Combustible Celluloid
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With: Stephen McHattie, Juliette Lewis, Henry Rollins, Tómas Lemarquis, Lisa Houle, Hana Sofia Lopes, Barbara Hellemans, Guillaume Kerbusch, Astrid Roos, Stéphane Bissot, Daphné Huynh, Aymeric Harter, Éric Gigout, Julian Nest, Jean-Marc André
Written by: Tony Burgess, Patrick Whistler
Directed by: Bruce McDonald
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 92
Date: 06/05/2020

Dreamland (2020)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Finger Trigger

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This weird, slightly askew crime drama attempts to cook up a kind of dream logic, inventing an alternate world where things aren't quite right, and anything can happen. The low budget prevents Dreamland from achieving a truly surreal, misty feel, but the dedication by the storytellers, and a fascinating dual, lead performance by grizzled Stephen McHattie makes it compulsively watchable. Directed by Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo, Pontypool), the movie stars McHattie as a killer-for-hire (with long hair mashed under a fedora), and also a legendary jazz trumpeter, burned out and addicted to heroin (both unnamed for most of the movie). A mob boss called Hercules (Henry Rollins) assigns the killer to find the trumpet player, cut off his little finger, and bring it back. Meanwhile, the killer has discovered that Hercules has started running a child prostitution ring and is determined to rescue one particular girl. Unfortunately, Hercules has already "sold" her to a character known as the "Vampire" (Tómas Lemarquis), who actually seems to be a real vampire. When the killer tries to trick Hercules with a fake finger, he must go on the run, preparing for a showdown during the Vampire's wedding at the "palace." However, Hercules has sent out his army of killer children, all wearing black suits and brandishing guns. Juliette Lewis completes the picture with one of her more hilariously unhinged performances as the babbling Countess, sister of the Vampire.

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