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DREAMSCAPE (1984) – Episode 202 – Decades of Horror 1980s

“Mm, I see. So, Jane, what you do here, in effect, is count boners.” Will one hand be enough? You know. The fingers. Will the fingers on one hand be enough for counting? Join your faithful Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, Crystal Cleveland, and Jeff Mohr  – as they dream a little dream with you and the star-packed cast in Dreamscape (1984).

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 202 – Dreamscape (1984)

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A man who can enter and manipulate people’s dreams is recruited by a government agency to help cure the President of the United States of his nightmares about nuclear war but stumbles upon an assassination plot.


Dreamscape is a Decades of Horror 1980s double-tap, first covered in episode 100 by Doc Rotten, Christopher G. Moore, and Thomas Mariani. This time around, Dreamscape is Bill’s pick and he was sucked in by the glowing nunchucks in ads. Although the cast is great, it doesn’t hold up as much as Bill wishes it did and it is far too obvious who the bad guys are.  Having said that, it is still a very 80s movie and he would like to see it remade. Chad thought Dreamscape was great at the time and he still enjoys it even though not everything holds up. In his view, it was hard to pull off everything they were trying to incorporate with the budget they had to work with it. On the other hand, Crystal thinks Dreamscape holds up just fine and she rewatches frequently. Even so, she too would like to see it remade. Jeff still really, really likes it and loves the melding of stop motion animation and other practical effects. He doesn’t appreciate Dennis Quaid’s girl-killer smile but otherwise thinks the cast is incredible.

Regardless of whether or not you’re in the “holds up” or “doesn’t hold up” camps, Dreamscape is a fun 80s flick that tries hard to be a lot of things. At the time of this writing, it’s available to stream from Tubi and Kanopy, and on physical media as a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Shout Factory. 

Every two weeks, Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s podcast will cover another horror film from the 1980s. The next episode’s film, chosen by Crystal, will be Howling II: … Your Sister Is a Werewolf (1985), also known as Howling II: Stirba – Werewolf Bitch. Discussing this masterpiece should be howling good fun. …sorry.

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.