Movie Review: DREAMSCAPE (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

DREAMSCAPE was directed by Joseph Ruben and stars Dennis Quaid, Max von Sydow, Christopher Plummer, Kate Capshaw, Eddie Albert, David Patrick Kelly and George Wendt.

Close Your Eyes And The Adventure Begins. Alex Gardner (Dennis Quaid) is a man with an incredible psychic gift… but for years has used it solely for personal gain. Reuniting with his old mentor, Dr. Novotny (Max von Sydow), Gardner joins a government project in which he learns to channel his abilities in order to enter peoples’ subconscious through their dreams. As his powers grow, the young psychic soon finds himself in a living nightmare of conspiracy and murder… and the only way out is to go back in.

The story for this 1984 sci-fi thriller was really interesting. It deals with these people with psychic abilities and some ulterior government motives. The amazing cast was led by Dennis Quaid who plays Alex Gardner, a highly gifted psychic who is also a little on the rebellious side. The love interest for Alex is Jane DeVries that’s played by Kate Capshaw. Her character is the assistant to Dr. Novotny who ends up being the only person with Alex’s best interest at heart. Bob Blair (Christopher Plummer) is the sleazeball who ends up seizing control of the project from Dr. Novotny so he can execute his own evil plans. Blair secretly wants to use psychics for assassination purposes and he has his eyes set on the President of the United States (Eddie Albert) and it’s up to Alex to stop his sinister plan. This leads to a wild showdown on a virtual battlefield that takes place in the mind where only the most powerful psychic comes out victorious.

As great as the story is and the cast are for this movie, there’s also the impressive special effects used, and it’s all old school practical effects. There’s a dream sequence where Alex helps out a little boy who is suffering from nightmares and the set piece used for this looks amazing. The house, it’s doors, windows and staircase are all crooked and looks like something that’s ripped straight out of a horror movie. Or maybe a Beetlejuice movie! Maybe? There’s also a scene that shows the aftermath of a nuclear fallout and this also looks extremely impressive. There’s also some mutated people that come along with this creepy scene. Finally, there’s the “Snake Man” that not only haunts a few dreams in the movie but has probabaly haunted some viewers as well over the years. This terrifying creation is a combination of stop-motion, animatronics and a rubber suit. Sure, it’s a little dated, but there’s a lot of us who really get a kick out of these old school special effects and how they were all created.

The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the all-new artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, an image and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features some of the original artwork and movie credits. The Blu-ray disc also features its own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this 2K upgrade by Scream Factory.

Bottom line is, it had been such a long time since I’d watched Dreamscape and I really enjoyed revisiting this adventurous sci-fi thriller mixed with elements of fantasy and horror. Scanners ended up being a popular psychokinesis franchise in the 80’s and this one here is similar to that even though it offers a different kind of approach to the whole “power of the mind” subgenre. Scanners was more horror driven and Dreamscape included more of a fantasy element. This movie focused on psychic abilities that are taken to the next level and of course there’s a sinister government plot that’s ultimately introduced.  Joseph Ruben did a great job telling this interesting story that evolved into a complex new playing field and world for these powerful psychics and the innocent people connected to them. All of this is complimented by this amazing cast that includes quite a few Hollywood legends. Scream Factory will release Dreamscape on a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray on December 13th and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 99 Minutes

Rated: PG-13

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! The majority of the extras featured on this home video release include all-new interviews with some of the cast and crew. There’s also some commentary, test footage, images and the theatrical trailer that have been imported over from the previous release. You can see the full list below.

  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Film
  • NEW “The Actor’s Journey” – Interview With Dennis Quaid (14:50)
  • 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 (1:01:50)
  • NEW “Nightmares And Dreamsnakes” – Looking Back At The Snakeman With Craig Reardon, David Patrick Kelley And Others (23:23)
  • NEW In-Depth Conversation Between Bruce Cohn Curtis And Co-Writer/Producer Chuck Russell (23:31)
  • Audio Commentary With Bruce Cohn Curtis, David Loughery And Craig Reardon
  • Snake Man Test Footage (02:!6)
  • Still Gallery (02:32)
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:13)

 

 

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