Sunday, October 7, 2007
I took the lazy route again last night and watching another chintzy 80s horror flick for my daily dose. Good thing too, cuz I'm just not feeling the spirit today and don't really feel like having to think too much as I write this. Anyway, last night's installment of the 31 days of Halloween was "Bad Dreams" (1988, directed by Andrew Fleming). This wasn't the first time I'd seen it, but it was a film that it took me a surprising long time to see given it's ubiquity in video stores throughout the 80s and 90s. Despite being produced by Gale Anne Hurd between such higher profile projects as "Aliens" and "The Abyss," this one has a pretty bargain basement, b-movie feel, which of course isn't necessarily a bad thing. One reviewer on the imdb describes it as "Nightmare on Elm Street part 3 part 2" which is a bit generous but fairly apt as well (NoES 3's co-star Jennifer Rubin is even the star here). I have a certain affection for this movie, however vain, because it not only features a killer named Harris (played by character actor great Richard Lynch, the alien Jesus is Larry Cohen's "God Told Me To", no less) but also features a main actor named Harris (Harris Yulin, another awesome character actor who's been in films by Robert Frank, Norman Mailer and Wim Wenders, as well as the only go-go film, "Good 2 Go," with Art Garfunkle and Trouble Funk!). Ok, that's pretty lame but when your name is Harris you don't really see it all over the media, and it's especially cool when it turns up in something campy like this. Aside from loads of unintentional laughs and a bit of gore, "Bad Dreams" has a pretty top-notch cast. In addition to Rubin (who was in "Little Witches" with "Serial Slayer's" Sheeri Rappaport and also the desert noir "Delusion" with music by Magazine/Birthday Party/Bad Seeds member Barry Adamson), Bruce Abbott from "Re-Animator," Dead Cameron (Chainsaw from "Summer School," and also my ex-roommate's friend's husband, even if he is a libertarian), EG Daily from "Valley Girl" and "Better Off Dead," and best of all Sy Richardson from many Alex Cox movies ("Repo Man," "Sid & Nancy," "Straight to Hell"), who also had a brief role on the TV show "Pushing Daisies" (a "Dead Like Me" knock off by the creator of "Dead Like Me") which premiered this weeks (playing a coroner, no less). "Bad Dreams" is good for a few laughs, though it has an especially lame ending that will kind of make you feel like you've been wasting your time for the past 90 minutes. Anyway, come back tomorrow for more spookiness.