5.7/10
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Bad Dreams (1988)

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1:50 | Trailer
The lone survivor of a suicide cult wakes from a thirteen-year coma in a psychiatric ward, where other patients suddenly start dying under mysterious and gruesome circumstances.

Director:

Andrew Fleming

Writers:

Andrew Fleming (story), Michael Dick (story) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Rubin ... Cynthia
Bruce Abbott ... Dr. Alex Karmen
Richard Lynch ... Harris
Dean Cameron ... Ralph
Harris Yulin ... Dr. Berrisford
Susan Barnes Susan Barnes ... Connie
John Scott Clough John Scott Clough ... Victor
Elizabeth Daily ... Lana (as E.G. Daily)
Damita Jo Freeman Damita Jo Freeman ... Gilda
Louis Giambalvo ... Ed
Susan Ruttan ... Miriam
Sy Richardson ... Detective Wasserman
Melissa Francis Melissa Francis ... Young Cynthia (as Missy Francis)
Sheila Scott Wilkinson Sheila Scott Wilkinson ... Hettie
Ben Kronen Ben Kronen ... Edgar
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Storyline

In the mid-'70s, a cult group called Unity Field commits mass suicide, but a young girl survives. After being in a coma for thirteen years she wakes up in a psyche ward, not remembering the incident. The psychiatrist tries to help her remember, but she begins seeing the leader of the cult talking to her from the grave, and the other members of her therapy group begin to commit suicide around her. Or is it suicide? Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The scream you don't hear... is your own. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La pesadilla mortal See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,008,870, 10 April 1988

Gross USA:

$9,797,098

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,797,098
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(FMC Library Print)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Cameron would often visit the set and give notes and ideas to first-time director, Andrew Fleming. See more »

Quotes

Cynthia: [looking up at the vent] Where's Connie and Ed?... Where's Connie and Ed?
Harris: With us!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 18-rated UK video release of this film was cut by 22 seconds by the BBFC to remove closeup shots of self-mutilation with a knife and a scalpel, and to reduce a scene where a man is repeatedly hit by a car. The cuts were waived by the BBFC in 2018 for DVD/Blu-ray. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Adjust Your Tracking (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

"Time Has Come Today'
Written by Joseph Chambers (as Joe Chambers) and Willie Chambers
Performed by The Chambers Brothers
See more »

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User Reviews

Perhaps overlooked?

Bad Dreams (1988) Director: Andrew Fleming (The Craft) ***out of**** Review After barely escaping crazy cult guru's (able Richard Lynch) fiery suicide pact, Cynthia (the very gorgeous and likable Jennifer Rubin) finds herself awaking 13 years later, in year 1988. Trying to get on with her life, she starts to realize that her fellow patients in the mental hospital start dying in brutal ways, and start seeing hallucinations/dreams/visions of Harris, the burnt up cult leader. Is he back from the grave, vowing revenge for Cynthia's survival, or is something more sinister going on? Rather then going the cliché way in my review and bashing this movie for its direct influences from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3, I'll just say that they never got in the way of my enjoyment of this film. A lot of movies rip off others all the time, so I don't seem to ever get annoyed by these.

The film has top notch production values, a very entertaining cast, and some warped out death scenes. You can see how the movie just wants to be a good thriller and does so almost effortlessly. I remember my dad buying a old VHS copy when I was 9 or so and not really liking it's cover, but since I didn't want to hurt my dad's feelings I stuck it up and pretended to be excited, and watched it, and ever since then I have a place in my (movie watching) heart for this, perhaps just based on that back story alone.

One thing that I really enjoy is the actors. Lot's of familiar and likable faces in the house. I invested more into the movie by that way. I do admit the characters of the mental patients aren't fully developed enough though, I wanted to know more and see more about them, like the very sympathetic Lana (played quite well by Elizabeth Daily). She has a scene where she opens up her heart and I started liking her, but the movie is quick to get to the gore and kills and her plight is cut way to short. Same could be said for Dean Cameron and Susan Barnes.

The directing by Andrew Fleming is basically there to serve the story, nothing to stand out. I would have preferred to see a director with a more unique visual voice (all of the Flemings movies never have stand out visuals) it would have made the movie more stand out, and his angles are pretty bland. Good scene transitions though.

The soundtrack by Jay Ferguson was much appreciated and quite dreamy. Far better then his over the top attempt with Nightmare 5: Dream Child.

The kills and gore are very queasy, and people who have dealt with a suicide or (god forbid) seen a suicide will surly be offended by this movie, but since I'm a avid horror fan I was never offended, but they certainly had cruel streak.

Some flaws that hurt the movie are the lack of character development (as stated) and the movie's ending felt rushed, forced, and cut short. What happened to our survivors? I hate endings that never show the characters reactions after the events are over. One thing I will compare to Nightmare 3 is the ending, which was done there was well. Please take at least 4 or so minutes to better resolve our characters. The "surprise" in the end wasn't fully explored either, it somewhat didn't make much sense to me. What is this persons final goal when he succeeds? So maybe because I didn't want to hurt my dad's feelings at an early age, makes me warm up to this easier, or maybe it is just decent effort that can be watched from time to time. But be warned, this movie deals with suicide in a crude manner and surely will offend some.


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