Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Have You Ever Dreamed A Terrible Movie?

Not in the sense that you dream of making one, or wrote a bad screenplay once, but literally dreamed one up. I myself did, just this evening.

I can't recall the specifics, but it looked like it was made around 1970 or so; I'd caught it on TCM while channel-surfing. It was a children's film, and a musical (in that too-bright Technicolor that was still common at the time), about clowns going to war with old-fashioned steam trains, because, in the words of one of the characters, "The children loved them both so." Paul Williams did the music. I think Ray Bradbury was credited with the screenplay, based on an idea by Kurt Vonnegut and Van Dyke Parks. There was a lot of Matisse-inspired imagery, for no apparent reason, but it was live action. I don't remember any cast members (Dustin Hoffman may have had a small role. Gene Wilder and Goldie Hawn maybe? Or Sally Struthers, the poor man's Hawn?), but I was in the dream long enough to look it up on the Internet and read a period review, possibly by Pauline Kael, describing it as "the endless nightmare of a small child suffering through a meningeal fever." The title, I believe, was War of the Immortals. That is, you know, because the clowns and the locomotives represented immutable forces throughout history.


Fortunately my dog woke me up before the dream could go any further. He needed to go to the bathroom, and my brain felt the same way. But if it's any consolation, I'm pretty sure the clowns lost at the end. I think they were supposed to be the good guys.

Still from 3 Mighty Men (1973), aka Turkish Spider-Man Vs. Captain America — the original Civil War!

Share This Story