Dreamscape (1984)

JOSEPH RUBEN

Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1984.  , , , .  Story by Screenplay by David Loughery, , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .

Dennis Quaid plays a man gifted with psychic abilities who, years earlier, abandoned the researchers studying his brain and has been using his skills to scam girls and horse races ever since.  Doctors at a specialized psychic institute want his help on a project they have developed for entering people’s dreams, which they can use to help people who suffer terrible nightmares.  In trouble with some shady gangsters and in need of a getaway, Quaid agrees to be locked away with scientists and , strapping into a chair and invading the nocturnal terrors of people whose lives are affecting their ability to get a good night’s sleep.  When shady government operative shows up asking to have the procedure done on the President (), the team is all for it until Quaid realizes that there’s a high possibility that the request is linked to an assassination attempt.  To call this film ridiculous is to completely ignore the fact that it never for a moment takes itself seriously, moving through its plot without ever explaining anything and enjoying a carefree sense of storytelling ease that is practically admirable.  A number of the sequences inside people’s minds feature some fun animations and effects, but they also represent the film’s only real disappointment: it might be too soon to ask for something on par with The Cell, but this one doesn’t even match A Nightmare On Elm Street in its presentation of creative dream logic.  Most of the sequences taking place in people’s minds play like unimaginative Star Trek episodes until the last one, which is situated in Albert’s mind and attempts a minimal level of free-form disorientation.

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