From co-writer and director Harley Cokliss (Battletruck, Black Moon Rising), Dream Demon sort of takes its cues from Hellraiser and A Nightmare on Elm Street, but it forges its own weird path through one bad dream after another. Once the movie starts, it almost feels like you’re trapped in a nightmare that won’t end. It’s creepy and only gets more intense as it goes along. Depending on your how hot your horror taste buds run, Dream Demon definitely registers on the “fire” end of the meter, with gory imagery, a strange synthesizer score, gruesome depictions and implications of child abuse, and a general sense of unease from the get-go. I’d never seen the film before, so it was a wild ride for me.
Arrow Video has rescued this title from obscurity, thanks to the director’s efforts to locate the original film elements, which had been lost for decades after bankruptcies and ownership rights shifted and re-shifted multiple times. Cokliss writes an informative essay in the insert booklet, and provides a video intro to the film, plus gives a scene-select audio commentary. Cokliss delivered a “director’s cut” version (which is the one I watched), but the original version is also included. There are tons of other bonus features, including interviews, image galleries, trailers, the screenplay, and a foldout poster.