Dream Sorcerer is a 1998 American Fantasy Science Fiction Slasher Thriller Psychadelic film written and directed by Terry Gilliam starring Bruce Willis, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Connelly, Matt Damon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Julie Bowen, Anthony Hopkins, Brian Cox, Sarah Silverman, Melissa McCarthy, Meredith Monroe, Seth Green and Melissa Rauch.
The film was met with overwhelming critical reception and served a benchmark film for its' type, introducing a new wave of mystery among the stereotypical whodunnit movies, being parodied in the first of the popular Scary Movie franchise in two sequences and even having the hit WB television supernatural soap opera Charmed have a first season episode bear the title influenced by the film's tentative title.
All the character's in the film who serve as projections within Bruce Willis' character's mind and were people killed in a car collision he started were specifically named after Biblical figures from the Old Testament by Gilliam in the writing process. The biblical names of the car collision victim characters were also named in alphabetical chronological order.
The film was released theatrically on June 18th, 1998 in the UK, U.S, Canada and Bulgaria and Australia, Norway and many other countries on June 22nd, 1998.
The film earned acclaim for Willis, Lewis, Connelly, Damon, Gyllenhaal and Bowen's collective performances as the conflicting characters portrayed by Hopkins and Silverman.
The year is 1998 and a catatonic, schizophrenic Briar Hills, Oregon Mental Patient has been administered a new hyper-hallucinagenic drug designed to wipe certain projections within one's subconscious.
The patient named Lionel Guthrie (Bruce Willis) has the rare moments when he can break free from his catatonic state and has agreed with acting psychiatrists Dr. Anton Carmon (Anthony Hopkins) and Dr. Walter Nixon (Brian Cox) to have the drug administered to him despite kind nurse Hilary Golding's protests. Hilary Golding (Sarah Silverman) has become quite unhealthily attached to Lionel as observed by roommate Sara as Lionel when coherent is much like her late great architect father who believes the world must be balanced and fair.
Hilary is cut from the project after being labelled a liability and it is uncovered Dr. Carmon and Dr. Nixon together have concoted an elaborate, exploitative scheme to use their practice trial on Lionel with their new projection wipe to simply get money.
As the drug enters Lionel's immune system and Hilary attempts restlessly to botch the procedure his projections are revealed as people who had perished in a large scale car collision two years ago which he was responsible for, and to which was the only survivor.
Lionel first awkens in a Los Angeles club where he comes across all his projections as once: Aaron Everett (Daniel Day-Lewis) a widowed drunk drifter who also lost his little daughter, Balth Tomlin (Matt Damon) a clumsy, friendly tax accountant, Balth's irresponsible brother David (Jake Gyllenhaal) an out of work alcoholic, Candace Rogers (Jennifer Connelly) a beautiful headstrong photographer, Debbie Whitley (Julie Bowen) a shy, consertative blonde bank teller, Edna Burroughs (Melissa McCarthy) a single mother who lost her only son and a Nursery propietor, Gabby Beacon (Meredith Monroe), Ham Gilman (Seth Green) the foreman boyfriend of Gabby planning to propose to her and Ivah Sampson (Melissa Rauch) a former hit boradway performer turned lounge singer.
The club is then recognized as the Blue Diamond Bistro by Ivah who used to perform there and as the group confront each other as strangers and then come out into the back alleys of the club at night it begins to pour down with rain. As they progress down the alley Ivah stops upon seeing graffiti upon a wall reading out her name, D.O.B and Date Of Death.
The group then begin to argue again including the reclusive Ivah this time over what's happening and as Lionel attempts to comfort a distraught Ivah. Lionel ends up in a heated argument with drifter Aaron and as it escalates into a physical engage Ivah in all the ruckus slips out. Debbie notices and calls out to the others and soon Lionel and Candace are in pursuit.
A labryinth of alleyways spiral around in what appears to be a never-ending maze until eventually Ivah comes to a wall once again with her graffit'd name but this time reading her date of death as today's date.
