Thursday, October 9, 2014

Chiller Classics present: Bad Dreams (1988)

Welcome my friends to Chiller Classics, where I Charles Bartholomew Boonsweet take you on a trip to the olden, sometimes golden, days of horror.  Hopefully I will introduce you to some fine genre flicks you may not have heard of, either because of how old they are or how obscure, and break down some gory, chill filled, education in Horror History 101. And for those of you who are already well versed in the "good ol' days" of horror, hopefully this will help bring back some nostalgic memories and maybe entice you to see some of these classics again.


I can not pretend this is not a blatant rip off of Nightmare on Elm Street. Basically it's about a women who's dreams are haunted, and this man that haunts her dreams can kill those around her... so ya. Did I mention it also stars Jennifer Rubin, of Nightmare on Elm Street 3 (which came a mere year earlier) fame. That said. I mean, isn't all horror more or less a rip off of something that proceeded it. The thing is, all that matters is that you do it well...

So your dream killer plot goes... during the 70s a young woman/girl is part of a cult that dies in a ritual and explosion suicide. This girl, Cynthia, survives... albeit in a coma... when she wakes 13 years later, she finds the ways of free love gone... and the 80s have arrived. She is part of a psychiatric group, where patients at the hospital with varying problems try to work through there stuff. Now, why is she in this group? Not sure. I guess they didn't want a 70s child sent out into the 80s without adjustments... but is surrounding her with crazy people a solution? Ah whatever. Anyway the cult leader starts showing up in her dreams... or visions, and killing off anyone she makes a connection with, all the while asking her to join him.

Ok. I had no idea what this film was. But through the years I have herd those lines all underground horror fans lobe to hear: "Forgotten classic" "Underappreciated" "Deserves to be recognized" ... so I figured what the hell and dove in.

And Maybe its Maybelline. 
And I think I was over all pretty happy I did. First, the plot is actually way less crazy then I'm making it sound, and dare a say, reasonable explanations do find there way in in the closing act. Once you get by the Elm Street 3 comparisons, I think there is enough here for the film to stand on it's own.

First the writing is not that bad. It's a simple enough plot. Where the film picks up a few points in my mind is the directing. There are some very creepy, and atmospheric shots in this film. Definitely a few steps above the lower budgeted films of the 80s. But then, that leads me to another point... was this film low budget? I mean heck Guns 'N' Roses jam through the closing credits... so there had to be a decent bit of funds behind this.

The makeup is great. Some very cool burn effects, and a few other moments of cool gore. Raining blood from air conditioner ducts anyone? The film does lose a little bit in its "Reveal" portion. Seeming to paint some pretty crazy and fast found conclusions. I don't care what anyone says... I doubt no one... in an entire hospital is incompetent enough to not check medications... But hey... this is a psycho ward in a 80s film... so such thoughts should be tempered.

If you like your horror drenched in mist, and strange goings on... well this is your wet Dream... set what I did there... ya. I'm so clever. Booniacs! Bask in all that is my genius... Sigh. I think wading through all these 80s flicks I am starting to over value my intellect by comparison.


Falling apart here. And loving it. The horror flicks are going to keep rolling in. All October as it is the season.

Movie scale 2.5 out of 5 stars
Horror scale 3 out of 5 stars

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