4.6/10
146
5 user 10 critic

Dream No Evil (1970)

R | | Drama, Horror, Mystery
In a surrealistic horror setting, a young Preacher's assistant goes mad and becomes lost in a fantasy of her own creation.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Timothy MacDonald
Brooke Mills ...
Grace MacDonald
...
Undertaker
...
Rev. Paul Jessie Bundy
Paul Prokop ...
Dr. Patrick Bundy
...
John, County Psychiatrist
Donna Anders ...
Shirley (as D.J. Anderson)
Nadyne Turney ...
Orphanage Director
Vicki Schreck ...
Grace as a Child (as Vickie Schreck)
William Guhl ...
Sheriff Mike Pender
Pearl Shear ...
Mrs. Jordan, Shirley's Landlady
Elizabeth Ross ...
Hospital Receptionist
...
Policewoman
Jay Scott ...
Deputy Sheriff
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Storyline

In a surrealistic horror setting, a young Preacher's assistant goes mad and becomes lost in a fantasy of her own creation.

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A Nightmare of Unexpected Terror!


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The Faith Healer  »

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(Cinechrome)
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User Reviews

Flawed but definitely worth a look
15 September 2008 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

A young girl grows up in an orphanage, always insistently believing that her father will someday come and get her. She's eventually adopted and as a young adult goes to work in the circus-like act of her revivalist preacher foster brother (Michael Pataki). She dons a skimpy costume and does a dive off a high platform, supposedly representing the fall into hell. While the good preacher/foster brother has a little bit of a thing for her (located in his pants), she also has a boyfriend, a local sawbones. But she refuses to sleep with him, prompting him to finally give into the temptation of a pretty female medical student. In one town the revivalist act comes to, she hears news of her father. But after going to see the the local pimp/town mortician (don't ask) played by Marc Lawrence, she arrives to find her father (Edmond O'Brien) dead on a mortician's slab. She cries and wishes him back to life, and he suddenly arises and murders the mortician. Later she ends up living with her (dead?)father in a deserted house on the outskirts of town (where she does bizarre Irish jigs why he plays the squeezebox to entertain the occasional visitor). Unfortunately, his murderous ways also continue.

This movie is a lot like "Toys Are Not for Children" or the director John Hayes' own "Baby Rosemary" (which was basically an urban XXX version of this PG-rated rural Gothic film). Like those movies, it's a surprisingly touching film of a young girl's longing for an absent father that results in adult sexual dysfunction and eventually outright psychosis. There's obviously something wrong with the girl--she sees her room in the abandoned house as being warmly decorated with a canopy bed, for instance, when in reality it's a bleak and barren room with only a filthy mattress. This might be more of a "Repulsion" type film than a undead type film. I'm really not ruining anything saying this, however, because the film itself includes an annoying voice-of-god narrator who ruins ANY mystery or suspense by explaining EVERYTHING for the viewer. This is the one crippling flaw in what is otherwise a pretty good film.

Michael Pataki was a regular in John Hayes' films including his best one, "Grave of the Vampire". O'Brien and Lawrence were long-time character actors (the latter ironically later directed and starred with his own real-life daughter in "Pigs", a similarly downbeat horror film about a sexually dysfunctional and murderous father-daughter pair). As for Hayes, there is a great interview and retrospective of the career of this obscure but interesting 70's low-budget auteur in British writer Stephen Thrower's excellent tome "Nightmare USA". This is a flawed film, but still definitely worth a look.


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