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DREAMCATCHER - 2 Slimes
Rated R
Copyright 2003 Castle Rock Entertainment
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 7 April 2008

The Characters:  

  • Gary Jones ("Jonesy") - He keeps all of his memories in a dusty old warehouse. Every so often, he has to clear off shelves to make room for new stuff. I hope he saved room for a binder cataloging how many times the 1984 American gymnastics team (men's and women's) "stuck the landing." Man, those people had some sticky feet.
  • Dr. Henry Devlin - This guy manages to lose more friends in a forty-eight hour period than Dr. McCoy ever did.
  • Joe Clarenden ("Beaver") - Jason Lee! When the situation requires dignity or respect...you should ask the old Beav to leave. He is a motormouth repository of everything scatological and venereal. He becomes the first human on record to have his face eaten by a tapeworm.
  • Pete Moore - What he needed to do was drink less and try to not act like a car salesman, which might be difficult, because that is what he was. Notice the "was." Mr. Grey bites him in half.
  • Duddits - Donnie Wahlberg! Is there any reason the Gold alien pretended to be an autistic boy? Besides the fact that disguising himself as a nutty celebrity Scientologist would have been too obvious.
  • Lt. Underhill - Tom Sizemore! He certainly was a better shot with a pistol than with an assault rifle. Cut down by a minigun.
  • Col. Curtis - Commanding officer of the Blue Boys. If you always wished to see Morgan Freeman acting the part of an out-of-control commanding officer (other than "Outbreak"), well, this is your movie. He's like Buckaroo Banzai, except that he cannot play the guitar. Dies after autorotation fails to safely bring his damaged helicopter in for a landing. It hits the ground, just a little too hard.
  • The Aliens - "Smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave." The U.S. Army knows what to do when aliens act friendly. All of the visitors from outer space are gunned down.
  • Mr. Grey - For most of the movie, this invader from another world is hidden inside of Jonesy's body. During those periods, the alien causes Jonesy to try to talk like an Englishman. It does not make him any funnier. Neutralized (that's what it's called when something turns into a harmless red mist and evaporates).

Buy It!

The Plot: 

A group of friends (Henry, Jonesy, Pete, and Beaver) get together in a remote mountain cabin to do what men do in remote mountain cabins: they swap stories, drink, and shoot animals and eat them. It is the kind of camaraderie that brings a tear to my eye. Those guys are living the dream.

The idyllic vacation is interrupted by the appearance of a man who staggers in out of a blizzard. This guy is in trouble; in addition to frostbite, a strange red fungus is growing on him and there is something horribly wrong with his digestive system. Exactly what is amiss becomes painfully apparent when the afflicted chap dies and a four-foot long worm with teeth crawls out of his blistered rectum. The thing is an alien lifeform, and it is the most dangerous intestinal parasite ever encountered. Terrestrial tapeworm infestation is rarely fatal, but your average tapeworm is not bristling with fangs and equipped with a tail capable of eviscerating a grown wombat. The worm kills Beaver and nearly gets Jonesy. Jonesy is shocked at his friend's death; he is even more shocked when a big Grey alien takes over his body and uses it as a disguise.

Two of the childhood friends are absent from the cabin when the alien rampage starts. Henry and Pete crash their SUV during a sudden encounter with another infected person on the snowy road. Trekking back to the cabin, Henry avoids meeting Jonesy/Mr. Grey. Pete does not and gets bitten in half. In his true form, Mr. Grey looks like an even bigger rectum crawler, but with two legs. I wonder if the rule of thumb is that the larger the host, the larger the resulting alien. I'd hate to see what would come out of an infected elephant. Anyway, having killed two out of the four childhood friends, and "occupying" a third, Mr. Grey's next goal is to get the heck out of Dodge (or, in this case, Derry).

