Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bad Dreams

(1988) ****

Cynthia, played by the mohawk heroin girl from Elm Street 3, is the only survivor when her hippie cult leader lights all of them on fire as a groovy love thing. Thirteen years later she wakes up from her coma and tries to piece her life together with the dubious help of a borderline personality therapy group. Then she starts having visions of dead cult leader Harris, played by the actor Richard Lynch, who I like to call "the other Rutger Hauer." Harris still wants Cynthia to join them all on the other side, and while she holds out he's eyeing the members of her new posse...

I saw this when it came out and it holds up extremely well. On the down side it has some slow spots and some unfortunate 80's hairdos and sweaters. On the up side, it's got a solid story with some good twists and turns, some accurate pyschology for once (I checked JPX's review from 2003 to make sure) and at least one A-level death scene. Jennifer Rubin plays Cynthia as convincingly haunted, and the burned cult leader with his "lovechild" patter makes for one icky spook.

Plus, it has a moral we can all get behind: burn the hippies.

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