Night Wars

So far on this site, I’m two movies into a Vietnam Flashback Film Festival.  Here we have a David Prior film, co-written with Ted Prior, starring Dan Haggerty. They had me at “Prior” but there was so much acting and screaming in the first 10 minutes of the film I knew it was something special.  This movie focuses on two former soldiers who have nightmares of reliving the war.  Sounds standard enough, until one day they start waking up with real life wounds.  Their dreams are out to kill them.  Krueger style.

We’re gonna delve in to all that.  Don’t worry.  But first I wanna get this guy out of the way.  He’s one of two truly horrible actors in this otherwise ridiculous but well-acted piece of fiction.  I give you, Jack Shane, used car salesman.

I also want to point out that Jack is such a smooth operator that he can gloss over the car’s main flaw: it seems to only have a driver’s side door.  Anyway, later in this scene our hero experiences a flashback while test driving the used car.  But I promise you, I showed you the truly scary part.  Thank you for bearing with me.  I’ve got it out of my system now.  On with Night Wars.

Two war buddies are suddenly experiencing vivid night and daymares about their time in Nam.  They feel guilty about their pal who was left behind in a pit and they are haunted by the traitor member of their team who turned all crazy and traitorous.  They start waking up with wounds from their night wars and there’s even a scene where a gun comes through the bathroom mirror like so many Freddy Krueger faces have come through walls before.  Luckily Grizzly Adams is the psychiatrist who’s gonna help us get through this nightmare.

It becomes “clear” that the dead guy who was left behind isn’t really dead and he’s trying to reach out to them from some other dream dimension. One of the guys is gonna go in after him while the other stays awake to bring him back/wake him.  The main difference between what’s happening here and what’s happening on Elm Street is that his friend is holding a loaded weapon and firing it haphazardly around the room in his sleep.

Below:  Front row seats to the Night Wars

Grizzly comes over to get to the bottom of this, but the boys won’t give him any info.  But Grizzly has sworn a Hippocratic Oath, so he means business.  He pulls a gun on them.   “Doctor” is apparently my dream job.  You get to wear tight white pants, no socks and carry guns.

Grizzly thinks the boys are just strung out.  He drugs them up so they can finally get some sleep.  Meanwhile, the traitor evil guy has somehow infiltrated our hero’s wife’s dreams and has engaged her in forced seduction/rape.  Grizzly goes over to check on her and finds her getting sleep stabbed by the bad guy.  The budget was not here to flail her around the room, but she does a decent reenactment of Tina’s Elm Street demise.

Now, the boys mean business.  In the clip below they declare “Ready. Let’s do it” (and by “do it” I mean let’s put on costumes and curl up in bed together).

In their dream world, people start rising from their dirt graves ready to fight. “I don’t believe it,” exclaims our hero.  Really?  You’re trapped inside a dream world reliving your Vietnam flashbacks in order to save a man who died 10 years ago.  And zombies are what’s giving you a hard time?  I’m prepared for zombies to happen at any given moment.  This afternoon, tomorrow morning, my birthday… any moment.  But Vietnam Freddy Krueger?  I don’t have a preparedness plan.

Below:  Grizzly gets a message from the boys and must rush to their rescue

Anyway, this is my favorite movie because Grizzly Adams busts up in these guys’ bedroom wearing what I first thought was his thermal underwear and is confronted with the scene of his two buddies decked out in their best camo and face paint, flailing around in their beds, guns ablazing.  Find that scene for me in some Elm Street shit, I dare you.

In the end, they somehow bring their friend Johnny back. I truly don’t get it, but I am still applying Elm Street rules, so call me a fool. Sarge, however, dies and stays in the dream world.  Which is really for the best, cause how do you get over your war nightmares coming to life and raping and stabbing your wife to death?  It’d be tough to sleep in that bed every night.

The credits expose us for the first time to several hit songs from the soundtrack.  The songs are actually about the plot and quote two of my favorite lines from the movie Just in Case and It’s Not Over.  (When the hero shoots the bad guy, they ask “What the hell did you do that for?” “Just in case“) (The bad guy calls out across the dream void “I’ll get you Matthews! It’s not over! It’s not over!”)  The only thing that could be better would be a Dokken song called Night Wars Warriors.

This one is hard to find.  Netflix does not seem to know about it, and the only clip on youtube is above.  I’m pretty sure it only exists on VHS.  So, if you want to see this you’re gonna have to come over to my house.  Sleep well tonight, you cinemanicas.

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~ by velouria78 on January 13, 2012.

3 Responses to “Night Wars”

  1. The soldiers shooting the bedroom up, in their sleep, looks awesome. It’s like a scene out of one of the Scary Movie-s. Replace Haggerty with Lesley Neelson and it’s my favorite movie, too.

  2. Hmmm…Lesley Neelson. All that white hair, with all those white pants and white sweaters. It’d be like a Miami Vice version of Gandalf. I like it.

  3. more like this, please.

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