Maggie Healey (Linda Blair) is an American nurse in Australia. Freshly separated from her drug addict boyfriend, Maggie gets a job working at a mental hospital. Dr. Jonathan Heckett (Tony Bonner) is experimenting with “dead sleep therapy,” where the patients are kept drugged at night. Maggie notices that the patients keep dying and that Dr. Heckett doesn’t care so she teams up with an annoying activist to investigate what dead sleep therapy is actually about.
This was on TCM at 3 a.m. last night, airing right after Dreamscape. Dead Sleep might be disguised as a horror film but there’s nothing scary about it. When the patients are in dead sleep, they don’t even have nightmares, which is a huge missed opportunity. The movie is so sloppily put together that it doesn’t even reveal why Dr. Heckett is putting his patients in dead sleep, other than he’s just evil. Linda Blair delivers her lines as if she is reading them off a cue card and the entire movie look like it was filmed at a community college. The only amusing thing about the movie was that all of the male patients got to wear hospital gowns when they went under deep sleep while all the female patients slept topless. Normally I wouldn’t complain but it was so blatant what the filmmakers were doing that it was hard not to laugh when the movie tried to pivot to being a serious drama. A film starring Linda Blair has no right to be this boring.