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Educational / Non-Theatrical Sales
Dream Deceivers

Director - David Van Taylor
Run Time - 58 minutes
Languages - English
Format - DVD / Digital Streaming
Year - 1991
Genre - Documentary

Educational Interests- Adolescence, American Studies, Family Relations, Justice, Law & Legal Studies, Media Studies, Music, Performance, Psychology

Institutional DVD Price: $195

On December 23, 1985, Raymond Belknap and James Vance- two young men in Reno, Nevada- put shotguns to their heads after drinking and smoking marijuana as they listened to the rock group Judas Priest. Belknap shot himself fatally, while 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 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

"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