The reason that the alien needs to flee is Colonel Curtis. He is the Commanding Officer of the Blue Team, a secret Army unit that defends the world from aliens. The latest incursion is the result of a crash landing and rather insignificant, as humanity-destroying invasions go. While teams round up the local populace, Blue Boys climb into their attack helicopters to go after the mother ship. Four Apache gunships are all it takes to defeat an invasion by a technologically advanced civilization? Where are the aliens' antiaircraft lasers, or plasma-tipped surface-to-air missiles? Heck, if the invaders had something like a ZSU-23, the helicopters would have been in trouble. The worms do not have any of that crap. Their defensive plan is to look cute (by taking the form of a stereotypical Grey alien) and wave.

Amazingly, the Army wins and only loses three helicopters in the process.

Colonel Curtis takes the job of defending Earth from invading alien butt worms very seriously. Any citizen who gets infected with "The Ripley" (the red fungus) is detained and "sterilized." This includes women and children. Curtis really does not care. Round the spore-infested people up and shoot them, then burn the bodies. The voice of reason is Lt. Underhill; he wants to try and help the innocent victims, rather than simply eradicate them. Hoping to avoid a lifetime of guilt-related nightmares and a drinking problem, the Lieutenant goes over his CO's head. Quick as a flash, the Colonel is relieved of his command. However, Underhill is not around to see the fruits of his coup; he rescues Henry from the internment camp and both of them go chasing after Jonesy/Mr. Grey.

Critical to present events is the back story about the circle of friends and Duddits. When they were young lads, Jonesy, Henry, Pete, and Beaver rescued an autistic boy from some older bullies. His name is Duddits, and he gave the boys powers that bonded them forever. All of the friends share a kind of telepathy, along with the ability to find things. Obviously, their bizarre childhood was instrumental in shaping the men into who they are today. Even Beaver mattered, somehow.

The survival of Earth comes down to finding Jonesy before the occupying Mr. Grey can introduce a baby worm into the Boston water supply. Arrgggggghhhh! If the only thing the aliens need to do to conquer the world is infect one major source of drinking water, why don't they start in India? Anywhere without crazy pistol-waving Colonels who are in charge of even crazier rifle-waving soldiers would make more sense. Look, alien dudes, if you try to invade the United States, we are going to shoot you. Go lay your eggs in somebody else's aquifer.

Do you Greys hear me? I mean it. We will kick your smooth, featureless backsides. There are two things you do not mess with in America. One of them is our drinking water; the other is our buttocks. You just broke both rules.

Movies adapted from Stephen King's books or stories are always an interesting experience. Quite honestly, he often includes pages and pages of background about the characters. That is why the books appear so bloated. Fifty pages are dedicated to chronicling how a character came to be called "Beaver." Another two hundred detail the childhood experiences that created the unlikely group of friends (who then find their group whittled down by the ultimate adversary). I definitely need to read the book to see what was changed, but parts of "Dreamcatcher" remind me of "It," with a sprinkling of "Stand By Me." Not that either of those had deadly sphincter eels, but so be it.

However, since we are talking about the movie, the creepy mass migration by the infected animals was something I liked. Even if the lifecycle of the fanged, funky butt worms perplexes me, the creatures themselves looked and moved in a satisfyingly icky manner. Duddits, the autistic savior of mankind, was a low point. He is nothing but pure deus ex machina. However, the worst has to be Morgan Freeman leading his Blue Boys (in their fantastic flying machines) against the aliens - who are standing in the middle of a field and waving! I enjoyed the scene, in a dumb, "Blast the aliens!" kind of way, but it hurt my head. Wait, Lt. Underhill shooting down Morgan Freeman's helicopter gunship with the Colonel's own ornamental pistol was horrible. That actually caused me to groan.

