Dreams of Flesh is a 2024 sci-fi horror, written and directed by Davide Pesca with additional writing from Fabrizio Pastura. The film is the third and final installment in the director’s dedicated cyberpunk trilogy, comprised of Night of Doom (2021) and Re-Flesh (2022). Well-known in the extreme cinema scene, Davide is notable for directing visceral shorts for the anthology films Deep Web XXX (2018), A Taste of Phobia (2018), and Faces of Fear (2020), as well as being featured in the documentary Gorenography (2021) along with genre directors Jonathan doe, Mercedes The Muse, Town Newton, and many more.

In the “Neovita” clinic, Dr. Lovo is experimenting with an innovative system. This is a sort of shock therapy that, thanks to the stimulation of the pineal gland and the virtual reality, can cure the psychophysical pathologies of the patients and also those of the doctor, unfortunately with negative results.

With zero exposition to start, Dreams of Flesh thrusts its audience into the complex world of VR technology and its use outside of the gaming world. Implementing a common concept when twinned with a dark, yet graspable new use undoubtedly puts our own societal decline into a technological dystopia lingering uncomfortably close. Furthermore, the stimulation of the pineal gland, though not a new concept in sci-fi horror, with the likes of The Resonator from Stuart Gordon’s From Beyond (1986) instantly springing to mind; the blend of parallel technology with the VR equipment certainly lends an air of relatability overall.

Featuring some solid cinematography throughout, an impressive level of dedication has gone into creating some expressive visuals. A range of attentive establishing shots permeates the oscillating close-ups and dizzying pans of the main cinegraphic style utilized for the most part. Additionally, the implementation of vivid neon-coloured lighting overlaid over each scene undoubtedly plays into the film’s cyberpunk roots. These striking, artificial colours, when combined with the deep crimson perforating from the violent narrative, undeniably form the melding of nature with the synthetic.

Whilst the performances featured in Dreams of Flesh can be a mixed bag at points, for the majority, the cast effectively depicts the digital suffering displayed. Though most of the cast’s roles are performance-based, mostly containing no dialog, each actor utilizes their screen time to give a physically visual rendition of torture and agony. However, most of the film’s interchange is provided by the film’s protagonist, Dr Lovo, played by Ivan Brusa–conveying the narrative in a heavy dose of exposition. Both being the weakest in performance and line delivery, these scenes add a discernable level of monotony to the otherwise fluid pacing established.

A distinct example of style over substance, Dreams of Flesh is a contemporary glimpse into the not-too-distant future of cyberpunk dystopia. With its refreshing story, impressive visuals, and astute practical effects, the film is a flamboyantly sleek exemplification of extreme cinema and the “torture porn” subgenre.


Dreams of Flesh (2024) is available to purchase from GoreDrome’s website here, and TetroVideo’s website here.

More Extreme Cinema Reviews