Long before Christopher Nolan dazzled audiences with his reality-bending blockbuster Inception (2010), Joseph Ruben's (Sleeping with the Enemy, The Good Son) sci-fi/horror film Dreamscape was delving into the fantastical world of dreams. While the special effects are definitely dated, the creativity and story still hold up after all these years.
We follow the adventures of a psychic named Alex Gardner (Dennis Quaid) who wastes his extraordinary talents on empty sexual conquests and gambling. He is recruited by a government institution for academic research in which he discovers he has the ability to enter other's dreams. Of course, everything is not what it seems and the plot thickens. The plot does have that goofy charm that '80s movies are known for--it seems like the type of flick that would be perfect to watch on a Saturday afternoon. As usual, Dennis Quaid is incredibly charming and likable as Alex and his charisma carries much of the film. His partner at the institute, Dr. Jane DeVries (Kate Capshaw), has better than usual character development and holds her own in the movie. Rounding out the cast is everyone's favorite '80s villain Christopher Plummer as a sinister government agent and David Patrick Kelly as another psychic with sociopathic tendencies.
The special effects are a mixed bag with some obvious green screen being used for the dream backgrounds. However, the make up effects for the creatures is not too bad and there is even some sweet Claymation in a couple of scenes. Dreamscape leans more on the fantasy side of film than horror but some of the dreams that Alex has to "dive" into are quite frightening and surreal. Maurice Jarre provides a snappy synthesizer score that, while campy sounding, fits the feel of the film perfectly. It's some epic dreaming music, dude!
Scream Factory's 2K scan looks awesome and it's a huge upgrade from the VHS and DVD versions previously available. The visuals are clean while keeping a small amount of grain for that retro feel. As for the extras, I especially enjoyed the segments concerning the visual effect teams--lots of great info for people who are into that type of stuff.
- NEW 2K Scan Of The Film
- NEW "The Actor's Journey" – Interview With Dennis Quaid
- NEW "Dreamscapes And Dreammakers" Retrospective Including Brand-New Interviews With Director Joseph Ruben, Co-Writer David Loughery, Actor David Patrick Kelly And Other Members Of The Special Effects Team
- NEW "Nightmares And Dreamsnakes" – Looking Back At The Snakeman With Craig Reardon, David Patrick Kelley And Others
- NEW In-Depth Conversation Between Bruce Cohn Curtis And Co-Writer/Producer Chuck Russell
- Audio Commentary With Bruce Cohn Curtis, David Loughery And Craig Reardon
- Snake Man Test Footage
- Still Gallery
- Theatrical Trailer