As she turns she is stabbed multiple times in the chest and then once in the face before finally Lionel breaks through with Candace and reaches shortly followed by Aaron, Balth and the others. Lionel and Canadace hold in her final moments as the rest go into shock and Gabby screams.
Lionel's vision then becomes blurred and he sees the others dead, oncoming headlights, an above traffic light and then follows through in the daytime Ivah.
Ivah is fired from her musical production on Broadway and takes to walking down several alleys before it hits night she becomes distraught and upset and calls her mom.
Ivah then leaves for her car passing a bunch of graffiti on an alley wall which catches her eye and then she gets into her vehicle.
Lionel finds himself in the backseat and Ivah turns on her radio and begins singing to Edith Piaf La Vie En Rose before coming into a head on collision with many vehicles and she is killed as the car's windscreen smashes and spirals several glass shards into her chest and one into her face, causing her to bleed to death.
Lionel plucks a pamphlet for the Edith Piaf musical production of broadway of La Vien En Rose before flashing back to the others who have dragged him to a bridge and state he passed out.
Sand then begins to blow onto the bridge as the group are then engulfed in a random sandstorm.
Meanwhile Dr. Carmon and Dr. Nixon are monitoring over the experiment while phoning in their suppliers and Nurse Hilary finally breaks back into the hospital.
The group following the sandstorm find themselves in the desert which Lionel states he recognizes as a place he went after a terrible accident he then withdraws the pamphlet of La Vien Rose The Musical which propels out his hands and blows along the ground till it stops at an unearthed license plate.
The others also begin to retrieve things which unearth from the ground: Aaron retrieves a locket containing a picture of his wife, him and his son, Balth finds an old mit of his, Candace finds a charred photograph of her and her mother, Edna finds her sons' marble case and a letter to her from on Mother's Day, Gabby finds a letter which she quickly conceals and keeps to herself and her boyfriend Ham finds a tape.
The sandstorm clears and as they come through an opened up crevice they are drawn into a woodland which leads out to a cabin belonging to Gabby and Ham.
Gabby and Ham eventually come to seperate from the group as they set up under Aron's leadership in the cabin as Gabby marvelling over the concealed letter she retrieved from the desert decides she needs to confess something to Ham.
Ham however going through the tape in the upstairs master bedroom of the cabin takes her down to the lake whilst the others are asleep and asks her to a little game they used to play up here, the one they did when he first came to work up the courage to ask her out, the game being called "Dramatic Reading," in which Gabby fills out a specific dramatic film role and acts it out for him until Ham joins in.
Whilst Gabby parades around with her dramatic reading and becomes tearfully happy with what she is doing for Ham she then turns as the killer proceeds behind him and slits his throat. Gabby screams out and Lionel who had come out into the woods wandering hears the sceam and makes his way to the lake.
He then sees the killer is indeed a doppleganger of him, one which appears messier and almost demonic like which then finishes Ham by dropping a molotov cocktail upon his bleeding body. Lionel engages his doppleganger in physical combat and is rendered the ground beside Ham's flaming corpse as Gabby remains screaming and the others' voices sound in the distance.
Lionel's vision then becomes blurred again like with Ivah and he suddenly finds him at a construction site following along Ham on his day after finishing work. He is invited to go drinking with his work buddies but declines in favor of Gabby and returns to their apartment where he takes a shower and then waits for her to return for her lunch break.
Gabby stops in but is angry with Ham and ignoring for a reason he does not understand and she eventually storms out despite Ham attempting to stop her. Ham then converses with the neighbor, on the phone with his relatives and friends and then finally after falling asleep for hours come nightfall at the apartment receives call from Gabby who is in distress and wants him to pick her up.
Lionel is pulled along with Ham to Gabby's art gallery store and then he ends up in the backseat of their sedan as it departs out onto the road, Ham attempts to converse with Gabby who then confides she knows about Kathryn and then slits his throat with a boxcutter knife and following just like with Ivah comes into a car collision.
