Rev. Warlock DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE (dblackthorne) wrote,

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(warning: review contains 'spoilers')

Alex Gardner was born with certain "talents" - a telepathic genius - able to manipulate the conscious mind. But it is not until he is approached with an offer to further parapsychology that he learns just how profound his abilities can fathom.

Living a life of mundane concerns*, at the behest of Dr. Novotny {Max Von Sydow}, he returns to his former life engaging in psychical research to further the efforts of the mind to tap the abyssal subconscious, projecting into others' dreams, in what is essentially the practice of Lucid Dreaming, what some of us have already mastered. With the aid of a 'dream machine' situated in the 'dream chamber' {"Who's your decorator, Darth Vader?"; it is a nice chamber!}, which merely regulates bio-functions, it begins as a form of therapy, witnessing patients' fears, such as the man who suspected his wife of cheating {including with his brother, a priest, and... even you... Fakuda...?}; and the construction worker with bathophobia {fear of falling from high places}. The reality of the situations amaze Alex, who thereby dedicates his skills full into the project.

Upon reaching REM sleep state, each dream sequence is quite a remarkable spectacle {whose ingress, incidentally, very much resembles the I-Tunes visualizer}, with amorphous transmutations in light and sound surrounding until full presence is achieved.

Then he meets Bob Blaire, whose innocuous first introduction belies his true character as sinister mastermind, and later Tommy Glatman, a psychopathic dream killer obsessed with Martial Arts movies who actually murdered his own father. Blaire runs a top-secret organization within the CIA whose nefarious influence is all-pervasive. The two work in tandum and plan to assassinate the President {Eddie Albert**} in his dream by whatever imaginative scenario, utilizing dream weapons to achieve that end, which results in various stress and shock related maladies in "dayside" state. That is the ultimate idea herein - to cause reactive effects in which a kill in the dream results in the actual demise of the dreamer IN ACTUALITY.

Through entering the dream of an attractive female Doctor with what is essentially an incubus visualization, Alex eventually learns to project without the use of the machine, by merely stilling himself in a quiet, gloomy environment, initiating controlled breathing techniques {sounds familiar...}, he sharpens his senses enough to subsequently confront a serpentine creature known as 'The Snakeman' {a boogie-man archetype and Glatman's fearsome "totem"} who has invaded a boy's dreams. From within a haunted house on a stormy night, down a twisting staircase into an inferno of horrors, the two battle the snake beast in a fantastical scene reminiscient of white knight verses dragon. Although in the dream world, anything is possible.

After the sad execution of Novotny ordered by Blaire, Alex and Tommy square off in The President's nightmare wherein the one with the greater imagination, cleverness, and willpower prevails. The Snakeman manifests again, and through a very shrewd apparition, the President is saved.

Demon hounds, a snake monster, nuclear zombies, sudden scares, cloak and dagger scenarios, secret government conspiracies, a motorbike chase, and horrific environments fill this dreamscape of nucleic creation.

* Seems he was betting on the horse races and runs afoul of some bookies who want in on his continual success, and otherwise was also concentrating his efforts on carnal pleasures. The question remains - there is no reason why he could not continue to pursue his fleshly interests while also contributing to the project.
** Whom you may remember as portraying Dr. Samuel Richards in the film The Devil's Rain, and probably more recognizably as Oliver Wendell Douglas from Green Acres.

Tags: blackthorne theatre, films, movies, spechtreum, videos

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