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THE SANDMAN (1995).

Never one to give up, even in the face of overwhelming adversity (such as a complete lack of filmmaking talent), J.R. Bookwalter is out hawking his latest, shittier-than-ever horror movie, which, like all his fare, feels like a home movie made by slow high schoolers using their lunch money. This one's set in a trailer park (so his inept actors look right at home), where the white trash residents suddenly begin dying in their sleep from brain embolisms (and the problem with this is...?). Gary, a writer of crappy sex novels is the only person who suspects the truth -- that a creature called The Sandman has been invading the low I.Q.'ed residents' dreams and feeding off of 'em (hmm, I've never heard that plot before, have you?), leaving its victim deader than the scriptwriter's imagination. Unfortunately for us all, Bookwalter doesn't know when to shut up and get his film in gear, padding the dreck with quirky supporting half-wits (including a wacko Vietnam vet and a Metal Head 2nd cousin), before Gary goes after The Sandman like a slacker Buford Pusser. But it's not over yet, masochists, because wait until you see their pathetic excuse for a title creature, which consists of a hooded monk's robe, light-bulb eyes, and cheap skeleton hands. This flick is so terminally boring you wanna take a pick ax to your TV (or better still, Bookwalter's squishy l'il head), while utilizing the highly touted "film-look" video processing (which only makes it look like a color-drained, fourth-generation dupe). Even though I went into the pic with muted expectations -- this is a no-budget production, mind you -- it stumbles on every conceivable level, and doesn't even have the good sense to pander to the viewer with cheap gore 'n' sex. Further proof that J.R. pumps out his movies with all the finesse of a dog taking a dump on the sidewalk. But afterward, at least the dog doesn't try to convince you to buy it from him.

© 1996 by Steven Puchalski.