The Sandman ('95)

Was it really necessary to indicate a year?  Yes.  There is a spattering of films called The Sandman, including an animated short from 1991 that I recommend.  It's only ten minutes long.  Super creepy.  Anypiss, you also have Sleepstalker, which is about a killer on death row who is turned into a sandman by way of runic prestidigitation.  Ironically (it's not ironic at all), that fright feature came out in 1995 as well.  The arenicolous mazuma (or sand dollar...I don't see why I should do things the easy way) I'm reviewing was directed by cult maestro J.R. Bookwalter, the b-buff responsible for The Dead Next Door and Zombie Cop.  If a reader wants to send me all of Bookwalter's films on VHS, I do have an electronic mail address located in the top-right hand corner of the page.  How 'bout that?  I'm going to let that sit with you for a minute.  Drink it in, man.

The Sandman bears an exceptionally simple plot.  Gary is a romance novelist whose insomnia keeps him up at odd hours writing.  What else would he be doing?  One scary night, he sees two red eyes glaring at him through the blinds.  He rushes outside to find a neighbor's dog torn in half.  Everyone assumes that a bigger dog did the damage, but Gary isn't convinced.  Eventually, he learns the truth, as does the viewer.  It's The Sandman!  A centuries-old creature who manipulates your dreams and slaughters you when you wake up.  That may sound Freddy-like (and it is), but Bookwalter (who also co-authored the screenplay) tweaked the mythos just enough to give The Sandman his own stroke, his own jingle-jangle.  For example, the victim has a happy dream before it turns sour and the corpse-in-training gains consciousness.

I haven't leaked much opinion into this audit yet, but I liked The Sandman.  It was fun.  An aspect I have failed to mention thus far is the setting.  The story takes place in a trailer park.  Horror addicts know that monsters and trailer parks are always a winning combination.  The opening credits are fantastic if you're like me and you enshrine "small town" terrors.  I have family members who live in identical trailer parks.  Forgive me for feeling gooey (for the scenery, not the family members).  Bookwalter's early output was shot on 8mm, but this was shot on...a higher number?  I wear a dunce cap as it relates to the technical side of filmmaking.  My estimation is 16mm.  Eh, all I'll say is that it looks more professional.

Of course, The Sandman is still a low-budget production.  IMDb jackasses drub and sound off on the beast effects.  Yeah, they're cheap, but I thought the titular baddie looked boss.  He's basically a colossal grim reaper with matching accessories.  That sickle was sick, yo!  It was a sick sickle!  In a sense, this is atypical Bookwalter mania.  I pinpointed no gore, no nudity, no gore and no gore.  I hate to come across as a slabbering bloodhound, but that was a slight inefficacy.  On the positive end of the eigenvector (???), I was able to direct my attention on the moving picture without red stuff.  On the negative end of that very same eigenvector (I seriously don't know), there is a surplus of useless side characters.  Cousin Ozzy?  Why even bother?  Did he die?  Did he move out?  Do I give a fuck?

My rating might seem a shaving high.  The truth is that I treasure any smaller film that makes me feel emotions that the bulk of $200 million tentpole releases don't.  I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to end a sentence with "don't," but fuck it.  Hey, did the "trailer park" scene in Rawhead Rex give you a throbbing whistle?  Then check out The Sandman.

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