The acting is all pretty good and the CGI is certainly acceptable, so what tripped me up? My ability to suspend belief. Parts of the movie were preposterous to a fault. I am usually fine with that. My life is preposterous. Life, of itself, is preposterous. I just could not believe parts of "Dreamcatcher," and I mean besides the alien ass babies.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Finding a woman's lost car keys does not mean you are guaranteed to land a date with her.
  • Stepping into traffic is a bad idea, especially if your autistic friend is the one telling you to do it.
  • There are times when, sitting on the toilet, you will urgently wish for a roll of duct tape, and that wish is, under the circumstances, completely understandable.
  • Never fib to a man who is holding a loaded .45 pistol.
  • John Wayne invented GPS.
  • Dogs will eat anything if you are nice to them.
  • If you visit Boston, don't drink the water.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 5 mins - RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A DIPLOMA!
  • 10 mins - Do you have any idea how creepy you act?
  • 39 mins - "Don't mind us, we're just following the lion!"
  • 44 mins - Great, it's "The Colour Out of Space," but with diarrhea.
  • 45 mins - Stop trying to reach for a toothpick! If whatever is inside that toilet gets out, you are not going to like it.
  • 48 mins - Beaver, you are frighteningly stupid (and obsessive-compulsive). Fine. Let it get out. I hope that whatever it is chews your face off.
  • 80 mins - ...and darlin', darlin', stand by me. Ohhhhh, stand by me...
  • 130 mins - What you have just seen is a true story. The same year that he won his third Oscar for "Driving Miss Daisy," Morgan Freeman saved the world from extraterrestrial shit weasels.

Quotes: 

  • Jonesy: "I am filing that under my 'Who gives a shit?' section of my memory warehouse."
    Beaver: "Uh, what's the memory warehouse?"
    Pete: "You don't remember the memory warehouse?"
    Beaver: "I must've forgot."
    Jonesy: "You forgot about the memory warehouse?"
    Beaver: "Just remind me. Don't give a lot of s**t."
    Pete: "It's in his head Beav, we've all got one."
    Henry: "Hasn't that place been condemned?"
    Jonesy: "Not yet. It's just that it's so crowded, now I have to throw something out every time I learn something new. When I got my new laptop I had to throw out all my files of rock 'n' roll lyrics."
  • Henry: "Your longtime mentor, Col. Curtis, has gone insane from hunting aliens for twenty-five years. Now he wants you to help him kill hundreds of innocent people."

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

FileDialog
Green Music Note dreamcatcher1.wav Sick Rick: "My mother used to feed me pea soup when I was feeling...BUUUURRRRRRPPPPP!"
Beaver: "B**ch in a buzzsaw! I've heard some mighty burps in my time, but that's the blue ribbon baby."
Sick Man: "I am so embarrassed."
Jonesy: "Rick ate some berries in the woods."
Sick Man: "Oh no!" ***LONG WET FART SOUND*** "Oh my God! Oh my God! That's awful. I'm so sorry."
Green Music Note dreamcatcher2.wav Col. Curtis questions a young Corporal about Blue Boy Unit and their rules.
Green Music Note dreamcatcher3.wav Alien Telepathy: "We are helpless..."
Col. Curtis: "There it is, gentlemen. Directly into our heads. This gives you an idea what we're up against. Now, if anybody's thinking, 'Why, those poor helpless little folks, all naked and unarmed beside their crashed intergalactic Winnebago. What kind of a dog, what kind of a monster, could hear that heartbreak and go in just the same?' Well, I'm that dog. I'm that monster. These mothers are as harmless as a fox in a henhouse, and I'm here to KICK SOME ASS!"
Green Music Note dreamcatcher4.wav Pete: "What a minute - you're not..."
Jonesy: "Shut up, Pete! You're too messed up to know what you're saying!"
Mr. Grey: "Too late for that. Pete, I need you to get onto the snowmobile right now."
Pete: "Who the f**k are you? You sound like one of those James Bonds. This has something to do with that f**king eel, isn't it?"
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 

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 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipdreamcatcher1.mpg - 5.5m
Might I remind you, that thing came out of somebody's butt.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2
Re: Dreamcatcher
Reply #1. Posted on April 07, 2008, 10:07:58 PM by Inferno
Well not only are they butt worms, their heads look like teethy vaginas.

