Tuesday, July 12, 2011


After watching Body Bags, Jerome and I partook in another anthology horror schlock-fest Nightmares.

Nightmares is a quartet of blissfully 80s morality tales (don't smoke, don't play too many video games, don't lose faith in God and if you're married, learn to get along).  Cristina Raines features in the first entry with a late night Marlboro-craving that outweighs the potential of getting nabbed in the California hills by an escaped mental patient.  The moonlit atmosphere is well-wrought (spooky imagery of her white station wagon on desolate streets) but the twist is laughable and abrupt.

A pre-Breakfast Club Emilio Estevez makes a believable video game addict in "Bishop of Battle."  There's an unnecessary but amusing opening where bandanna (and hair net)-donning tough guys make bets over winning Pleiades. Estevez takes a bus to Fox Hills Mall and becomes obsessed with winning Bishop of Battle (and out-muscling its taunting neon green villain).  He ends up breaking into the arcade after hours and dueling it out virtual reality style... the results are fairly predictable.

Perhaps the best and most complex story, "The Benediction", follows a priest in a Lilies of the Field-like setting who has lost his faith and is attacked by a black pick up truck (think Duel, Christine, and 1977's The Car).  That Satan is embodied by this truck, with its glinting roof lights, is somewhat unsettling.

Only wide-eyed Veronica Cartwright can muster such superlative horrified reactions as she plays a housewife in a rat-infested house in "Night of the Rat."  This entry is derivative of Of Unknown Origin, but not as dark, with a flimsy conclusion that endorses filial bonds.

Too intense for network TV (though these standards are less strict now), Nightmares was given a Universal Studios release.  Overall the production values are pretty shoddy (though the Xanadu-like visual effects in the arcade battle was reportedly costly) and the tales are fairly unoriginal, but all in all, this is a fun, pretty tame anthology horror flick. ***

-Jeffery Berg


  1. That poster always spooked me out. The film of course is fairly lightweight in comparison. Still, pretty decent.

  2. I saw most of this on TV one day a long time ago, I got to see the great part with Emilio Estevez and the video arcade! It was so cool, but I want to see the rest of the movie!