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Sleepless on DVD

You know you're watching a B-movie when less than five minutes into it there is a full frontal nude shot of an unattractive woman with no acting talent.

She's obviously under the impression that this is her ticket to stardom, and the movie makers realize that, unfortunately, this is the best they can do with their budget.

Such is the case with Sleepless, a direct-to-video horror movie from Dario Argento, "the master of horror."

And if he's the master of horror then what's Wes Craven, John Carpenter, etc.

Sleepless opens with detective Moretti (Max von Sydow) arriving at a crime scene. A woman has been brutally murdered and her young son has witnessed the entire thing. Moretti vows he'll catch the killer, even if it takes him the rest of his life.

Suddenly it's seventeen years later. A prostitute leaves her latest client, but accidentally takes a blue file folder with her. Inside is information about a series of murders that happened seventeen years earlier (coincidence? I think not!). She boards a train and calls a friend for help, but she never makes it home.

There are so many things wrong with this movie, I'm not sure where to begin. First of all (okay, I guess I do know where to begin), the picture on the cover looks like the film is going to have a really cool-looking villain. When you find out who it really is, it leaves you thinking what relevance the cover art has. Another problem is that the only person in this movie who seems to have ever acted before is von Sydow. It also has the most implausible ending I've seen since Reindeer Games. It's not hard to figure out who the bad guy is from the beginning, but even when he reveals himself it doesn't quite make sense.

Anyway, instead of talking about all the things wrong with this film, I've decided that I've already wasted the two hours it took to watch it, plus however long it's taking me to write this review. I don't plan on wasting any more of my life on this trash.

Even hard core fans of cheap, direct-to-video horror movies will undoubtedly be disappointed with Sleepless. Avoid at all costs!!

The disc, appropriately, is pretty sad. It has terrible picture, presented in full frame, and the worst 5.1 Dolby Digital track I've ever heard. The only extras are some sneak peeks and the trailer.

Your other DVD's will likely go on strike just for being in the same collection as this travesty.

Sleepless, from Artisan Home Entertainment
117 minutes, full frame, 5.1 Dolby Digital
Starring Max von Sydow, Sefano Dionisi, Chiara Caselli and Rossella Falk
Produced by Dario Argento and Claudio Argento
Screenplay by Dario Argento and Franco Ferrini
Directed by Dario Argento


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Updated May 13, 2006