Saturday Matinee: Dream Deceivers

Dream Deceivers The Story Behind James Vance vs. Judas Priest [Documentary]1992

“Dream Deceivers” (1992) is a documentary directed by David Van Taylor which chronicles the James Vance vs Judas Priest court case. Vance and friend Ray Belknap were teenagers who shot themselves with a shotgun in a Nevada suburb. Belknap died but Vance survived becoming “born again” shortly after and convinced that satanic messages in songs by Judas Priest prompted suicidal thoughts. The film is as much about teen angst and societal hypocrisy as it is about the case and deserves to be seen by more people. Dream Deceivers was originally aired as an episode of the PBS program “POV” but was prevented from getting a legal home video release because the filmmakers couldn’t get clearance for copyrighted material it contained. Thanks to the fair use revolution it was finally released on DVD last summer.

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