Sunday, February 24, 2013

Bad Dreams (1988)

Franklin Harris, leader of the Unity Cult, decides to pull a Jonestown and pours gasoline over the cult members heads.  Everyone sits calmly awaiting their fiery death to bring them to salvation, except for teenaged Cynthia who is not so sure this is a good idea.

Cynthia, who ends up being the only survivor, wakes from a coma thirteen years later.  Luckily her muscle tone is still fantastic, not like those other lazy coma patients.

In order to get her accustomed to the changes in the world and bring her up to date on the 1980s, her doctor puts her in a group therapy session.  This might be a good idea except the therapy group is for people with personality disorders which seems odd since Cynthia was part of a hippy cult and has amnesia.

When members of her group start dying, Cynthia is convinced that it's cult leader Harris (played by Richard Lynch) whose come back because she didn't keep her promise.  She believes that Harris will continue to take those close to her until she joins him in death.  She sees him in the hallways and her room - sometimes as he was but other times as a gooey bloody mess.

Young Dr. Karman seems unnaturally interested in Cynthia, but doesn't believe her story about Harris.  He does however decide to keep her company at night to make sure she's not scared. Oh yes, there's nothing at all a creepy or overly friendly about a doctor relating to their newly coma-free  attractive female patient by keeping a special eye on her and leaning over her with arms on either side of her while she's in bed.

Richard Lynch plays the cult leader Harris. I always liked Lynch. He's good at being menacing. There is a twist ending that isn't that original but I didn't expect it. And while Dr. Karmen is supposed to be a good guy, he repeatedly violates medical ethics on interacting with patients.  At one point in a fit of anger he even gulps down a patients drugs that he happened to have in his shirt pocket.  Get a grip, man! You can't fall in love with a patient you've only known for a short time who has amnesia and believes she's seeing a dead cult leader!

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