The collision starts a blaze which engulfs a still alive but bleeding profusely Ham and then the headlights of another vehicle appear coming towars them. Lionel then awakens again this time at the cabin and once again had been pulled away from the location.
Candace tends to Lionel's wounds and she states she knows he is seeing something with his pass outs, that he like her and other people out there are on a different level of perception as she comes to ask what he saw Aaaron bombards him questions before scruffing and threatening him.
Aaron brings up that the frightened Gabby upstairs tells that you slit her boyfriend's throat and torched him with a molotov cocktail.
Gabby comes down in his defence saying that he came to her while it was happening and that was there two of him.
This starts a debate among the group broken by Lionel who states he thinks he knows what's going now, where they are and what's happening.
He tells that after Ivah was killed back in those Los Angeles alleyways outside the club she used to perform at he blacked out and ended up following along a day leading up to a terrible car accident she was in which killed her, in the exact same fashion the person that looks like him killed her in the alleyway.
He tells that the same happened with Ham after he was killed and he was knocked down besides his body he blacked out again and ended up in a day with him which followed through to a car accident at night.
Aaron argues against Lionel's brought forth info questioning his throat being slit in a car crash and how is a car crash which never happened relevant to what's happening to them now.
Lionel tells that his girlfriend Gabby was passenger to Ham driving and had told him to pick her up, she had found he was cheating with a woman named Kathryn and she slit his throat with a boxcutter knife before the car hit collision with another vehicle and the driver seat caught ablaze burning him.
Eyes all turn on Gabby and Aaron tells her to pass them the boxcutter knife she just opens to have on her person.
She then flees the group as Aaron accuses of being part of this conspiracy and whatever the hell kind of nightmarish hell they're stuck in which Lionel didn't have a chance to explain on.
Gabby flees but is chased out by Lionel and Candace goes to follow but is stopped by Edna and Debbie.
Lionel and Gabby then warp into another area: a side of the highway motel and Gabby comes to break down begging for forgiveness and asking Lionel about everything he saw and demands for him to tell her it's not true.
He tells he thinks they're stuck in a form of Purgatory and the accident connects them and his doppleganger seems to be instigator in sending off their souls from this in-between: which comprises of places based off places of significance to them.
He then asks Gabby where they are.
Gabby tells Lionel that this is the place where her boyfriend had his ongoing affair with an old high school friend Kathryn Martinez.
She tells she was always knew that it was happening but suppressed it until the day she intercepted one of their letters and then shows the desert unearthed letter to Lionel.
Lionel becomes distracted by Candace's voice which seems to ring in his ears and it is revealed back at the hospital while Doctors Nixon and Carmon have departed with the other attending physicians Nurse Hilary has snuck in and is attempting to awaken Lionel from the procedure by communicating with his subconscious.
Lionel distracted by this fails to notice Gabby be drawn away by a delusion of Kathryn Martinez and Ham and as she approaches them and jumps atop of Kathryn attacking her Kathryn becomes Lionel's doppleganger which knocks her head upon the ground cracking the side of skull and then kicks her into the motel swimming pool they are beside.
Gabby then drowns despite Lionel's attempts to pull her out as his doppleganger vanishes.
Candace, Aaron, Balth, Debbie, David and Edna then come into the motel area and see as Gabby dies in Lionel's arms asking if she is forgiven now him begin to blackout again.
As Lionel collapses Candace catches him and helps lower him down with David and Debbie's help whilst Aaron and Balth check Gabby's body finding the letter and discovering she has no pulse and a stiff Edna overlooks the group standing still.
She tells the others whilst Lionel is in his blackout that they are meant to die, and she lost her son Andrew after losing sight of him as an untame neighbor's pitbull came of it's chain and bit into his jugular.
She tells the group that her soul is ready move on.
Aaron tells her he knows how it is to lose someone, and not just someone but their own child, their only child but points at Gabby smashed wet corpse and says that is the way they are not meant to go.
