Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

When we first meet Danny (Dylan Purcell) he is riding the metro with a gun tucked away in q paper bag. Why is Danny riding the metro with a gun? Well that’s a very long story and one ‘William Malone’s Parasomnia’ will be attempting to answer. Note that I didn’t personally opt to put William Malone’s name in front of the title, but when the movie came on it was indeed called ‘William Malone’s Parasomnia’.

Danny is just your average hard working kid who loves classic rock when he discovers his girlfriend has left him. At first I thought this woman was kind of jerk for leaving Danny until I saw that he was driving an AMC Pacer. Thus the more amazing thing is that Danny got a girlfriend in the first place with that ride. Somewhat distraught, Danny goes to visit his buddy Billy (Dov Tiefenbach) who is doing a stint in rehab and this is where Danny’s life is altered drastically forever. Staying in a room down the hall from Billy is a virtual sleeping beauty in Laura Baxter (Cherilyn Wilson). Laura has spent the majority of her life asleep, only occasionally waking up for seconds or minutes at a time just to nod off again and before you can say ‘creepy freaky weirdo’, Danny is in love.

Complicating Danny’s attempts at love is the cat in the room next to Laura and this would be the mind control serial killer Brian Volpe (Patrick Kilpatrick). So potent are Volpe’s mind control powers, his doctors keep a veil over head, and also keep him suspended from the ceiling 24 hours a day. While this sounds like a gross violation of someone’s civil rights, I’m going just to roll with it, just like I’m rolling a mental health facility that keeps drug rehab patients, comatose patients in unlocked doors so that any ol' body can stroll in the room and fondle them, and pathological serial killers on the same floor.

Anyway, Danny gets word that the powers that be are going to move his sleeping beauty to another facility and well, Danny simply can’t allow that to happen. So he

kidnaps her. Danny soon finds out that there’s a reason this woman is in a 24-hour care facility, like when she pisses in his Pacer, something a catheter would’ve easily prevented, or the fact that she can’t feed herself, or having her walk around the apartment and collapse to the ground head first. A number of things that should’ve prompted Danny to IMMEDIATELY take Laura back to the hospital. Ah, but then he wouldn’t be able to give this perfectly formed virtual vegetable those sponge baths. Then there was Laura’s penchant to waking up with a knife and killing people. I mean the girl is cute and all but she has one time to wake me up with a butcher knife before we head on back to the facility.

But it’s not Laura’s fault, it’s that damn Bryan Volpe! Somehow he’s invaded Laura’s mind and he’s making her do these horrible things against her will and Danny, who is now firmly convinced that he’s in love with this loon, must find a way stop Volpe, the Greek God of Mind Control, who has gotten loose and is reining terror. And who is also claiming love for Laura. Just don’t look in his eyes baby.

I didn’t like William Malone’s ‘Parasomnia’ too much, despite the fact that there was a lot to like. Take the opening scene for instance. Sean Young gets a phone call and walks off the ledge to her death and it is filmed in a way where we see the woman rise, walk and jump and then ride with her all the way until she hits the ground in a sickenly loud thud. Outstanding. Mind you that the sound design in the movie was phenomenal and if you have a decent 5.1 hookup you will get the full effect. In addition to the great sound ‘Parasomnia’ also has slick look, some very creative visuals and solid performances from the cast, including Jeffrey Combs playing a relatively normal dude, at least for a little while, taking on the role as a grizzled skeptical cop and Patrick Kilpatrick doing what he does, that is being a crazed bad guy.

But my problem with this movie was the character of Danny. I mean Danny was like… the dumbest character ever in the history of movies and I had a hard time getting past that. We expect some things to be kind of out there when we watch a movie, heck, this is why we watch them in the first place, but Danny’s behavior was pretty hard to get a grip on and his behavioral choices is what was driving this movie. Kidnapping the comatose girl was pretty damn creepy but we’ll ride with it. Giving the girl a sponge bath was equally creepy, but the girl was dirty so we’ll ride with that too but taking the girl out for ice cream so she can fall flat on her face, which he thought was funny, and then leaving her alone being babysat by the TV was just plum crazy. In the final analysis Danny seemed more disturbed than the character of Brian Volpe. I understood Volpe, dude is just nuts, but I was suppose to sympathize with Danny and it just wasn’t happening. At what point does one simply call it a loss and move on with their lives? For me it’s the butcher knife incident, but that’s just me.

Now the watermark for this nonsense is the concept of love. If you buy into the concept that love makes one do some really, really stupid stuff then you will probably have less of a problem with Danny and fully accept his odd behavior. Since I am obviously emotionally stunted on the love angle, I did not buy into any of that and thought that Danny was simply an idiot, an idiot I grew weary of watching do stupid stuff.

So there you go. ‘Parasomnia’ was a movie that had a lot of things working in its favor with the cut off point, at least from where I am, is how much of the love can you stand. For references sake also I thought Romeo might’ve wanted to weigh his options after learning of Juliet’s death. No need for any rash decisions brother.

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