Yeah, I went there......
Re: Dreamcatcher
Reply #2. Posted on April 07, 2008, 11:27:39 PM by SynapticBoomstick
Funky butt worms.
Wow.
Andrew, you are a god of the written word  Cheers
Re: Dreamcatcher
Reply #3. Posted on April 08, 2008, 12:29:24 AM by John
You forgot the leech scene in Stand by me.  Bluesad  Personally. I can't stand Stephen King books.  Hatred You have all the same 9 archtypes in every story. The f**ked up Father and Mother. The Loser that can't get the Girl he wants.  Lookingup The Girl the loser wants but she sleeps with the Stud. The Stud. The Fat Kid that's picked on. YAWN.  Thumbdown Then the Bullies that are all painted with the same brush.  TeddyR Just a different version of the end of the world or dimension, or monster on the loose. Like I said. I can't stand the "Hick".   Hatred
Re: Dreamcatcher
Reply #4. Posted on April 08, 2008, 04:48:41 AM by akiratubo
One of King's weakest novels begets an even worse than normal "Stephen King" movie.
Re: Dreamcatcher
Reply #5. Posted on April 08, 2008, 07:52:05 AM by Jack
I actually thought the first half was pretty good, probably because I'm a sucker for anything with winter scenery in it.  But then Morgan Freeman showed up and I'm like, "This was about four guys in a cabin, and now it's Independence Day or some damned thing?".  I believe I went and did some yard work at that point.  King has a habit of changing his mind halfway through a book and then not going back and re-writing the beginning.  Like with he Stand - it started out with a biological warfare agent getting out of the laboratory, and next thing you know it's about God vs. Satan.  Huh?

The villain in Dreamcatcher seemed absolutely identical to the villain in Storm of the Century.  Suave, sophisticated, all knowing, yadda yadda yadda.
Re: Dreamcatcher
Reply #6. Posted on April 08, 2008, 08:26:42 AM by indianasmith
This was NOT one of my favorite King books, and I never bothered with the movie.  Loved THE STAND, though.
Re: Dreamcatcher
Reply #7. Posted on April 08, 2008, 09:24:40 AM by Mr_Vindictive
One of King's weakest novels begets an even worse than normal "Stephen King" movie.

I couldn't have said it better Akiraturbo.  I picked up the book the day it was released and had high hopes for it.  Sadly I was unable to make it about a third of the way through....I didn't fare any better with the film.  I've seen it twice which was about five times too many.
Re: Dreamcatcher
Reply #8. Posted on April 08, 2008, 11:00:40 AM by Andrew
You have all the same 9 archtypes in every story.

Looking back on his books and stories, he certainly does like to cut and paste certain characters.  Beaver immediately comes to mind.  That character template is present in several other King works.

I actually thought the first half was pretty good, probably because I'm a sucker for anything with winter scenery in it.  But then Morgan Freeman showed up and I'm like, "This was about four guys in a cabin, and now it's Independence Day or some damned thing?". 

The winter setting was beautifully done.  They even seemed to get the hushed feel of a heavy snowfall right.  The one shot from above, with the vehicle driving up the road, was excellent.  Unfortunately, I think they discarded all the care later on,  but in the first half it was spot on.

Morgan Freeman's over the top performance is probably the reason I gave this a two, vice a three (I still am not sure, and could end up changing it one day).  Part of it has to be some inner part of me giggling over him acting like the crazy Colonel right out of "Apocalypse Now," but with alien anal lampreys as the opposing force, vice Martin Sheen.

Funky butt worms.
Wow.
Andrew, you are a god of the written word 

Actually, something of a homage to "Bloom County" in that expression; it probably would have been just "fanged butt worms" instead.
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