LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Bad Dreams - Blu-ray review
By James Whittington, Monday 13th August 2018
When A Nightmare on Elm Street re-introduced the world to the power of supernatural shockers the whole movie industry seemed to want to be in on the act. Who could forget Shocker, Child's Play and let's face it the Friday the 13th series near its end. Within this slew of movies, one really did stand out, 20th Century Fox delivered Bad Dreams.
A young girl, Cynthia (Jennifer Rubin) the only survivor of a cult's mass suicide awakens in a psychiatric hospital after spending thirteen years in a coma. She's convinced the leader of the cult, Harris (Richard Lynch) still wants her dead and is appearing all around the hospital. As other patients start to die mysteriously is this proof Harris is reaching out for her from "the other side"?
With great effects and an engaging storyline, Bad Dreams contains everything that made the 80s an amazing decade for horror fans. There's loud explosions, an incredibly creepy bad guy and a short running time that keeps the action flowing. Yes, it does feel like A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors with an older cast, but Bad Dreams is a solid shocker with a great cast and some very interesting set-pieces especially the moment the air filtration system sprays blood onto staff and patients.
Re-Animator's Bruce Abbott proves he's got what it takes to make a crazy story believable, Jennifer Rubin is great as a woman who is confused and scared about the whole thing and as for Richard Lynch, he's as dependable as ever adding sinister malice to what could have been a cheesy-stlye bad guy.
There are some slight moments of dark comedy and director Andrew Fleming (who is in the chair for the latest Steve Coogan movie Ideal Home) that lift it at times as it can be over serious, but if you want a prime example of 80s horror this should be your first port of call.
Transfer wise the image is slightly soft around the edges, but I think this is due to the way the film was shot more than anything else. The stereo soundtrack is free of any hiss or clicks with a good balance of bass going on helping to enhance the tension on screen.
The release comes with interviews with Director Andrew Fleming, Jennifer Rubin, Academic and Curator Spencer Murphy, audio commentary with Nathaniel Thompson and Tim Greer from Mondo-Digital.com, the theatrical trailer and a booklet by Calum Waddell.
As this series of Slasher titles from 88 Films continues (this is number 37) it amazes me of the range of quality and often forgotten titles they continually dig up. This is also a dual format release, so you get a DVD and Blu-ray edition of the movie. Long may they do so.
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