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John’s Shamefully Bad Horror Corner: Dreamaniac (1986)

June 3, 2012

MY CALL:  If Netflix taunts you with this senseless smut, don’t take the bait.  Without some sort of drinking game or comic relief outlet this movie is just about unwatchable.  WHAT TO WATCH INSTEAD:  This movie was a lousy version of any movie from the Night of the Demons franchise.  I’d watch one of them or The Hazing (2004).

Okay, just a sec here.  I can’t possibly NOT compare an in-crisis Britney Spears to the Dreamaniac movie poster.  This is equally scary, but based on a “true” story.

Back in the 80s and early 90s ultra-campy horror flicks used to make preteens wait until about the thirty-minute mark for their taste of scream queen nudity.  Promising to be disastrously awful, Dreamaniac introduces nudity in the very first scene—an awkwardly bloody shower make-out session.  Maybe I shouldn’t judge just yet, though.  I mean, Of Unknown Origin (1983) had an opening shower scene and I ended up loving that movie—no, because of the shower scene.

Our lead character (Adam) is in to heavy metal.  Now as any 80s parent knew, this meant that he worshipped the devil, right?  Of course he does!  He lights a few candles to set the mood, unwinds with a cigarette and his favorite infernal hymnal, and prays to the dark lord to “grant [him] this one night.”    In the spirit of Weird Science (1985), this conjuration summons the girl of his dreams—his bloody, naked make-out dreams.  This dream takes a nasty turn when she gets a little zombie on him during a BJ.  Just another dream…or was it?

Adam and his college friends have a little house party and one of the guests brings bloody shower girl as his plus-one.  What a coincidence.  They do some drugs, drink too much and have some premarital sex to cue the audience that they’ll be dying one by one later on.  This wish-upon-a-devil succubus (Lily) kills and then apparently feeds on the blood of Adam’s schoolmates.  She gets a bit stabby with a couple of them, strangles one and electrocutes another.  These kills are awful, you never see any of it happen, and there is practically no attempt at fun gore.  A couple attempts at humor were evident, but their delivery horribly failed.  In this respect, this felt a lot like Sleepaway Camp (1983).

I know what you’re thinking.  “Please, oh please, let these douche bags die.”  They do.

Is it me, or is he even standing there in his underwear like a douche bag?  She’s a succubus, bro.  It doesn’t take much to impress her into bed.

Lily toys with Adam, who can’t seem find the strength to send her back whence she came to stop her killing spree.  Adam even starts to like her evil work and watches her bite off one of his frat buddy’s manhood.  He even starts participating.  Essentially, this is exactly what concerned mothers worried about when they’d find Slayer or Pantera albums on your dresser back in your high school days.

This “succubus” falls into a gray area for horror trivia experts.  We see her drinking blood from a dead guy’s corpse—maybe she’s more of a ghoul than vampire.  Someone reads Adam’s “evil book” and learns that to you must kill her by beheading or a stake through the heart—now more vampy.  Yet, she seems to have no powers at all.  Or does she?  After she kills a few people, they come back to life with a murderous spirit and try to kill Adam’s girlfriend, Pat.  Pat ends up killing these killed killers herself and does a more impressive job than Lily when it comes to dispatching Adam’s friends.

This lovely ski pole placement earned Pat a place on the scoreboard.

Really showcasing the inconsistency of this flick or perhaps the utter stupidity of the writer and director, Pat desperately explains “We have to kill her, and Adam, too, or we’ll never get out of here alive!”  But no one at any time in the movie, not even after finding a dead body or being attacked, tries to open the front door and exit to safety.  WTF!!!!!  Just leave!  Worse yet, at no point does anyone even try to pick up a phone and dial 9-1-1.  I guess these chicks were all just majoring in “dumb slut.”

The best part of the movie—or, perhaps, the only good part—was near the end when Pat powerdrills Adam’s head off.  This was very stupid, very funny, and the only part of the movie with a lot of blood and screaming.  Then the ending is of paramount idiocy.  Lily turns out to be some escaped mental patient who is collected by her caretaker, who really doesn’t seem concerned that the people in the house are covered in blood.

Yes, ladies.  A powerdrill makes perfect sense to use as a weapon against someone who stands perfectly still.  But, what if they move?

Typical Slayer fan metal-head.

I think this movie was made to please hormonally raging youngsters who are just a bit too young still to follow through on their impulses with a partner.  All of the women in this flick are extremely horny and people are engaging in some manner of sexual contact basically throughout the movie.  This flick oozes awful.  The star, Thomas Bern, has never been in any other movie or TV show ever!  The chick who plays the succubus shared a similar fate (four acting credits).  Ashlyn Gere (aka Kim McKamy; who played Adam’s girlfriend Pat) transitioned from super-cheap scream queen to porn stardom.  This flick’s writer has done nothing else and the director, who has done a LOT of smutty exploitative horror under various male and female pseudonyms (who knows for what weird reason), hit the high point of his career with the mediocre Puppet Master 3.

Do yourself a big favor and don’t see this.

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