Dream Deceivers - The Story Behind James Vance vs Judas Priest

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Arts, Sociopolitical Documentary directed by David Van Taylor and published by Others in 1992 - English narration

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Image: Dream-Deceivers-The-Story-Behind-James-Vance-vs-Judas-Priest-Cover.jpg

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On December 23, 1985, two young men in Reno, Nevada put shotguns to their own heads after drinking and smoking marijuana as they listened to a record by the English rock group Judas Priest. Raymond Belknap shot himself fatally, while the other, James Vance, was grossly disfigured.

Their parents, claiming that subliminal messages in the heavy metal band's songs mesmerized the boys into their bizarre suicide pact, filed suit against CBS Records. Centered around this non jurored trial, Dream Deceivers looks at this tragedy through interviews with Vance (who later died in 1988 from a medication overdose), his and Belknap's parents, other Reno 'metalheads,' and members of Judas Priest.

'Did heavy metal music influence the teenagers to try to kill themselves? Or was it their dysfunctional families, childhood, and generally aimless, hopeless lives? To its credit, the film offers no pat answers. Recommended for public and academic libraries.' - Library Journal

'The material is so overpowering, and the videotape creates such painful intimacy, that the coziness of the small screen may not do it justice... Dream Deceivers will rivet the attention, as it presents a terrible story of mixed signals and wasted lives.' - New York Times

'Dream Deceivers provides a nightmare glimpse into America's spiritual drought and the way people fill that void with diametrically opposed faiths... Dream Deceivers [is] ghoulish Americana that makes fictions such as Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart, and River's Edge seem like Mothercare ads.' - Interview

Extremely well edited. The primary individuals tell the story (or what they know of it) as footage of the trial is intermixed with interviews. Pacing, scripted narration, and interviews will rivet the viewer's attention... Both public libraries and schools will want to have this title available... It shows what can go wrong, and is a sobering learning experience for all viewers. This is an excellent documentary." - Video Rating Guide for Libraries

1993 Blue Ribbon Winner, American Film & Video Festival 1993 Emmy Award Nominee

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Source: TV Rip
  • Duration: 57mn
  • Dimensions: 640 x 480 (4/3)
  • Framerate: 29.970 fps
  • Codec: XviD @ 1365 Kbps (BVOP)
  • Audio: MP3 @ 80 Kbps
  • Language: English

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