Home video favorites of the ‘80s have long been a sweet spot for Scream Factory.  Their lat­est acqui­si­tion in this realm is Dreamscape, a fan favorite that has enjoyed both DVD and ear­ly blu-ray releas­es with a small set of extras.  That said, there was room for improve­ment with this title — and the new Scream Factory disc rais­es it to a dreamsc-blunew lev­el in both visu­al and sup­ple­men­tal terms.

The trans­fer used here is a new 2K scan from the neg­a­tive.  It reflects the orig­i­nal PG-13 American ver­sion and offers a col­or­ful, crisp image that does well by the film’s old-school opti­cals and make­up FX.  Both 5.1 and 2.0 loss­less stereo mix­es are includ­ed for the sound­track: the 5.1 track was used here and offers a sub­tle but effec­tive sur­round mix that lay­ers the elec­tron­ic-styled score nice­ly across the speak­ers.

In terms of extras, this disc car­ries over the extras from the pri­or releas­es and adds some sub­stan­tial new bonus fea­tures of its own.  Here’s what you can expect…

Commentary Track: this is a car­ry-over from pre­vi­ous discs that fea­tures pro­duc­er Bruce Cohn Curtis, writer David Loughery and make­up FX design­er Craig Reardon.  Curtis and Loughery dis­cuss the moti­va­tion behind dif­fer­ent sce­nes, pro­duc­tion chal­lenges and a lot of anec­dotes about the actors.  Reardon chimes in peri­od­i­cal­ly with quick expla­na­tions of how dif­fer­ent make­up effects were achieved.

Dreamscapes And Dreammakers (1:01:50): a new jum­bo-sized fea­turet­te devot­ed to the mak­ing of the film.  Loughery returns here and appears with direc­tor Joseph Ruben, assis­tant producer/co-writer Chuck Russell, visu­al effects design­er Peter Kuran and sev­er­al mem­bers of the VFX crew.  It starts with a dis­cus­sion of how the script was real­ized and devel­oped over the time as well as the chal­lenges of doing an a-movie on a b-movie bud­get.

As the seg­ment pro­gress­es, Ruben offers his appre­ci­a­tions of dif­fer­ent cast mem­bers and David Patrick Kelly pops up to offer thought­ful com­men­tary on how he pre­pared for his vil­lain­ous role. The remain­der of the fea­turet­te is devot­ed to the visu­al effects for the film, bro­ken down by each dream sequence.  Fans will love this as they learn the tech­niques behind vir­tu­al­ly every opti­cal, minia­ture and stop-motion effect in the film.


Nightmares And Dreamsnakes (23:23): This fea­turet­te is devot­ed to the make­up effects, with a spe­cial focus on the design and exe­cu­tion of the “snake­man” effects. Several par­tic­i­pants from the pri­or fea­turet­te return but Reardon is the main com­men­ta­tor here.  He cov­ers all phas­es of his work, the crew he brought in and is frank about what aspects of the effects didn’t work as planned.  Kelly returns here and offers some inter­est­ing com­men­tary on the chal­lenge of act­ing through pros­thet­ics.

Dennis Quaid Interview (14:50): A quick but relaxed ses­sion with the actor, who looks back on the film fond­ly (inter­est­ing­ly, he calls it a “‘70s movie in the ‘80s”). Topics cov­ered include his mem­o­ries of his cast­mates, hasti­ly learn­ing to play the sax­o­phone, the intense nature of the sky­scrap­er stunt and the chal­lenges of work­ing with spe­cial effects.

Bruce Cohn Curtis & Chuck Russell — In Conversation (23:31): an infor­mal chat between the pro­duc­er and his pro­tégé.  They dis­cuss how they built their rela­tion­ship work­ing on low-bud­get films in the ‘70s, how this was Russell’s first screen­writ­ing ven­ture and the “fam­i­ly” style of pro­duc­tion that Curtis favored.  There is also some dis­cus­sion of the film’s dif­fi­cult shoot in Bronson Canyon and a fun­ny sto­ry about com­poser Maurice Jarre.


Snake Man Test (2:16): this neat item also appeared on pre­vi­ous discs and is a brief test film that Reardon shot for his snake­man suit.  It actu­al­ly shows off the tex­ture and inter­est­ing fea­tures of this suit, includ­ing an ani­ma­tron­ic face, that you don’t real­ly see in the film itself.

Other Extras: an ani­mat­ed image gallery that focus­es on FX shop pic­tures and the orig­i­nal the­atri­cal trail­er.

To read Schlockmania’s film review for Dreamscape, click here.