D. Bruce Cook
Vidmark Ent. (Available on Netflix Instant)
Surprisingly good late 80's sci-fi/horror potboiler with decent acting, tight direction and fantastic special effects by the then just getting started KNB Effects. It starts out with a zombie/slasher scene in which Elizabeth Kaitan is threatened and stalked. Turns out she is part of an experiment at the local college in which the students go into a deprivation tank and have their dreams studied. The idea being they can effect their dreams with enough energy. The teacher heading up the experiment is a genuinely psycho old man who is going to lead them into more trouble.
They are a little supernatural investigative team and the teacher sends them to an old farmhouse. The legend of the surrounding area talks of contamination, inbreeding and how the people that still live around there are mentally handicapped. Buffed out Brian Thompson (later on the X-Files) drives the kids out and is clearly loose in the screw dept. But it doesn't take long before things are going crazy. the kids are kept prisoner by the teacher and the haunted house starts taking over their minds. Soon Aliens are thrown into the mix.
The last third of this movie breaks out some unexpected plot twists and some seriously unsettling special effects. This is one of those movies that is actually really creative and has some nasty stuff to offer. Why it doesn't have more of a following than a lot of stuff from that era is a mystery. I had only vaguely heard of it and that was because of some documentary on KNB I had seen years ago that showed some of the effects.
It also was competently unplanned to watch another movie with Elizabeth Kaitan in it. It was just some weird synergy that two movies in a row had her as the start (and I was clueless about either one).
This is on Netflix instant so it doesn't even cost much to take a look at it.
Review © Andrew Copp