Nightmares

1983

Action / Horror / Sci-Fi

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 17%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 36%
IMDb Rating 5.7 10 2337

Synopsis


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January 28, 2016 at 06:41 AM

Director

Cast

Emilio Estevez as J.J. Cooney
Lance Henriksen as MacLeod
Veronica Cartwright as Claire Houston
Flea as Singer
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
706.6 MB
1280*714
English
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 0 / 1
1.49 GB
1920*1072
English
23.976 fps
1hr 39 min
P/S 4 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by calvinnme 6 / 10

corny, dated but still fun cult horror anthology from Universal

Directed by Joseph Sargent, it's split into 4 unconnected stories: 1) "Terror in Topanga" offers up that old chestnut about a dark night and an escaped killer on the prowl. Featuring Christina Raines and William Sanderson. 2) "The Bishop of Battle" stars Emilio Estevez as a video game expert determined to get to the final level on a new arcade game. Careful what you wish for! Also with Moon Unit Zappa. 3) "The Benediction" is a Duel take-off with Lance Henriksen as a priest who has lost his faith and may have run into the devil in the form of a menacing black truck on the highway. 4) "Night of the Rat" features a suburban family terrorized by, you guessed it, rats. With Richard Masur and Veronica Cartwright.

The effects are chintzy (including some very early computer effects), and a lot of it is one-note. But there's a camp charm to it, and it makes good viewing for those in the mood for some cheesy but not ghastly frights. Featuring some early 80's punk music by the likes of X, Black Flag, and Fear.

Reviewed by deathadder-13878 7 / 10

Worth tracking down.

Nifty little anthology horror flick that was under seen at the time, though in my opinion it's a better ride than the similar but more campy Creepshow (1982), which suffered from pacing problems and actors camping it up to varying degrees.

The first story is about an average couple, one of whom needs her smokes. She learns of an escaped mental patient, but ignores this and her concerned husband because she's dying for a cigarette which leads her to venture out, at night, to the store. Not a whole lot here, but there's nice direction and photography as she encounters various individuals lurking in the middle-American evening gloom. The actors are naturalistic; this is an earnest movie that aims to build suspense and give you a few jolts. It's not the type of cheap movie that makes you cheer against annoying caricatures. No lulls or missteps in this one.

The second story, the one that some people seem to remember and talk about, deals with Emilio Estevez as an arcade ruling video game expert who becomes obsessed with beating a very difficult game. This being the 80's, arcades are shown to be a popular hangout for unruly teenagers. We get a bit more depth and interaction with the characters in this one, and the acting is pretty good given the mostly young cast. Estevez, as the story progresses, gets more unhinged in his mania to beat the game at any cost. Breaking into his favorite arcade, he manages, through the sweaty palms and eye strain, to get to the last level.....Some people might laugh at the old video games and how they're merged with the real world, but frankly, I think the F/X people did a good job of making things aesthetically interesting. I'm not sure how much of this was done with actual CG (which would've been difficult and expensive in 1983) vs old-fashioned animation, but I think it still works pretty well and old-school video game fans should really like this one.

The third story has a neurotic priest, Lance Henriksen, leave his desert parish out of frustration and self-doubt, only to have a malevolent black truck with an unseen driver challenge him. It plays out in a naturalistic fashion, like the first story, before elements of fantasy and surrealism suddenly appear at the very end. Henriksen, and the other actors, give this story a somber and obscure tone. This story is less about the pure thrills, and more about putting you in Henriksen's shoes as he first battles his personal demons before fighting a real demon.

The fourth, and weakest, story is about an upper middle class family fending off a giant rat. The actors here are more plainly unlikable compared to the other stories. The initial suggestions of the rat's presence are creepy and gross enough, but the moment the rat is revealed you will be shocked by how lame the F/X are. It looks like they took footage of a real rat, blew the photo resolution up, and then superimposed it on the set. If the F/X weren't bad enough, the story resolution is a bummer, too: the other stories didn't tell you any more than you needed to know, but in the rat one we're told that the rat was out for revenge! That weakens the impact even more than the effects. The ending really is like a bad mid-Century sci-fi/horror flick. Generic characters, nerdy plot, and bad F/X that look even worse in 1980's color film than they would in 1950's black & white.

Supposedly, the stories were put in order of how well test audiences like them, with the best reviewed being put first. But the rat story is by far the worst of the bunch; I guess every anthology has a dud, as though it's tough to ask filmmakers to develop and execute every story well. I think the filmmakers knew how bad the rat story was, and put more money and time into the first three. The first three stories, though, are on par with anything comparable released back then or since. Let's be grateful when movie makers and actors take this kind of material sincerely, and put in a good effort.

Reviewed by BA_Harrison 5 / 10

A mildly entertaining anthology.

Unlike many an anthology movie, Nightmares has no wraparound story to link each chapter, the film consisting of four unconnected supernatural tales ranging from the genuinely suspenseful to the rather routine.

Tale number one, Terror in Topanga, is easily the most intense of the group. Based on a popular urban legend about an escaped inmate from a lunatic asylum and a housewife (Cristina Raines) who unwisely leaves her home to purchase cigarettes, you'll probably know how this one is going to end way before you get there, but with sharp direction, a great central performance, and even a little gore, the familiarity of the material matters not—it's a great way to kick off proceedings.

Chapter two is The Battle of Bishop, the tamest of the four stories, which stars Emilio Estevez as teenager J.J. Cooney, who is obsessed with reaching level 13 of a particularly challenging arcade machine. Breaking into the arcade after closing time to play the game, he finally finds out what finishing The Battle of Bishop involves. Like an episode of Amazing Stories, this one isn't in the least bit scary but does deliver a likable turn from Estevez and some fairly decent computer graphics for the day.

The penultimate story is The Benediction, which stars Lance Henriksen as father MacLeod, a priest who has lost his faith. Leaving his parish, McLeod drives into the desert where he is repeatedly attacked by a mysterious black truck with tinted windows. Like a cross between Spielberg's Duel and '70s film The Car, this one offers up some reasonably exciting scenes of vehicular action (including the impressive sight of the truck bursting out of the ground), and its always great to see Henriksen on screen.

Last of the four tales is Night of the Rat, in which a family find themselves terrorised by a giant devil rat that invades their home. This one builds the tension nicely only to spoil it in the closing moments with some cheesy special effects using a real rat made to look oversized. Veronica Cartwright is great as the terrified mother, but she really deserves better than this.

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