Sunday Matinee: Dreamscape

sunday-matineeDennis Quaid is Alex Gardner, a man with with psychic abilities that he mostly uses for gambling. He’s in debt so when a couple of guys in suits show up he gladly goes with them instead of the thugs that have chasing him.

The men are sent by his old mentor Doctor Paul Novotny (Max von Sydow). Novotny is part of a top secret government project where they use psychics to go into people’s dreams. Originally the project was to help people but the head of the department, Bob Blair (Christopher Plummer) seems to have evil schemes and Novotny wants Gardner’s help.

dreamscapeGardner starts by learning how to enter people’s dreams. One of the clients is a man worried about his wife. Another is a young kid who has nightmares about a snakeman. Soon Gardner learns that Blair is planning on killing the President of the United States.

Originally based on an outline that Roger Zelazny did for Fox based on his novels The Dream Master and He Who Shapes. Zelazny didn’t participate any further and didnèt get any credit for his outline. David Loughery (Passenger 57) and Chuck Russell (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) wrote the screenplay while Joseph Ruben (The Stepfather) directed. The movie was one of those 1980s B-movies that was almost an R-rated movie but got the PG-13 rating and thus allowed a lot of kids to see a scary action adventure film that was probably meant for adults.

Shout Factory is releasing a new 2K scan of the film and a ton of extras on Blu-ray next week. The movie is still pretty entertaining for an ’80s B-movie. I remember as a kid seeing the poster which emulated Indiana Jones but that definitely wasn’t what the movie was like. Still the snake monster was cool and Dennis Quaid always made a likable hero.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka has spent most of his life watching movies and reading comic books. He has decided to use this vast knowledge for evil instead of good.