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The Sunday Cult Film Corner: “Dreamscape (1984)”

02 Dec
Dreamscape

Dreamscape

Yaaaaawn…..

Today is one of those days. A weekend spent partying and drinking and all sort of sill things has meant that today has been spent drinking cups of tea and lolling around the flat in a state of torpor, watching rugby, and sorting out stuff for a new mix that will be coming out in the next couple of weeks. That should be a lot of fun.

But as ever, Sunday evening is now here and that can mean only one thing. Yup, it’s time for the SUNNNNNNNNNDAY CULLLLLLLLLLLT FILMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM CORNNNNNNNNNNNAH!! (Belch…).

And for this week’s instalment  i present to you a low slung ’80s sci-fi classic with a stellar cast, psychic assassins, and strange government conspiracies. Ladies and Gentlemen, i give you DREAMSCAPE.

Directed in 1984 by Joseph Ruben (Who would later go on to direct such Hollywood fare as sleeping with The Enemy, The Money Train, and The Forgotten), the film stars Dennis Quaid as Alex, a young psychic who drifts around using his powers for things such as winning at gambling. After being found out, he is coerced into re-joining an academic research project funded by the government and managed by Alex’s former mentor, Dr Novotny (Max Von Sydow). The project aims to help people with sleep and psychological disorder by allowing psychics to enter the patient’s mental state while they dream. But the project is hi-jacked by powerful government agent Bob Blair (Christopher Plummer), who plans to use the project to train  assassins who can kill people in their sleep. Alex and scientist Jane DeVries (Kate Capshaw) find themselves in danger when they uncover Blair plans to use a dream assassin to kill the US President. Together they vow to stop Blair before it´s too late.

Dreamscape mixes several genres into its flesh. There’s some Sci-Fi, some thriller, some action, some psychological horror. Despite it’s rather stellar cast, Dreamscape is most definitely classic pumped up B-film fare and at times feels more like a TV film that something from Hollywood. The dream sequences seem rather cartoonish and due to the rather low-budget, the special effects have really not aged well. The script is no great shakes, and the characters don’t have that much to them. But the cast play it reasonable straight (aided along with George Wendt, as a Novelist investigating the project, and David Patrick Kelly as the psychopathic assassin). Dennis Quaid in particular shows a lot of flashy wit and the charming smile and demeanour that would serve him well on films such as Innerspace, Great Balls Of Fire, and The Big Easy.

So if you fancy some classic schlocky ’80s sci-fi action, then pull the chair up and give this a blast. But be careful when you get to sleep, OK?

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in Film

 

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