SCI-FI Week!: Thomas Drew Visits...Dreamscape (1984)

A few years ago, I had a dream that I was at a bad party at some cabin in the woods. I’m not sure who owned the cabin but there were a bunch of people there that I couldn’t stand. I was talking to a, now estranged, friend of mine who was acting weirder than normal. If you knew him you would get what I mean as he was pretty intense in real life; truth-be-told he kind of went off the deep end and disappeared from my life, but anyway, we were in the kitchen and he violently starts to wipe all of these children’s alphabet magnets that were on the refrigerator onto the ground. I asked him, “What’s your problem man, are you high?

To which he responded, “I’ve been high all my life...maaaan!”

Then he lethargically slinked back to the sink he was leaning on before his tantrum. My other friend was outside having an argument with his horrible girlfriend (now ex, thank God). She was a drama queen and every party you went with her in real life ended in catastrophe...just like their relationship (thank God).

Right, so at one point in the dream, I’m looking around at everyone at the party —the drug and alcohol fueled miasma creating a haze in the air— and I realize; everyone at this party has a flesh eating virus.

When I finally find my normal friend (the guy with the horrendously wicked ex-succubus) to tell him about how bad this party had become, he looked at me knowingly and told me to leave. Then he went inside the cabin and started shooting everyone. As I drove away, straggler’s from the party kept attacking my car and then I saw this glowing swamp...or some type of bog...I think there was a statue in it...then I woke up.

Now, it’s not often that I remember my dreams but when I do I always think about the movie Dreamscape and how it would be cool to have a trained psychic/psychologist to tell me what the hell is going on.

Oh and if you haven’t seen Dreamscape then you are stupid. Sorry it’s true.

A young Dennis Quaid stars as an opportunistic-hotshot-psychic who, aside from making enemies in the rough and dangerous world of horse racing, is also an aspiring getaway driver. Seriously, nobody can catch this guy in the movie, whether he’s slipping away from the loser gangsters that hang out at the horse track or jumping off ramps in a stolen motorcycle fleeing from the feds, Quaid defies logic in every action scene he’s in.

Ok, so the president is having bad dreams and feels that he is going to bring a nuclear crisis. Not knowing what else to do the government contacts Max Von Sydow, who plays the world’s foremost authority on showing flash cards to psychics. They fund a project where psychics are able to hack into someone’s brain whilst they slumber and enter their dreams in order to help with sleep disorders. Unbeknownst to everyone except the always magnetic Christopher Plummer and David Patrick Kelly (the creepy guy from the Warriors...and pretty much every movie he’s in. Creepy or sleazy, I love this guy, he makes every movie he’s in better) the project is really an experiment in psychic assassination.

Or, if you will, a training camp for BRAIN NINJAS with TELEPATHIC MACE-CHUCKS!!!

Throw in some awkward sex dreams, Norm from Cheers, and a snake headed monster and you have the makings of one of the best movies from the 80’s ever. EVERRRRRR!

The movie still holds up today, in fact, as I was re-watching it to familiarize myself with the story for this review (although I’m starting to realize I don’t write reviews so much as just aimlessly pontificate on useless subjects and pepper my diatribe with slightly obvious sarcastic remarks), I realized that this movie has all the makings to be a great show.

It’s a little known fact that Hollywood studios employ people to scour the internet and magazines to find ideas that they can buy, so in an attempt to have some input and plant some idea seeds I’m going to outline how the story should continue (I’m not going to spoil the film for you but I’m sure you know that the good guys win):

So the film was shot in 1984. Fast forward to now, we have Dennis Quaid a little older, wiser, and maybe a bit disenchanted with life. In the between years from then and now, he and Kate Capshaw (oh yeah, she’s in it too) have continued with the work that they started as a psychic sleep clinic and have been studying the results. They still haven’t graduated from the research phase and try to get funding the honest way. They get approached by the Government again...for some reason...and find out that the Government has been doing their own research but focusing on the espionage and assassination aspects.

Dennis would play the mentor type and we would get introduced to a group of hot and hip young actors and it would be cool and sexy. The Snake-Man could be introduced as sort of a subconscious enemy (a theme of psychics taking on aspects of their subjects behaviors, personality traits, and fears would be introduced) and they would have crazy adventures and psychic knife fights in the dreamscape. The show would totally cash in on the success of the film Inception, of course, but the added plus is that it would be able to build off of the existing rules that were set up in the Dreamscape movie; and it would build up off of the fan base. It would basically be like every show that’s on TV now but with Dennis Quaid. Man, I wish I had a connection to TV land cause my ideas are solid GOLD!!!

Oh and if you wouldn’t watch Dreamscape: the series, then you are stupid.

It should be noted that this film came out the same year that A Nightmare on Elm Street did (3 months before to be exact) and they both have antagonists with deadly finger blades. For Freddy the finger blade thing was more than just a passing fad, obviously, but I still think David Patrick Kelly is way creepier. If they ever crossed paths in the dreamscape, David Patrick Kelly would totally fuck Freddy up...with TELEPATHIC MACE-CHUCKS!!!

Anyway, one time I had this other dream that I was at a party (yet again, oddly enough) and it was kind of loud with all these random conversations going on. ‘Twas a cacophony of colloquies, indeed. When suddenly everyone stops and stares at me and it’s completely silent. Like deafeningly silent.

Then the scene flashes and I’m on a train. I’m looking out the window and the outside world is a desolate wasteland but the colors and hues are a sharp grayish purple; not overly saturated but not all that muted either. The landscape is all hills and dead trees and dark clouds. Basically, the view outside looks fake, like a Tim Burton set. By contrast the lighting and color inside is typical for a train.

Ok, so it’s still very silent and I slowly turn and face the person sitting across from me. It’s this old guy that I know (but haven’t seen or spoken to in years) and he slowly raises his hand as if to give me something but there’s nothing there. He opens his mouth as if he’s about to say something but he says nothing. Then I wake up...with a total feeling of dread that stayed with me for weeks. Nothing happened though. it would’ve been cooler if I could say something did and the dream was a warning, but that’s not the case.

I wish I had someone in that dream to hang out with cause dream parties kind of suck.

9 out of 10 Demon Dogs!!!

Recommendation: Watch this movie to prove you’re not stupid.

til next time,

Thomas Drew