Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Loud Witching Hour: Scream Dream (1989)

Scream Dream (1989)
Rating: **1/2
Starring: Carol Carr, Melissa Moore and Nikki Riggins

Ah, yes, cult classic director Donald Farmer. Cannibal Hookers (1987). Deadly Memories (2002). Chainsaw Cheerleaders (2008). Clearly a man with so much taste for cheese, I'm sure he's part mozzarella. In this post, we'll be observing one of his early feature films released around the time of the late 80s shot-on-video boom, a curious tale of witchy macabre, hand puppet demons and big, loud hairstyles!

After an opening credit roll featuring a random sleeping beauty getting attacked by otherworldly arms and a chainsaw slicing out of her bed (and headed towards her crotch), we're treated with a scene following a yuppie metalhead and his bitterly vocal girlfriend making their way to a live show of Satanic rocker Michelle Shock. The nerdy-looking superfan eventually gets the chance to meet the dark temptress backstage, much to the dismay and disgust of his partner who leaves the venue after a lover's quarrel. Michelle, in turn, decides to give the dude a little treat down there for his troubles, only to cut the session short when a certain male member ended up between her teeth in not the nicest way.

Turns out Michelle Shock's Satanist shtick is more than just an act and she's really practicing the dark arts, so much so that her foul-mouthed manager Lou, tired of the constant harassment of journalists hounding him about Shock's shocking lyrical themes and the mysterious disappearances during her shows, fires her from her her own band. This, unsurprisingly, doesn't sit too well with Michelle.

Lou, not wanting to refund any of the money for the remaining shows, hires attractive replacement singer Jamie Summers and sends mullet-branding back-up Derrick to Michelle's to pick up a stage costume. As you would expect, the plan goes South real deep when the former band lead attacks Derrick with a dagger, which mullet boy responds by knocking her out. And then chopping her up with a battle axe. And then stabbing a possessed severed hand with a knife. And then fleeing the scene. 

(Well, that escalated quickly and unnecessarily)

Anywho, the shows go on and Michelle's sudden departure and replacement mostly didn't go unnoticed, especially with the nosy reporters who see this as damage control over the controversies she made. Still, Jamie hopes she would make it big in the heavy metal business, so she drives to Michelle's house to borrow some gear and inevitably finds the former lead dead and apparently appetizing enough to try biting a chunk out of. (Because why the hell not?) Derrick, tailing Jamie in hopes of stopping her from seeing the body, arrives no soon after and convinces her not to call the police. (Because, again, why the hell not?) 

From that point, though, Jamie starts to act weird. And deadly. And I'm sure as fuck the demonic monster she turns into, the drooling mini-rat beast tailing her to get a nibble or two out of people, and the fact she can now raise the dead to kill people for her all have something to do with Michelle's wicked pacts with Satan.

A technical marvel, Scream Dream (1989) is not. Not with its uneven lighting, outdated editing and terrible audio quality that made a few scenes indecipherable over the loud band music, factors that do little help with its wide acting range that falls between mediocre to oh-dear-god-just-stop! These are, however, things one can always expect from a shot-on-video production and I will say that despite all of this mess, the film is at least unintentionally hilarious for its multitudes of insane scenes and trashy moments, even sporting some gnarly violence and mostly impressive looking make-up effects for a low-budget film. With a lean 69 minute running time, padded with three full length metal songs being played in venues and one simple yet crazy plot overblown with cheese, the whole affair is just so bad, it's earnest, enthusiastically fun, given you dive into it with low expectations and a high tolerance for heavy metal horror ham! 

1 female gets a chainsaw between her legs
1 male had his groin bitten off
1 male stabbed to death with a dagger, disemboweled
1 female hacked with a battle axe
1 male had his scalp clawed, throat cut with a dagger
1 female had her throat ravaged by a demon
1 male had his face ripped off
1 female strangled to death
1 female killed offcamera by a zombie
1 female had her face clawed
1 female stabbed with a dagger
1 male had his groin attacked by a demon
Total: 11

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