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City of the Dream Demons - New Wave Independent Pictures Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
Written by Richard Taylor   
Friday, 07 October 2016


Directed by: Johnny Dickie
Written by: Johnny Dickie
Produced by: Johnny Dickie
Cinematography by: Johnny Dickie, Kyle Morgan
Editing by: Johnny Dickie
Special Effects by: Anthony Edward Curry, Johnny Dickie
Music: Johnny Dickie, Monster a Go-Go, Mug, Sadboy
Cast: Peter Beres, Joshua Bruce, Anthony Edward Curry, Joey Davalos, Carla Dickie, Johnny Dickie, Rebecca Labow, Mike Longo, Jack Mulvanerty, Molly Russakoff, Jason Wolf
Year: 2014
Country: USA
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 15min

Studio: New Wave Independent Pictures

Young filmmaker and VHS lover, Johnny Dickie, delivers his second feature film. His other, I've heard of and is titled Slaughter Tales. I gotta give the kid props for attempting to make feature films as young as 15-years-old but from what I saw in Dream Demons, it seems as if he is just hanging with his friends on camera, having a good time and nonchalantly throwing together a movie.

Dickie loves his VHS movies and no doubt VHS has become the retro collectors craze in the horror/cult/underground world. Personally, I don't understand the love for the format and the undeniable hate for new formats which come on the market like Blu-ray. Yes, underground old school horror is dirty and meant to be viewed that way in one sense, but when youíre watching a fucking shit quality Media release on VHS of Day of the Dead where itís so fucking dark you can't see what the fuck is going on, or a VHS Wizard Video release of Lucio Fulci's Zombie, which is cropped to shit or even Fulci's Vestron Video release of House by the Cemetery, cropped to shit, or Bruno Mattei's Night of the Zombies, dark as all shit, how can it be a sought after format, and how in the living fuck can people condemn when a superior format comes on the market!?

Dickie shows off his VHS tape collection in City of the Dream Demons at every available opportunity, whether itís in the opening scene in his room, in a video store, or in a scene where it looks as if itís Dickiesí collection on a back wall. I read Dickie has like over 300 tapes and growing and to be honest I enjoyed looking at his collection of tapes and posters on his wall more than watching most of City of the Dream Demons.

The movie is just a mess. As I mentioned earlier, City of the Dream Demons is a long and uninteresting session of Dickie hanginí with his cool VHS street buds, with meaningless dialogue. It goes nowhere and stays there. I found myself drifting in and out of it constantly and I attempted to watch it at least a half a dozen times, falling asleep or finding myself doing something else but I did finally get through it. It had a bit of a cool splatter punk style to it, with a decent soundtrack of different punk music but the performances, pacing and special effects buried it six feet in the fucking ground, never to see the light of day again.

There is fortunately a bit of wit in there and its cool to see Dickie can poke fun at himself when his Mom gets him a copy of his previous film Slaughter Tales on VHS (of course! For fuck's sake) for his birthday and he slaps it down reconsidering the nice things he said about her. Look, I'm an avid fan of low budget underground horror to the fullest, and try to find the most redeeming qualities in most any zero budget flick. I have a soft spot for German gore, if it contains an abundance of gore and nothing more I'll still give it props because I'm a sucker for a bunch of passionate filmmakers with a video camera going out in the woods and creating gore FX because that is what they love, but this I can't even praise for doing that. The gore effects even seem to be an afterthought, itís usually quick cut aftermath shots where itís unclear what happened. The thought of a battle between two guys using intestines as weapons should sound and be equally as awesome but itís not, just some kids fuckiní around.

I wish Dickie all the best and hope he pulls up his pantaloons and starts making some serious, or at least humorous good quality shit in the future. Tear it all down and start anew my friend, or just make movies for your buddies and play them back after a night of binge drinking and VHS tape watching.





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