The Sandman (1995)

Nomination Year: 2014
SYNOPSIS:  What kind of monster might you imagine lurks at the heart of a film called The Sandman?

An angsty emotionally-endless being which controls the dreamtime of everyone? A masked vigilante with a gun of sleep gas and a hot female sidekick? A man ... made entirely ... of sand?!?!?!

Well, not in this case. Nope, in this case, start by picturing a hooded robe. A hooded robe for someone over six feet tall. There are glowing eyes inside, but nothing else is visib-- Well, yes. That does sound like a giant jawa. This giant jawa thing has skeletal hands, though. And eerie fog rises in the room as it-- Yes, a giant steaming jawa.

A giant steaming skeletal jawa, which strikes silently and is gone-- Actually, no. First it has to sprinkle the magic sand into your eyes while you sleep. Then you have good dreams. But then it strikes and-- Wait, wait. Then it sprinkles more sand, and the good dreams turn into nightmares. Then it can strike! But it has to physically strike you with its metaphorical sickle in order to smite you with the heart attack, stroke, or brain aneurysm.

So basically, what I'm saying is that it's the most inefficient movie monster I've seen in a long time. Also -- your two-year-old was right, because it's driven away by light. So leaving your lights on, or a night-light, or even an inadvertent glance from a flashlight, and it melts away.

This whole thing is a giant digression from talking about the movie because ... well ... making fun of the monster is a lot more fun than talking about the movie.

Gary is a writer of cheap romance novels. Maris, his girlfriend, waitresses at a local diner. Neither of them has been getting much sleep lately. Maris doesn't like Gary "wasting" his time on his "silly little novels." Gary worries that Maris is virtually falling asleep on her feet. They continue this argument back to the trailer park where they (separately) live.

People have been mysteriously dying in their sleep. An epidemic of mysterious sleep death has been sweeping the country.

Gary's annoying teenage cousin shows up and is obnoxious.

Gary catches sight of the Sandman after one of their neighbors (Crazy old toy lady) is killed by it. It stalks Maris, and he tries to prevent it from killing either of them. But neither of them have gotten enough sleep lately, and they're both ... so ... sleepy....

As the movie progresses, we start to discuss the tragedies that might befall the trailer park (and by extension, the movie).

Something annoying happens on-screen.
"It could be hit by a tornado!"
Gary's buddy makes a really obnoxious misogynistic joke.
"Could be struck my a meteor!"
Crazy old toy lady is crazy old toy lady.
"Two tornadoes and a meteor!"
The burned-out Vietnam vet and his hippy wife make an appearance.
"Two tornadoes and two meteors!"

After two tornadoes, two meteors, and wildfires sweeping through the whole area, we stopped counting, and got down to really hating the movie.

It didn't deserve true vitriol, although it was a movie of annoying people doing obnoxious and stupid things, with a giant steaming pile of jawa at the center.

I take that back. Maybe, just maybe, it did.

Smithee Award Winner! Best One-Liner

"Health" is relative.
That crazy Vietnam vet knows something about the Sandman. Gary goes to beat it out of him, if necessary. It's not necessary -- this is what he knows: "Anybody ever saw The Sandman either died or went crazy. I went crazy, it's a lot healthier."

Worst Acting

A.J. Richards as Gary ... or perhaps Rita Gutowski as Maris
As Gary (A.J. Richards) walks Maris (Rita Gutowski) home from her job, they discuss their relevant sleep habits, and their relationship. It's just as sound as their relative acting abilities. Which is probably why they break up at the end of the clip.

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
A.J. Richards only imdb credit 
Rita Gutowski only imdb credit 
Director Claim to Fame
J.R. Bookwalter per his imdb listing, he has done everything on the set of a movie, except possibly Craft Services 

Kevin Hogan

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© 2011-2017 Bryan D. Cassidy, Greg Pearson, Matthew Quirk, and Kevin Hogan. All Rights Reserved.