Lionel is taken through the day of the accident for Gabby and sees her interception of the letter, her check in at the motel and finally her distress call to Ham to come collect her.
In the accident it shows that after Ham perishes another vehicle hits the passenger side and spirals the car down an enbankement into the roadside lake, in the commotion of the accident Gabby smashes her skull on the dashboard and then immobilised and unable to escape the car drowns as it sinks.
Lionel awakens and the group once again find themselves in the desert Lionel remembers and where they had recovered various items belonging to them.
This time around what's unearthed is two more license plates found by Lionel, Aaron, Candace and Balth.
Edna sees what she believes to be her son Andrew and follows prompting the group to pursue and ultimately end up in a playground being satched down upon by blood rain.
Edna recalls the park as the one across the street that Andrew would frequently play in with the other neighborhood kids and she would watch from a park bench.
That is until she turns and sees no park bench behind them and realizes the architecture of the playground is all wrong and this place is not for her.
David then steps forward and tells this is the place where him and Balth when they were younger would play whilst their father was out gambling and their mother was home getting drunk.
He recalls the night that him and a neighborhood kid Harry snuck out to the playground and Harry fell and cracked his head on the wind around slide and how much blood spilled from his body.
He ended up in critical condition but was saved after being taken to the hospital but afterwards for years he had a recurring nightmare of the playground at night and it just raining down blood.
The group are then seperated in the centre as a puddle of blood on the ground creates Lionel's doppleganger which knocks them all away.
Aaron, Balth and Lionel attempt to take the doppleganger in combat but fail and it advances David knocking up against the wind around slide which unhinges and releases a large fraction piece of it swinging down making collision with his chest and breaking out hios back killing him, much to the horror of the others in particular Balth.
As Balth comes to his dead brother's remains and the doppleganger vanishes Lionel collapses again and is taken through the day of the accident for David.
David had attended his final alcoholics anonymous meeting and been deemed a year sober something his brother didn't know as he had cut off contact with him after his last drunken episode which upset him and his girlfriend Claire.
David had scheduled to see Balth and that night got in a car ride with him on their way to a given destination by David which was indeed the address of the local rehabilitation clinic where his aids were to inform him of his brother's recovery.
However halfway through the ride Balth had broken out in anger over the last incident and what he perceived as David's fake ploys of kindness in order to be welcomed back to his place.
They were then struck by a car and smashed against another car and the midst of which David had chest ripped through and his back broken killing him.
Lionel then awakens again in a traumatized rocking Candace's arms, the group are back in the desert and an infuriated Blath states he demanded to be returned here and he actually recalls this place himself, it was a place he would come to with his girlfriend Claire, a place he once told his brother about.
Aaron lashes out at Lionel again and states that the next time that his other half appears he is not going to hesitate he is going to kill it even it means killing Lionel as well to save the rest.
Candace attempts to reason with Aaron as Edna and Debbie comfort a broken Balth.
Edna then sees Andrew again and this time instead of marching off after him straight away tells the group she sees him and they all slowly follow in the direction, Aaron marching in front armed with a crowbar.
The group then soon come to a door which leads into a house which Edna identifies as her house.
Debbie, Aaron and Balth also state they know the house it's a house that they all previously looked at buying.
Nurse Hilary at the hospital is caught as she steals the ECG Machine to resusitate Lionel and awaken him.
In Edna's house the group are seperated beginning with Edna who becomes locked in the garage after her and Debbie ventured towards that area.
Aaron, Balth and Lionel become locked in the downstairs living room and Aaron coerces Balth into killing Lionel now whislt the others are not hear as he's other half is coming back now and it will kill them unless they take out the source.
Candace is locked in the foyer area with Debbie and Edna is killed in the garage as Lionel's doppleganger surfaces and attacks her.
It smashes at the fragile beams holding the garage roof and causes the room to collapse in on her and Lionel who is being beaten in the living room feels Edna's death and then collapses.
He then follows Edna's day in which she visits the tombstone of her son Andrew at the cemetary, cleans out the final things of his from her house as the For Sale sign goes up and she consults with her sister and friend Mary-Anne.
