5.5/10
2,501
51 user 42 critic

Bad Dreams (1988)

The lone survivor of a suicide cult wakes from a thirteen-year coma in a psychiatric ward, where other patients suddenly start dying under mysterious and gruesome circumstances.

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(story), (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Dr. Berrisford
Susan Barnes ...
Connie
John Scott Clough ...
Victor
...
Lana (as E.G. Daily)
Damita Jo Freeman ...
Gilda
...
Ed
...
Miriam
...
Detective Wasserman
Melissa Francis ...
Young Cynthia (as Missy Francis)
Sheila Scott-Wilkenson ...
Hettie (as Sheila Scott Wilkinson)
Ben Kronen ...
Edgar
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Storyline

In the mid-'70s, a cult group called Unity Field commits mass suicide, but a young girl survives. After being in a coma for thirteen years she wakes up in a psyche ward, not remembering the incident. The psychiatrist tries to help her remember, but she begins seeing the leader of the cult talking to her from the grave, and the other members of her therapy group begin to commit suicide around her. Or is it suicide? Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He is dead... but far from gone. And he's come back for his love child. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 April 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La pesadilla mortal  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$9,797,098 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Andrew Fleming says he battled the MPAA over the scene where one of the characters is rammed by a car. It was originally much bloodier, but he says the U.S. ratings board threatened to slap the film with an "X" rating. See more »

Quotes

Cynthia: [looking up at the vent] Where's Connie and Ed?... Where's Connie and Ed?
Harris: With us!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Working Stiff (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

My Way
Performed by Mamby Pamby & The Smooth Putters
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User Reviews

 
It has some interesting plot points.
1 March 2014 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Watchable, sometimes offbeat and humorous horror film that seems as if it intends to coast on the success of the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series but ends up going on its own merry path. It works best when our heroine is still trying to make sense of macabre events and is not sure what the truth is. The writing is silly at times, but there are also fun moments. Some of the special effects are bad, yet at the same time there's some hilarious over the top gore. Making it entertaining enough to watch are some great lines and a number of amusing, attention-getting performances.

The movie stars "Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" cast member Jennifer Rubin as Cynthia, who as a child had survived a suicide pact engineered by ultra creepy cult leader Harris (Richard Lynch at his best). Now she's a 20 something adult who's just awakened from a coma, and she's put into group therapy run by kindly Alex Karmen (Bruce Abbott of "Re- Animator" fame). Soon the people in this group start to die horrible deaths and Cynthia is convinced that Harris's spirit (which sometimes appears to her as a nastily charred corpse) is the one killing them.

Rubin is appealing if not that good as an actress; at least she conveys a sense of naivety and innocence. Abbott is good, as is the excellent character actor Harris Yulin - a man who's always excelled at playing unbelievably smug and pompous jerks - as Karmens' colleague. Dean Cameron ("Summer School") supplies a lot of the comedy, improvising most of his best lines (you have to pay attention to catch one of them). Susan Barnes and Sy Richardson (both from "Repo Man"), Louis Giambalvo ("Weekend at Bernie's"), ever adorable actress / singer / voice over artist Elizabeth Daily, Susan Ruttan ('L.A. Law'), and Charles "voice of Roger Rabbit" Fleischer all put in appearances as well.

Co-written and directed by Andrew Fleming ("The Craft"), this is intriguing for a while - with a memorable "revenge" / black comedy sequence near the end - but ultimately comes to a humdrum conclusion. It does show off Rubins' beauty to great effect and can boast some good visual tricks and scene transitions. Oscar winner Michele Burke does the nicely grisly makeup effects.

Overall, not bad; it may be worth viewing for devotees of 80s genre fare.

Six out of 10.


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