DREAMING PURPLE NEON (2016)
Written and Directed by Todd Sheets
After witnessing her boss kill one of his drug pushers and forced to supervise the clean-up operation, secretary Cat steals her boss’ murder weapons and drug stash and arranges to meet her friend Denise at the dental clinic where she works to help her decide what she should do next. Also heading to the clinic to speak to Denise is her former flame Dallas who’s unable to extinguish the candle he holds for her. Accompanied by his best friend, Dallas is hoping to patch things up with Denise before leaving town once again.
All seems like an ordinary evening at the dental clinic with dentist Solomon performing his final procedure of the evening on a young girl that is until building owner Cyrus turns up to begin his “fumigating” of the basement. With his cult of followers, Cyrus intends to summon the demon queen Abaddon and wreak havoc upon the world. The surgery staff and visitors must fight for their lives and to stop Cyrus from unleashing hell unto the world.
Todd Sheets returns with his brand of splatter B-movie theatrics in DREAMING PURPLE NEON, combining cult demon summonings, drug pushings and a quest for survival to provide almost two hours of mad-cap gore-tainment. Who knew that an addictive drug called Purple Neon, sold by dealer and gangboss Tyrone (Ricky Farr) and backed up by his right-hand man, a jheri-curled Ray Ray (Antwoine Steele), could be the gateway to worldwide damnation, a hell-hole that originates in the basement of a dental surgery where a group of strangers will find themselves thrust together in a bid for survival against the crazed Cyrus (Jack McCord) and his looney band of demon-worshippers. And how could I forget the naked demoness and Abaddon herself, both of whom sport a pair of creepy nipple horns. *shudder*.
Being a low budget effort, don’t expect world-class performances from the cast. They’re fairly hit and miss with some failing to be serious, sincere or intimidating when required whilst others ham up their performance, real pantomine villain style. If you can overlook or accept this, then DREAMING PURPLE NEON is a load of fun put together by people who love low-budget genre cinema. It doesn’t take itself very seriously and seeks to give the viewer what is expected of exploitation and horrors of the past – gore and nudity – and it delivers on both points. No bits are left unseen as both the guys and girls get their kit off whilst some choose to hide their faces behind creepy masks, one of which reminds me of Leslie Vernon‘s. Real delight is taken from the gore-packed scenes with intestines being ripped out of individuals and nibbled upon quite commonplace throughout the movie. As for the film’s deaths, a Bond-inspired groin drill inching its way ever deeper into an unfortunate soul’s gonads will surely make any grown man squirm.
Director Todd Sheets’ style is all over this film as it was with his previous movie House of Forbidden Secrets though it is DREAMING PURPLE NEON which I think has more appeal as a whole. The death scenes, nightmarish visions and overall combination of satanic cult versus a likable group of characters makes for fun viewing. It’s clear to see the cast and crew had a ball shooting this film and, whilst it may lack in certain areas, the creative passion for the project adds to its enjoyment. Hell, there’s even an appearance from Almost-Gene Simmons, the bassist of Kansas-based Kiss tribute act Almost Kiss, in a scene that will have you air punching with excitement.
Practical FX are where it’s at in films like these and I’m pleased to say Todd Sheets has produced a blinder once again with make-up and practical effects that had this gorehound grinning from ear to ear. That’s not to say that a bit of CGI isn’t used though. The digital effects are reserved for explosive scenes that couldn’t be produced otherwise, unless the crew wanted to be locked away by the authorities, so it’s a win-win that horror fans get the blood and guts they so rightly deserve.
With 42 films under his belt, there’s no sign of Todd Sheets stopping his crazy creations and I for one hope he continues to bring his blend of budget genre cinema to those who appreciate it.