Film (1984). Bella Productions/Zupnik-Curtis Enterprises. Directed by Joseph Ruben. Written by David Loughery, Chuck Russell, Ruben, based on a story by Loughery. Cast includes Eddie Albert, Kate Capshaw, David Patrick Kelly, Christopher Plummer, Dennis Quaid and Max Von Sydow. 99 minutes. Colour.
A gambler with psychic powers (Quaid) is persuaded to take part in experiments in "dreamlinking" at a research centre. He learns how to enter other people's dreams and interact with them. There is a plot to murder the President, who has been having dreams of nuclear holocaust, by using an evil psychic to assassinate him during a nightmare, but the Quaid character intervenes in the dream. The theme can be traced back at least to "Dreams are Sacred" (September 1948 Astounding) by Peter Phillips: a similar notion would later be the focus of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies and, more science-fictionally, Inception (2010). In Dreamscape the penny-dreadful thriller plot is so ludicrous that it is only the dreams themselves that have much entertainment value. The effects are lively, especially in the climactic vision of Washington in flames after the Bomb. [PN]
see also: Virtual Reality.
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