BAD DREAMS is a derivative 80s slasher that offers nothing new and probably couldn't scare my grandmother's bingo club. It's a shame too, because I REMEMBERED this as being one of the better ones out of those fertile pre-CGI Eighties, but watching it today merely elicited lots of (unintentional, I think) laughs.
Horror film characters traditionally aren't known for their brains (unless something's eating them), but nearly everyone in BAD DREAMS is beyond stupid, so I guess they all get what they deserve, except for the DUMB AS A ROCK young doctor who somehow makes Pauly Shore look like a Mensa candidate. What fucking mental hospital lets their patients walk freely in the halls, even using the elevators unchaperoned? Why is there a bone-crunching, razor-sharp exhaust fan (which doesn't seem to be spinning at a decapitating velocity anyway) kept behind an UNLOCKED iron gate AND an UNLOCKED maintenance door on the same floor as those free-wandering and oh-so-curious mental patients? What hospital leaves full bottles of steaming instant death formaldehyde on the table next to your bed (even if they're marked with those cool skull and crossbones labels that you see everywhere at pharmacies these days)? Since when does pulling a fire alarm suddenly cause all the doors to the dangerous solitary confinement rooms to suddenly SWING WIDE OPEN? And why doesn't Jennifer Rubin ever show the goods (when she couldn't keep her clothes ON in subsequent films)? These are just a FEW of the brain-rattling questions you'll ask when watching BAD DREAMS.
I guess in a cheezy kind of Freddy Krueger/Night of the Comet 80's horror way, BAD DREAMS isn't as bad as it feels watching it today. Let's face it - Richard Lynch looks like a charred zombie even before the makeup department gets hold of him, and Dean Cameron's eyebrows and chin cleft are always more interesting than his acting. And Jennifer Rubin, God bless Jennifer Rubin, got me through many a lonely night in 1988. But BAD DREAMS fails to deliver the fright, and that's why you rented it. It won't give you bad dreams, but it may put you to sleep before its 84 minutes are up.