Dreamland – DVD

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Director Bruce McDonald has an extensive catalogue reaching all the way back to the early 80’s mostly in TV with the occasional film and is something of a journeyman. Dreamland is his latest leading up to a bizarre wedding being set up by arranger Juliette Lewis. Tying the nuptuals will be a vampire to a 14 year old girl bride and it’s been set up by gang boss Hercules (Henry Rollins). Now Rollins in the right role can be an impressive presence and has made notable appearances in Bad Boys II and Heat but here it’s all a bit campy and comic. But it’s Hercules who  believes he’s been slighted by a drug addled jazz musician helpfully called, ‘the trumpet player’ and sets hit man Johnny to snip off the musician’s little finger. Both musician and hitman are played by the same actor Stephen McHattie a regular favourite of director McDonald but there’s no real need to play both roles apart from maybe keeping the budget down.   It’s only when Johnny finds that Hercules is peddling a child sex ring that he makes a stand and goes to the wedding to make things right and rescue the child bride.

Dreamland DVD review

Dreamland is suitably titled as this is consciously odd striving to be cool, detached and remote and is very much David Lynch-lite never really quite getting the brooding menace and at times terror that the best of his films feature. McHattie, though decent enough, spends much of the film in a seemingly constant dazed stupor in both roles trying to make sense of whats happening much like Kerry Katona on the numbers round of Countdown, Rollins usual intensely ferocious screen presence is undermined by a camp turn and a bleach blonde crew cut and Lewis is underwritten and wasted in a role that serves only to remind how great she was in Cape Fear opposite De Niro way back in 1991 which now seems a lifetime ago.  Fans of McDonald will love this but whether it will encourage those new to his films to seek out others in his back catalogue is unlikely and unfortunately this is a vanilla disc with no bonus features at all.

Here’s the Dreamland trailer……

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