Film Review: ‘Dreaming Purple Neon’ is Delightfully Awful


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Dreaming Purple Neon, written and directed by Todd Sheets. Produced by Extreme Entertainment. Copyright 2016. (Seen January 27, 2017.)

First off, a full disclosure: I am good friends with one of the film’s stars, Jack McCord. I’ve directed him, worked with him as an actor, and even interviewed him back in 2011 when I was volunteering for KC Stage Magazine. So, I attended this Los Angeles premiere of Dreaming Purple Neon more to support him and less as an unbiased critic. And I admit: part of the fun of watching this film was reminiscing on all the Kansas City-based locations that were used in the production of this. It was like going back without the hassle of flying.

So, with that in mind, I really didn’t know what to expect from┬áthe movie before seeing it. When writer/director Todd Sheets introduced the film, he talked about how this was a callback and an homage to the types of horror movies you got in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Lots of gore, little plot, and buckets of fun.

The plot, such as it is, follows two storylines. On one, we have Catriona (Millie Milan), working for two gangsters – Tyrone (Ricky Farr) and Ray (Antwoine Steele), who come straight out of Blaxploitation films. After seeing them kill someone, she takes their drugs (the ‘dreaming purple neon’ of the title) and their guns and goes to visit her friend Denise (Eli DeGeer), who’s interning with a dentist (Nick Randol), to figure out what to do. The second plotline involves the owner of the building Denise works at, Cyrus (Jack McCord), who is delving into something dark. Denise’s ex, Dallas (Jeremy Edwards) is also back in town, trying to make things work. Of course, all of these plots come together in a way that is only possible in a horror film.

With shoutouts to Evil Dead and similar movies, Dreaming Purple Neon is right up there with Troma movies on the ‘hilariously bad’ front. From decisions that make no sense to effects that are special in all the wrong ways, once it gets underway, I couldn’t help but enjoy the movie. The acting is over the top, but at just the right level of campiness. It crosses the line twice, coming right back to bite you in your privates, and uses every horror trope in the book in a delightfully fun way. Once I sat back and acknowledge the inherent silliness of the plot, the film was a delightful (and somewhat needed) distraction from the real world.

But head’s up: this one is definitely for adults only, as there’s more nudity than you can shake a … well, you get the idea. There’s also some sexual violence on both genders, and so much swearing, Samuel L. Jackson would blush.

The film is set for theatre distribution in the summer of 2017. More information can be found a the official website.

Cast and crew of ‘Dreaming Purple Neon’. Photo by Angie Fiedler Sutton.

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