingly risque to my eyes then. If your parents were going to drop you off at the mall to see a movie with your pals, Dreamscape was a perfect choice. After Dreamscape, I wasn't going back to PG movies. No sir!

Curiously, it's never really taken off as a big league cult film (just for David Patrick Kelly's pitch-perfect turn as evil dream linker and would-be presidential assassin Tommy Ray Glatman, I think Dreamscape earns its place in cinematic history - nobody rocked neon nunchucks like he did) but for those who caught it in theaters in '84 or who saw it on its endless airings on HBO back in the day, Dreamscape remains the stuff of fond memories.

For my full review, click over to Shock Till You Drop.

10 comments:

Autumnforest said...

I gotta admit, this is one of my fav's from that era! I really enjoyed it. Glad someone hasn't forgotten what a gem it is.

Jeff Allard said...

Thanks - I never pass on a chance to give Dreamscape a shout-out! Even though some of the material is dated (like the Cold War politics), the movie still holds up.

Matt-suzaka said...

I loved Dreamscape as a kid, and there were a few moments that I can barely recall that scared the brown right out of me. It's on Netflix instant view and has been calling my name for a while now. I haven't seen it since before pubes.

Jeff Allard said...

Matt, now that you're a full-blown man you owe yourself another look at Dreamscape!

J.D. said...

I just watched this a few weeks ago and it was fantastic trip down memory lane. I remember when this first came out and being freaked out by the scene where David Patrick Kelly's character transforms into a snake!

Despite the dodgy-looking effects, this film still holds up and I actually really like the political thriller elements that are integrated with the SF/horror bits - it kinda gives DREAMSCAPE the same kind of hybrid thriller vibe as De Palma's THE FURY or Cronenberg's SCANNERS -- all of which deal with powers of the mind.

Still, I'm surprised that the premise for DREAMSCAPE hasn't been done more often - it is such prime material to go crazy with via special effects.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Jeff Allard said...

My pleasure, J.D.! I'm also surprised this premise hasn't been ultilized more often. Dreamscape is perfect fodder for a remake but I have to say I'm glad it hasn't happened. I'm sure any new version would totally miss the charm of the original.

FilmFather said...

The icing on this movie cake would have been if David Patrick Kelly had clacked the nunchucks together in one hand and said, "Alllexxxx...come out to playyyy..."

Jeff Allard said...

It would've blown my mind to have Kelly bust out with that line, FF - so it's probably for the best he didn't!

The Frog Queen said...

Sorry I missed this review, I to remember this movie and loved it. Definately going to be tracking it down to watch again. Thanks!

Cheers!

Jeff Allard said...

Thanks Frog Queen!