• Dream Stalker/Death By Love

    Released by: Intervision Picture Corp.
    Released on: April 11th, 2017.
    Director: Christopher Mills/Alan Grant
    Cast: Mark Dias, Valerie Williams, Alan Grant, Yvonne Aric
    Year: 1991/1990
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    The Movie:

    Intervision Picture Corp. continues to dig deep into the cave of old school shot on video insanity to bring some of these old analogue diamonds in the rough to a new audience. This time around, it’s a double feature containing Christopher Mill’s 1991 horror picture Dream Stalker and Alan Grant’s 1990 picture Death By Love.

    Dream Stalker:

    The feature attraction starts off with some fucking awesome dirt-bike racing. Whose that guy in the lead? That’s Rickie Fries (Mark Dias), and he’s the best of the best. After his latest victory, Rickie takes his fashion model girlfriend Brittney Marin (Valerie Williams) on a picnic up on a scenic hilltop. Here he surprises her with something that he tells her isn’t food… by popping the question! They bone in a Jacuzzi. Soon Ricky and Brittney will be joined in holy matrimony and live happily ever after as husband and wife. No – they won’t! Because soon after, Ricky is killed in a dirt-bike accident (at least I think that’s what happened, it’s never made all that clear but he’s definitely dead) and laid six feet under, but not before he gives her a weird music box that has one of those creepy Mardi Gras masked dolls on it. Brittney has a best friend, a cute Asian girl named Sherrie. Sherri has a leaf-blower that she has trouble operating and is also very upset about Rickie’s mysterious death.

    Brittney is understandable upset – distraught even –so much so that her mother makes her visit a shrink named Dr. Frisk whose best advice seems to be for Brittney to stop living in the past. He also tells her that she has psychic powers that cannot be controlled. Unfortunately for everyone around her, she just can’t stop dreaming about poor dead Rickie. Things really intensify one night when Rickie, with half his face missing, shows up to rape her! He’s good enough to use a condom but then it breaks and he doesn’t pull out, so, yeah… At any rate. It’s decided that Brittney needs some rest and relaxation so she heads to her family’s remote cabin that apparently isn’t all that remote because it’s surround by a bunch of teenagers (played by a bunch of thirty somethings). When she interrupts a ‘hip hop dance party’ she makes enemies with some of the girls, but the guys? They dig her. They even try to rape her at one point. The teacher in charge of chaperoning this trip sucks at his job. Sherri shows up and someone gets whacked in the face with a machete.

    Eventually Brittney has a bath. When she does, a dog somehow gets into the bathroom. Then the dog’s owner shows up and sees Brittney looking all hot, enjoying her frothy bubbles. She catches him and then it turns out that, hey, it’s her old pal Greg (John Tyler) who she always had a crush on. They make out and he sucks on her nipples a LOT. Then people start dying – is Ricky really back from the grave killing everyone that Brittney either comes into contact with or has a weird dream about? Why did that guy get killed in the outhouse? Why did Dr. Frisk get thrown out the window? Why are people having a dance party inside a morgue? Why is only half of Rickie’s face messed up?


    Dream Stalker is ninety minutes of lunacy. The movie is endlessly entertaining but at the same time it doesn’t make a damn like of sense. We never really know how Rickie died or if Brittney is psychic or telekinetic or just crazy. Lots of things happen for no reason, the dialogue is frequently completely unintelligible and the levels are all over the place. Important stretches of dialogue are drowned out by fans or air conditioners or something out of frame. There’s a great scene, where Frisk is killed, where a dummy falls out a window. There’s a scene where Brittney is modelling with two guys. They’re all rubbing up on her at the instruction of the photographer. Rickie, not dead yet, smiles at his lady friend. She smiles back and the photographer yells at him – HEY, STOP CLOWNING AROUND! The soundtrack is heavy on Casio keyboard style compositions. The acting is consistently questionable, as are character motivations. At one point early in the movie Brittney moves towards Rickie. He is on his bike and revving the engine. Then she realizes he’s coming towards her, she can’t get out of the way! BLAM, she goes down. Did this actually happen or was it a dream?

