“Pure Electro Nostalgia”
Steve Barron’s charming mid-1980s computer-themed romance gets a new restoration release for the first time on Blu-ray courtesy of Second Sight.
Architect Miles (Lenny von Dohlen) is constantly late for meetings and is having trouble designing a new kind of earthquake-resistant brick. He decides to solve all his time-keeping and design problems by buying a top of the range (for 1984 - the monitor is still the size of an economy size cereal box) computer.
Already more advanced than any computers of the era, Miles gives his new machine an extra boost by spilling champagne all over it, allowing it to acquire a personality. When pretty cellist Madeline (Virginia CANDYMAN Madsen) moves in upstairs, Miles' computer devises musical accompaniments to her solos and eventually ends up writing a song for her which Miles claims as his own.
Soon the computer is learning about jealousy and begins to wreck Miles’ life - his credit rating, his home and possibly his romance. Will Miles admit to Madeline that he lied? Will true love win through? What do you think?
Definitely the lightest, fluffiest version of numerous late 1970s 2000AD comic strips where the protagonist ended up dead / a gibbering wreck / a shiny skeleton as a result of installing computer AI to run their home / car / office, ELECTRIC DREAMS is going to appeal most to those who grew up in the 1980s and will experience a serious nostalgia rush at the technology - to kids today it will probably look like something from the Victorian era.
The leads are likeable, especially Madsen (with this and Sigourney Weaver in GHOSTBUSTERS, being a cellist was obviously Hollywood shorthand for ‘unattainable intellectual’ in 1984) and Steve Barron’s background in pop videos means the soundtrack - including a couple of very amusing muzak Culture Club covers as well as tracks by Jeff Lynne, Heaven 17 and of course the title song by Giorgio Moroder & Phil (billed here as Philip) Oakey - gets shown off to best effect.
Extras include new interviews with Barron, writer-producer Rusty Lemorande and stars Madsen and van Dohlen. You also get a slipcase. What you don’t get is a 5.1 surround sound mix which fans would probably have loved. Even so, ELECTRIC DREAMS really is an utterly charming slice of 1980s nostalgia.
Steve Barron’s ELECTRIC DREAMS is out on Blu-ray from Second Sight from Monday 7th August 2017