March 18, 2014

Movie Review: Dreamaniac

The 1980's saw an explosion in the movie industry, an aftermarket appeared and the videostore was born. This opened up another new market, low budget films, many shot on video, made specifically for these video stores. Now, I am not going to get into this history, but I will say that some men knew how to tap into that market, Charles Band is one of those guys. With Empire Pictures and later Full Moon Pictures, he filled the market with what they wanted. Not always good, but they were there. Dreamaniac is one of those features, produced by Band and directed by David Decoteau.

Dreamaniac was David Decoteau's first legitimate film. He got some early experience on productions like Escape from New York, Galaxy of Terror, and Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins before taking to the director's chair for a series of adult films before landing at Empire Films, where he would go on to direct a number of features. Ironically, this, his first non-adult film, happens to star an actress who would go on to have a lengthy adult film career (Ashlyn Gere, credited here as Kim McKamy). The movie was written by Helen Robinson and is her only credit. It is believed that it was a pseudonym for Decoteau, who seems to have a list of aliases longer than his filmography (which is pretty lengthy).

The movie's poster seeks to make it a competitor with A Nightmare on Elm Street, while the description seeks to compare favorably with Phantasm. Believe me when I tell you that it is in the league of neither one. This is a straight to video cheapy that offers little thrills and chills, although it does have a decent amount of gore. It is a movie that is almost comical in its ineptitude.

This is the story of a heavy metal musician (who we never actually see perform or play any type of instrument) named Adam (Thomas Bern in his only film appearance). He is deep into metal and dabbles in the black arts (so hardcore that appears to be a clean cut kid next door type in a Def Leppard t-shirt) and manages to summon a succubus named Lily (Sylvia Summers). In exchange for some prowess with the ladies, he agrees to let Lily feed on his girlfriend's (Ashlyn Gere) sorority sisters at a party she is throwing at his place.

What follows is a series of boring sex scenes, party bits with inane dialogue, and the one by one kills of the succubus. It is a rather dull affair and one that is easy to get distracted from, or even fall asleep during. The blood and gore effects were surprisingly decent, but that is the only thing going in its favor. Then there is that ending, oh that terrible ending. It is like they had no idea how to actually end it so they decided to get all meta with it and that results in a slap in the face. It is a rather inauspicious beginning to Decoteau's career, which is not all junk, but this would not lend itself to promise.

Not Recommended.

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