    I dunno. But I can’t wait to watch this again. There’s enough horror movie action and goofy gore, particularly in the last half hour or so of the movie, to keep your attention. Add to that some splendiferous nudity, plenty of inane dialogue and a completely bewildering tone throughout and this one turns out to be a whole lot of fun.

    Death By Love:

    The second movie doesn’t quite reach the same levels of but it’s still pretty fun. Writer/director Alan Grant plays the lead, a guy named Joel Falk. He’s the local hunk of the month, and a hit with all the fly women. When he’s not working as a sculptor he’s toying around with gal pal Amy Sullivan (Aric), a fellow gym rat who spends her days working as a reporter. They hit it off when she does a story on him and soon enough, they’re playing mini-golf and fucking like rabbits.

    Then someone slits Amy’s throat!

    Did Joel do it? His manager, Eleanor, sends him out of town to some sort of artist’s convention while the cops start poking about trying to figure out whodunit. It seems that everyone is blissfully unaware that a serial killer named Edgar Peterson has actually been skulking about, following Joel for a while now. It turns out they grew up together but when Edgar started getting into Satanism, that was it for their friendship. Now Edgar seems convinced the Joel is the devil incarnate and he plans to take him out by killing off anyone that he sleeps with.

    This movie has a lot of sex in it, way more than your average shot on video low budget horror picture. If you like naked people in all their analogue glory, you’ll like this movie. As far as the story goes, it’s better than it probably sounds. Yeah, there’s goofiness galore and the whole Satan angle is kind of a weird one to cram into what is basically a Skinemax style thriller, but there are a couple of genuine surprises and a few clever moments here too.

    The whole thing seems like a vanity project for Alan Grant, but that’s not necessarily a problem. He carries the film well enough and as far as his duties behind the camera go, he paces the picture well. This isn’t nearly as over the top as Dream Stalker but it’s a pretty entertaining second feature well worth checking out.


    Both movies were shot on tape and they look it. Presented in their proper 1.33.1 fullframe aspect ratio expect detail to be soft, fuzzy and unimpressive. Colors can sometimes look faded or even seem to bleed a bit. Black levels tend to vary depending on the lighting in any given scene. Let’s be honest, the transfers here are not great – but if you’re accustomed to the look of old SOV no budget pictures, you’ll likely be just fine with the presentation. It’s all quite watchable, you just need to keep your expectations in check.

    Audio chores for each feature are handled by an English language Dolby Digital 2.0 mix. Thankfully there are optional English subtitles provided for both films, because they come in pretty hand. The audio on Dream Stalker in particular is pretty muffled and sometimes garbled, but hey, turn the subs on and you’ll have no trouble following things. Death By Love sounds a bit better and is easier to understand. Again, the limitations of the original source material mean this stuff is only ever going to look and sound so good.

    Extras start off with a twenty minute featurette entitled Remembering Ricky which is an interview with actor Mark Dias. He starts off by discussing his movie role, Night Force with Linda Blair, and then explains the circumstances surrounding how and why he wound up working in Dream Stalker. He then goes on to share some fun stories from the shoot and talk about the awkwardness of shooting a love scene in a hot tub. For reasons never explained, any time he mentions the director’s name it’s bleeped. Huh. If that weren’t enough, the film’s producer, Tom Naygrow, shows up in an eleven minute interview entitled Dirt Bike Dreams. He talks about the casting in the film, his own cameo in the picture, what drew him to the project and how he had pretty high hopes for the picture’s success.

    The second feature gets some supplements too. In Alan Grant Remembers Death By Love Via Video Skype we get a nine minute talk with the man himself about how and why he came up with some of the ideas that turned into the story told in Death By Love. He also talks about the makeup work and the movie’s bizarre score. Yvonne Aric And Brad Bishop Remember Death By Love Via Video Skype interviews the two actors for ten minutes about their work on the film and look back on the project pretty fondly, sharing anecdotes from their time on set.

    The Final Word:

    This is a pretty great double-feature of shot-on-video insanity. Sure, the presentation quality is what it is but both films are pretty entertaining, especially the amazing Dream Stalker. Intervision not only rescued these two films from obscurity but went the extra mile and came up with some extra features as well. If you’re into SOV oddities, don’t let this one pass you by.

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    VinceP 03-13-2018 09:22 AM