If you hate going to the dentist because it’s an anxiety-inducing, nerve-wracking, horrifying experience – raise your hand. Awesome. Y’all are never going to want to see the dentist again after watching DREAMING PURPLE NEON. Oh, no worries, this isn’t one of those body horror at the dentist type movies or even a mad dentist gone rogue type…no, this film is…wow, where does one even start? At the beginning, I suppose?
Kat is having a no-good, horrible, really bad day. It turns out that her bosses (Samuel L. Jackson 1 and Samuel L. Jackson 2 – or SLJ1 and SLJ2 respectively) are drug dealers. Oopsies! Now they’ve killed a man and she’s stuck cleaning up the mess. Literally. Like, on her hands and knees with the cleaners getting blood out of the carpet. Ick. Whilst doing this, she finds drugs and a gun, and decides that stealing them would be the most awesomest thing in the world! I mean, technically, she takes the stuff for a good reason – now that she knows she works for the bad guys, she’s freaked out and has to figure out the right thing to do (hint: going to the police sometimes works in these situations) – but still not the smartest move. Kat’s meeting her friend, Denise, for dinner so she takes the drug/gun combo with her to the dentist office where Denise works. I guess she wanted a second opinion on that whole “going to the police” idea.
At the dentist’s, Denise is running a bit late with a last minute patient – a teenage girl, whose mother is also there – so Kat hangs in the waiting room till she’s done. And here comes along the building owner who starts chiding the dentist for not being finished and out of the building because they’re fumigating tonight. Aw, he seems super nice and not suspicious at all! And here’s Denises’s teenage love/ex/bff guy (I got a little confused with this one, sorry) back from wherever because he needs to talk to her before he leaves town again. (And he brought a friend for moral support). But wait! SLJ1 and SLJ2 folowed Kat! Shit, things are about to get real.
Once the players have all entered the arena, shit does indeed get real…The SLJs take Kat, Denise, Dallas (Denise’s fella), Dallas’ friend, the dentist, and the patient & mother hostage till Kat gives up the drugs. Things are getting tense when we discover that there’s a far greater danger lurking in this building. Our not-suspicious-at-all building owner may or may not be runnning a Satanic cult in the basement of the building (and seriously what the hell kind of office building is this anyway??) that holds all manner of tortured souls, naked people, and shenanigans. Can the two groups stay out of each others’ ways? Hahahahahaaaa! As if! There’s all sorts of crazy connections here – many having to do with the drug the SLJs are selling, a little something called “Purple Neon”, duh duh DUM!!! And once tthose connections are made, things get messy quickly.
If you smushed Tarantino and Herschell Gordon Lewis together, added a dash of Eli Roth, and a pinch of Peter Jackson, you’d come up with DREAMING PURPLE NEON. This film is an homage to the splattery horror films of days gone by (particularly the mid-70s thru late 80s) and manages to bring something new to the table, all while retaining that nostalgic feel. It’s fun. It’s incredibly bloody and gory (there were a couple of things here that rivaled CALIGULA when it came to “OMG, GROSS!!!!”). The story is pretty damn solid (I got a LITTLE lost in the demonic explanations but there was also A LOT going on) and the acting is equally as solid. This film is GOOD.
From the Tarantino-esque opening that reminded me so much of PULP FICTION down to the last scene with that guy from KISS (oh yeah, did I mention that? That guy from KISS shows up to kick some ass at the very end. Um…the tongue guy? Gene Simmons?? I don’t know if it was the real guy or just someone cosplaying him but it was pretty wicked cool!), this film was ridiculously fun. It stayed strong and never wavered; I was never bored. The practical effects were AMAZEBALLS (because old school is the best!) and the real physical stunts were super cool. GUYS! What I’m saying is you need to go watch this!!! It gets, like, ALL the thumbs!
DREAMING PURPLE NEON is a true labor of love, created with passion, hard work and integrity, 20 years in the making, a love letter to horror films and exploitation cinema – movies that would play drive-in theaters and grindhouse cinemas all over America. Go LIKE them on Facebook so you can keep updated with where it’ll be playing next!