If I’ve ever had a dream about heroically saving the day from orcs, aliens, monsters or any other type of generic bad guys, I’ve had many more about running. About fear. Being overwhelmed, feeling hopeless, and seeing nothing but flight or death in front of me. Almost without fail, the inspiration for said dreams is easily identified. Recently I dreamt that Decepticons of Transformers fame were invading Earth, committing mass genocide and, weirdly enough, looking for Spock from Star Trek. The locale was a cross between a naval ship, an office complex (almost always on the second floor making jumping out into the back alleyway an impossibility of escape), and an American school, lockers and toilets readily picked from any popular image.
Why dream about this? Well I’d been reading up on Star Trek 2 during the day and had seen a lot of fan art of Spock. I’ll probably never forgive Michael Bay for eating up such a large portion of my life with three god-awful movies and my housemate is halfway through a Buffy marathon so there’s your American school. The alleyway was distinctly New Yorkian in nature; a direct reference to the fact that I watch a lot of television dramas such as Law and Order, and Castle that have scenes (typically crime scenes) set in similar alleyways. The unusual pairing of the school locale with that of a naval ship is likely because of how closely I associate the Battleship film with Transformers, both being produced by Hasbro and both being similarly terrible.
What I find most interesting is the direction of the dream though, and I mean that in a movie sense. The design of the Transformers was scarier than those in the film, with a more organic feel. These weren’t machines masquerading as F-22s or trucks, but simply appearing as large, scary, spider-like or reptilian monsters. Again, this is easy to interpret. I’ve been discussing household lurkers recently and I’m scared of snakes. Of course they feature in my dream. More than that was the fact that not every monster that posed a threat was originally from out of space. Some were the result of friends that had been captured and turned into monsters. Remind you of the Borg, by any chance? Well I watched First Contact the other night. Furthermore, the main assimilated friend that posed a danger to me and the other protagonists was a girl whose face I didn’t recognise and was given relatively little character development, other than being established as having a none-too-savoury relationship with the main heroine of the piece. The heroine wasn’t someone I recognised either, save to say that she had an air of Katie Holmes about her in contrast to the taller, darker and more authoritative antagonist who was more akin to Anne Hathaway. Yeah, I was reading about Catwoman yesterday as well.
In fact the most memorable scene of the dream didn’t involve me at all. Having being turned into a mechanical spider that rose out of the ocean and came in through the docking bay of the ship, Hathaway faced off against Holmes and here’s where it might be thought of as ridiculous. The scene was terribly directed. As it happened, I noted that whilst Hathaway’s slow-motion exit from the water was visually striking, it also provided more than enough time for Holmes to run away. The machine, designed to kill, had only to swipe one leg and she was dead, but rather there was an extended shot where a long ‘neck’ came out of the body and a ‘face’ went nose to nose with Holmes. It seemed an age before the killing blow came and naturally, Holmes avoided it and ran up some metal stairs and along a tight gangway. Why metal? Because when said spider eventually started smashing it up (just behind the running Holmes, of course), it looked impressive. Sparks flew, metal twisted and fell – it was a nice shot.
Like most dreams of mine, coherency wasn’t big on the agenda, because as I made my appearance and joined Holmes (and a group of teachers) in running from the machines, we followed a big black soldier (yes, the one from Battleship) through an air locked door and ended up in the school corridor again, before hiding in the toilets, which conveniently for dramatic purposes, were huge and on two levels, with one overlooking the other.
We were trapped, pretty much the last of Humanity being 50 teachers, a hot girl and me hiding in a contemporary shithouse. So we were cornered and thus the Decepticons entered, looking and talking very much like a young Sean Connery (was it Bond Day recently?). They said all they wanted was Spock; Spock appeared, made fun of Connery’s accent and blew everyone to hell with a landmine. Bit uncharacteristic I suppose but I had been reading about suicide bombers just before I fell asleep.
There was one final twist however, in that I was now an American soldier, my squaddie mate was Alexander Skarsgard (who, y‘know had a starring role in Battleship), and there was a Humvee that we hid in and protected us from the blast so we’d still be alive for the sequel. Interestingly enough, the Humvee originally had a roof, but on my deciding that the two characters would leap into the seat wells at the last moment, the props department cut it off. Good lads. We leapt, the explosion went off, the Humvee flipped and saved us and we were left with the battered and bruised but victorious hero shot. And no one else left alive. Anywhere.
So what did any of that mean? Well it turns out there are any number of websites happy to tell you. The fact that I saw myself in a movie apparently suggests I’m letting life pass me by, living vicariously through the actions of others. The presence of monsters indicates a part of my subconscious I don’t like (the compulsion to make shitty action films?). Being chased is apparently a common theme in dreams and my actions in the dream represent how I’d react in real life. So next time alien robots come to earth and try to kill everyone, I’m probably not your best bet (although I do usually tend to survive…). One suggestion is for me to turn around next time and ask why said bad guys are chasing me. Well, that’s pointless because I knew why they were chasing me. They wanted Leonard Nimoy. Duh. It’s important, says one famous dream site, to ask yourself why you are running. I think we’ve pretty much got that one covered by ‘alien robots killing people’. Picturing movie stars represents a quest for success, imagining myself as one suggests it will all pay off in the end (walk-on line in Transformers 4?), the school indicates cultural changes going on, the alleyway signifies limited options and hiding in the bathroom with a lot of other people means that I’m keeping a secret and I’m frustrated at the lack of privacy I’m getting.
Either that, or I’ve watched some shitty movies over the years and my brain was just sorting stuff out while I wasn’t using it for anything else. You know Freud was a druggie? Just sayin’.