Edna then packs Andrew's things into her car and prepares to drop them off at good will but makes a stop at Andrew's father and sees him with his new partner and her little boy which causes her to break down.
Edna then drives along at night in her depressive state not paying attention to the road as she is staring the box containing Andrew's things and Edna is smashed into by a truck in the car crash collision and is completely crushed as the car comes in.
Lionel awakens and gets the upper hand on Aaron and in the foyer Candace and Debbie who are attempting to pry into the living room are advanced by Lionel's doppleganger who after fighting between the two girls snaps Debbie's neck as she steps out to protect Candace, as Candace screams Lionel in the living room collapses and enters Debbie's day of the accident.
Aaron goes to shoot the collapsed Lionel but is jumped by Balth who knocks away and as she shoots down the bullets just fade through his chest causing Aaron to completely have a breakdown.
Lionel sees that Debbie the day of the accident was fired from her job at the bank and after begging for her job back that night was advanced by her boss who refuted and then severely harmed leading to him calling the police.
Debbie then fled the premises in her car and came to be hit resulted in her getting her neck snapped by the driving wheel.
Lionel awakens and consults a shattered Balth before his doppleganger appears in the living room as Candace begins to break through with an axe she retrieves from the smashed up shed.
The doppleganger knocks Aaron and Lionel aside as it advances Balth who embraces his death standing a fair distance in the room spreading his arms and begging it to finish him which it does by swinging the coffee table circular glass top which snaps his back.
Lionel collapses and Aaron tries desperately to awaken him.
Aaron then tackles with the doppleganger as Candace finally breaks through into the living room to help Aaron against the doppleganger.
Lionel sees Balth's final day which comprises of him about to propose to Claire only to discover she has cheated explaining his attitude towards the death of Ham upon discovering he had cheated on Gabby.
It shows him planning a trip to the Mooraki Canyon Desert to show his brother the great desert he took Claire to on their anniversary.
We see Balth pick up David after a long day into night of travelling to Boston and their demise on the highway which is revealed as the mostly deserted Highway 06.
Balth perishes as the car is smacked around by Debbie, Aaron and Edna's vehicles and his driver's seat breaks backwards and his back is snapped, giving him a similiar death to his brother.
Aaron is killed as he is spiralled out the window by the doppleganger and Lionel who awakens in that instance collapses again and is seized by Candace who yells for the Mooraki Desert and they are transported there as his doppleganger comes toward Candace.
At the desert Candace awaits Lionel to wake as he sees Aaron in his final day setting things right after attending his first AA meeting at the Boston Rehabilitation clinic where he passes David exiting and quickly forgets him.
It turns out also Aaron and him his gang that night were set to beat up Lionel as he had gotten into a brief battle with one of them at a bar.
- Bruce Willis as Lionel Guthrie/ Doppleganger
- Daniel Day-Lewis as Aaron Everett
- Jennifer Connelly as Candace Rogers
- Matt Damon as Balthazar "Balth" Tomlin
- Jake Gyllenhaal as David Tomlin
- Julie Bowen as Deborah "Debbie" Whitley
- Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Anton Carmon
- Brian Cox as as Dr. Walter Nixon
- Sarah Silverman as Nurse Hilary Golding
- Melissa McCarthy as Edna Burroughs
- Meredith Monroe as Gabrielle "Gabby" Beacon
- Seth Green as Ham Gilman
- Melissa Rauch as Ivah Sampson
- Uninvited- Alanis Morrisette
- Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)- The Offspring
- You Get What You Give- New Radicals
- Save Tonight- Eagle Eye Cherry
- What's This Life For?- Creed
- Wishing I Was There- Natalie Imbruglia
- Why Don't You Get A Job- The Offspring
- Paper Roses- Anita Bryant
- Beyond the Sea- Bobby Darin
- I'm Sorry- Brenda Lee (End Credits 1)
- Volare- Bobby Rydell (End Credits 2)