Beyond Dreams Door (1989)

I don’t want to jinx it, but every time I think that I am running out of movies that blow my mind with how unhinged they are, I discover something new. Usually, those grubby film highs come from Italy or Turkey or from the early 70’s, but man, Beyond Dreams Door was made at the end of the 80’s and comes from Ohio of all places.

Made with the cinema school at The Ohio State University, this is a film all about Ben, who stopped dreaming once his parents died when he was 9. Now, the dreams are coming for him, a fact he learns from the dream version of himself who warns:

“Beyond dream’s door is where horror lies,
Where love may sleep with sorrow’d eyes,
Where demons wait to greet the ones,
Who dare not reach its darkened shores,
Beyond dream’s door tomorrow dies.*”

As low as the budget for this film may be, its concept is high. Somehow, this also looks like anything but a movie made for thousands of dollars. It’s slick as hell and certainly doesn’t seem like director Jay Woelfel’s first movie. In fact, I saw Art of the Dead a few years back and recognized that he edited it. I’m glad he’s still working, whether that means composing music, writing films and even acting.

Imagine a movie as hard to explain as Phantasm with — amazingly — less of a budget. That’s what you’ve got here. And it’s exactly as great as you’d hope.

You can learn more at the official site for the film and gear up, because Vinegar Syndrome has announced that this movie will be part of an upcoming no budget 80s regional horror box set. If you’ve been reading the site this week, you know that we’re all about this news.

*Thanks to the astounding Bleeding Skull for writing that poem out.

UPDATE: Vinegar Syndrome has released this as part of their Homegrown Horrors box set, along with Winterbeast and Fatal Exam. You can get it here.

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