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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Dreamscape (1983)
(2017 Reissue)


Starring: Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, Kate Capshaw and David Patrick Kelly
Distributor: Second Sight
RRP: £19.99


Certificate: TBC
Release Date: 31 July 2017

Young psychic Alex Gardner is coerced into joining a dream research project in which those with his abilities are trained to enter and affect the dreams of others. What begins as an experiment in remedying nightmares turns into something far more sinister, when a corrupt government official seizes control of the project. Can Alex stop his diabolical plan...?

Dreamscape was one of those movies I saw growing up, thought it was okay, but nothing special, and so I wasn't sure how I'd view it over 30 years later. In truth it's held up fairly well. It's still nothing special, but it's a solid sci-fi movie that still works. In fact, if the extras are to be believed, then the producer has spent several years trying to get a reboot off the ground.

I'd forgotten how much of a rip-off the movie poster was. It's so blatantly an Indiana Jones inspired painting (from the font used for the title down to Dennis Quaid dressed in Indiana Jones costume and holding a flaming torch) that it's pretty much libelous. Sure Kate Capshaw starred in both movies, but really? Does that picture come even close to capturing anything about the film? Clue: The answer is no! Not even remotely.

Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer and Eddie Albert (I was surprised to learn that the first two are still very much alive and that even old Albert made it to 99) are heavy weights who bring much gravitas to the project. And David Patrick Kelly's unhinged Tommy Ray Glatman is the perfect villain.

The story still holds up well, and I'm surprised that it has not been transformed into a TV series over the years, nor has a reboot yet materialised, despite much promise that one is in development.

Extras are pretty impressive, with almost all being new for this release. We get an interesting audio commentary (from 1999) with Bruce Cohn Curtis (producer), David Loughery (screenwriter) and Craig Reardon (special makeup artist); The Actor's Journey: Interview with Dennis Quaid (14 min, 50 sec); Dreamscapes and Dreammakers (1 hr, 1 min, 50 sec retrospective including interviews with director Joseph Ruben, co-writer David Loughery, actor David Patrick Kelly and other members of the Special Effects Team); Nightmares and Dreamsnakes (23 min, 23 sec looking back at the Snakeman with Craig Reardon, David Patrick Kelley and others); In Conversation with Bruce Cohn Curtis and Chuck Russell (23 min, 31 sec); Snakeman Test Footage (2 min, 16 sec); Stills Gallery (2 min, 32 sec); and Theatrical Trailer (2 min, 13 sec).

While it's not an essential movie to add your collection, those that fondly remember it will be pleasantly surprised to discover that it has held up fairly well.


Nick Smithson

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