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In Dreamland, Stephen McHattie plays a weary, nameless assassin, who does the dirty work for a mid-level gangster played by Henry Rollins.Calach Films

  • Dreamland
  • Directed by Bruce McDonald
  • Written by Tony Burgess and Patrick Whistler
  • Starring Stephen McHattie, Juliette Lewis, Henry Rollins
  • Classification 14A; 92 minutes


2.5 out of 4 stars

Asked about the inspiration behind the luridly wacko Dreamland, director Bruce McDonald told The Globe and Mail he wanted to make an oddball film for late-night viewing. Mission accomplished: Midnight meets madness in a surrealist exercise in existentialism and deft satire that will unsettle the average viewer while exciting those with freakier tastes.

Stephen McHattie stars in two co-lead roles: the tight-skinned hitman Johnny Deadeyes and a trumpet-playing junkie-jazzer of the Chet Baker kind. Juliette Lewis plays a demented party-throwing countess. Punk-rocker Henry Rollins’s character pimps children. How about a vampire and a Luxembourg city setting? Check, and check.

There’s more: Bullets fly, and McDonald may well have blown his budget on fake blood. Confused characters seeking to find justice and order in a world gone demented are told “police don’t come to the palace.”

Baker, jazz fans will know, used to play a song called Let’s Get Lost. With his narcotic rabbit-hole Dreamland, filmmaker McDonald creepily abides.

Dreamland is available digitally on demand starting May 29

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