A young psychic on the run from himself is recruited by a government agency experimenting with the use of the dream-sharing technology and is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of the U.S. president.
The relationship between Eric and Stephanie is floundering. They decide to leave for the Republic of Santiago to visit the famous ruins. Once there, they learn that a serial killer rages on steep roads of the region, eliminating drunk drivers.
While driving a van through Mexico looking for a location for shooting a low-budget porn, Alphonse, Steve, Dallas, Debbie, the alcoholic Daisy and the pothead Jimbo get lost and meet a ... See full summary »
Piggy Banks tells the story of two charming and brilliant brothers who finance their lifestyle by robbing and murdering pretty much anyone foolish enough to get in the car with them. They ... See full summary »
Morgan J. Freeman
A thrill-seeking Man signs up with Dreamscape Inc, provider of electronic dreams and vivid fantasies. Transformed into an unstoppable Courier, he enters a world of corporate espionage. ... See full summary »
Daniel J. Fox
A government funded project looks into using psychics to enter people's dreams, with some mechanical help. When a subject dies in his sleep from a heart attack Alex Gardner becomes suspicious that another of the psychics is killing people in the dreams somehow and that is causing them to die in real life. He must find a way to stop the abuse of the power to enter dreams.Written by
One of three movies to come out within a year of each dealing with dream manipulation and its potential consequences. The other two were Brainstorm (1983), released a year earlier, and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), released 3 months later. See more »
When Alex and Blair are sitting in the back of the moving car, you can see a moth fly by in the background. A car's aerodynamics wouldn't allow such an occurrence. See more »
A brief shot of topless nudity from Kate Capshaw during the love sequence on the train with Dennis Quaid was cut from the film in the US in order to secure a PG-13 rating. The scene is uncut in European prints of the movie. The scene is not present on the R1 Image Entertainment Special Edition DVD although the commentary makes reference to nudity in the scene. See more »
Years after studying Alex Gardner (Dennis Quaid) for his psychic abilities, Dr. Paul Novotny (Max von Sydow) tracks him down to talk him into experimenting with psychic dream research. However, higher ups in the dream research program may have ulterior, nefarious motives.
Dreamscape may be a good candidate for "most misleading poster art". The theatrical poster, which is also the DVD cover, suggests a kid-oriented, slightly hokey adventure film--perhaps a combination of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), The Neverending Story (1984) and "The Hardy Boys Mysteries" (1977). Not that the combination sounds like a bad idea to me, but this film is much more adult, much more sci-fi, and more of a thriller. It's not really an adventure, although some of the dream material could be seen that way. The tone, if not content, is closer to something like Coma (1978), and later films like Flatliners (1990) and The Cell (2000), the latter being obviously influenced by Dreamscape. It also has a bit of the bizarre surrealist tone of late-1970s fare such as Phantasm (1979) (and this aspect also influenced films like The Cell).
Part of the reason the films works as well as it does is the cast. Dennis Quaid carries the film, frequently injecting enjoyable comic relief. Max von Sydow is always excellent. Kate Capshaw, as Jane DeVries, is also good as the research assistant and Alex' love interest. Although they're underused, Christopher Plummer, Eddie Albert, George Wendt and David Patrick Kelly all turn in superb performances as well.
Director Joseph Ruben frequently treats us to great dream sequences, with often-subtle touches. Note, for example, the different colors upon entering different persons' dreams. For the relatively benign construction worker, the entry is blue. For the child troubled with nightmares, there is a complex of colors. For Jane, who is giving Alex the cold shoulder, the color is an icy silver-white. Although the film was relatively low budget, and effects relatively primitive at the time, I thought all of the effects worked well. I even loved the part stop-motion, part guy-in-a-costume snake-man. At times the stop motion work briefly resembled Harryhausen. I especially loved the more surreal and more horrific aspects of the dreamworlds, such as we see from Eddie Albert's character, the expressionistic sets for the child's dream, the zombies, and so on.
Surprisingly, perhaps, Dreamscape is also much more effective on the suspense/thriller end than I expected it to be. There are a few great chase scenes, and one brutal (though not graphic) murder on-screen, one off-screen. It was also steamier than I expected in one section.
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