Dream Demon (1988)

I love that we live in a time when the movies we once watched on fuzzy VHS rentals that were scored with wear and tear are now available on pristine blu rays from boutique labels. For example, 1988’s Dream Demon is now in my hands and instead of a tape that might fall apart in my battered VCR, I have a director’s cut blu ray that’s been lovingly restored from the original camera negative.

Diana (Jemma Redgrave) is about to marry the man of her dreams, a war hero named Oliver, freshly home from the Falklands. Yet as she moves into a huge new home near London, she starts to experience terrifying and gore-strewn dreams where she’s beaten, abused and tormented. She’s also being stalked by two journalists (Timothy Spall and Jimmy Nail, who were on the show Auf Wenderstein, Pet) who are determined to dig some dirt up about her future husband. Things get even stranger when an American named Jenny (Kathleen Wilhoite, WitchboardFire in the Sky) shows up not only in her waking life, but in the dream world as well.

Director/co-writer Harley Cokeliss made the first filmed version of J.G. Ballard’s Crash, as well as working second unit on The Empire Strikes Back before he made films like Battletruck and Black Moon Rising.

Here, he shows a deft hand for telling a dream logic story that is packed with practical effects and so much of the goopy red stuff. Not all of it makes sense, but you can pretend that it’s the late 80’s, you’re in a video rental store and this looks pretty great from the box cover. It lives up to that promise.

Like all Arrow releases, this movie is absolutely loaded with features, including interviews with nearly everyone involved, two cuts of the film, a making of feature and commentary by Cokeliss and producer Paul Webster.

You can get this from Arrow Video, who were nice enough to send us a copy.

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