Director Christopher Mills goes out of his way to make it difficult for us to understand, he forgot the basics to tell the story in the most direct manner possible. More of this later, there’ll be plenty to tell, in the 80s and into the 90s budding filmmakers took the VHS and SVHS cameras by storm, a pricey investment then, but made the SOV (shot-on-video) market and subgenre, many of them became lost to time and swallowed into the black hole of confusing ownership rights. Those which resurfaced often unwatchable due to storage, the tape crinkled, and/or damaged in some manner, those thanks to Intervision Picture Corp Dream Stalker survived ready to terrorize your nightmares. This DVD, comes as a double feature with Death by Love a film not listed on IMDb website, as regard to either movie, they likely missed the general horror audience, and perhaps only appealing to the obscure cinema watcher, those which seek the unusual or even wretched conceptual presentation.
Dream Stalker without a doubt truly plays off of A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) from references to the title, character and even the dreaming doctor, but then also borrowing a little from both Carrie (1976) and Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988). The primary characters Ricky (Mark Dias) and Brittany (Diane Cardea), well actually Ricky is more dead than alive, and he’s terrorizing his lovely girlfriend. Ricky a dirt bike racer who wins all the races, dies somehow never exactly explained, and prior to his death proposes to his girlfriend, Brittany, on a mountaintop giving her a music box. As a newly engaged couple has sex in a jacuzzi but it was merely a dream, actually it’s a dream inside of a dream wrapped uncomfortably in nightmare. As the film progresses Ricky appears more with neon racing gear, partially burnt face and a hairdo reminiscent of the 80s hair metal bands, he terrorizes doctors, family, and many others. Many times throughout the flick, Ricky tries to kill to Brittany (whose character name appears as Kitty on the credits) no reason clearly given, but her mother insisted on seeing Dr. Frisk a very peculiar gentleman, tells Brittney to stop living in the past – other words suck it up and forget about the dead boyfriend. Dead Ricky does pay the good doctor a personal office visit, and the viewers might enjoy it.
After 40-minutes fake dream sequences, jump cuts and random scenes, it all falls in a slideshow of images, strung together with lackluster desire. The biggest issues lies in faulty equipment the sound either contains muffled voices or buzzing from outside sources, a leaf blower drowning important dialogue, thank goodness for subtitles. While Intervision delivers for the first time to DVD Dream Stalker with the best intentions of a crisp picture, it still contains a major flaw, the flesh tone color changes massively, with a switch for normal to green. The music fluctuates far too much, swooping and layer become quite annoying and actually, ruins even more for the final production, though a hint of the music seems eerily similar to a trivia moment on for the most dedicated of fans. As for the gore or blood effects, nicely done, but adding in the other previously mentioned issues, makes for a hardship for the viewer in the end. Passion a true requirement of any filmmaker, but that also means having an understanding of the equipment, story, characters, and of course making sure the final film becomes as interesting and entertaining to the audience, SOV sometimes skips certain items on the checklist.
Death by Love is another movie included in this DVD, by director Alan Grant, one might think why start another film review inside another review, simply, this flick doesn’t exist on IMDb site, and no one who starred in it does either. Grant served as producer, writer, director and actor in a movie, which contains more T&A and softcore scenes than just slashing and mystery, but contains some good twists.
SOV productions, truly are a unique find, their audience willing to accept the most atrocious conceptual flaws, definitely not for everyone, it is even more isolated than perhaps the torture porn viewers. The ideal viewer likely will find well developed scripts and plots too tedious, and therefore enjoy the moments sexual deviations and blood splatters quite appealing, again it contains a second movie, unheard or unknown to many horror fans, adding in the value of bargain price.