Nightmares (1983)

R  |   |  Horror, Sci-Fi  |  9 September 1983 (USA)
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Reviews: 35 user | 29 critic

Anthology of four horror tales with a supernatural twist based on urban legends.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lisa the Wife (segment "Terror in Topanga")
Joe Lambie ...
Phil the Husband (segment "Terror in Topanga")
Anthony James ...
Store Clerk (segment "Terror in Topanga")
Clare Nono ...
Mori the Newswoman (segment "Terror in Topanga")
Raleigh Bond ...
Norman, a Neighbor (segment "Terror in Topanga")
Robert Phelps ...
Newsman (segment "Terror in Topanga")
Dixie Lynn Royce ...
Little Girl (segment "Terror in Topanga")
William Henry Glazier (segment "Terror in Topanga") (as Lee James Jude)
J.J. Cooney (segment "Bishop of Battle")
Adele Cooney (segment "Bishop of Battle")
Louis Giambalvo ...
Jerry Cooney (segment "Bishop of Battle")
Pamela (segment "Bishop of Battle") (as Moon Zappa)
Zock Maxwell (segment "Bishop of Battle") (as Billy Jacoby)
Joshua Grenrock ...
Willie (segment "Bishop of Battle")
Mazenza (segment "Bishop of Battle") (as Gary Cervantes)


A collection of short stories. In one a woman who leaves her house late at night to drive to the store while a killer is loose encounters some problems. In the second an arcade whiz kid's obsession with a game leads to deadly consequences. In the third a small town priest loses his faith and decides to leave town, but in the desert is stalked by a mysterious black pick-up truck. In the final story, a family's problem with a rat is larger than they think. Written by Parca Mortem <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Four of your worst NIGHTMARES come true. See more »


Horror | Sci-Fi


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 September 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Night of the Rat  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


These stories were originally written and filmed for the anthology series Darkroom (1981). They were deemed too intense by Universal and thus culled into an anthology film for theatrical release. See more »


Episode: Bishop of Battle When J. J. Cooney starts playing the head arcade game, a scene shows his score raising from 380 to 470 points. As he progresses in the game, another scene shows his score raising from 1740 to 1830 points. However, when J. J. reaches level 13, the scene shows his score at just 100 points. A few scenes later, we can see his (presumably normal) score raising from 10390 to 10510 points. At this point, however, the highest score of 89462 points looks quite hard to be beaten. See more »


[repeated line]
Bishop: Greetings, Earthling. I am the Bishop of Battle, master of all I survey. I have 13 progressively harder levels. Try me if you dare.
See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Video Violence (2009) See more »


Performed by Negative Trend
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User Reviews

Plesent Dreams
8 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm a fan of horror as well as the horror anthologies, this anthology is an under the radar and even slightly forgotten gem. Yeah, it's not not one of the best anthologies in my book, but I still think it's a solid and it's true the only weakness for it would be that the first and fourth tale are pretty lame but that what you get with most to all anthologies there's going to be hits and misses. So all isn't lost since there are two that I personally think are memorable and are the ones to watch, so I'm just going to talk about them.

The Benidiction: this one is my second favorite tale. It's pretty much a Christianity version of "Duel" which is cool, the tale is both thrilling but also has a good message at the end about faith. Lance Hendrickson whom is an actor I really like I think is very good as a priest whom has lost his faith after a tragedy which pushed him over the edge.

His character really is sympathetic because the questions he asks and anger with them is the same as ours depending on what faith you serve, on why is there so much suffering and why is God if he/she exists allows it to happen, why doesn't he/she do anything about it. I hate to admit it but sometimes when things don't go my way even I sometimes ask those questions.

And of course his faith is put to the test as Satan comes in driving in, like in "Duel" we never see the driver which is fine by me. But I really like the design even color of the 4 by 4 pickup truck which is just menacing looking, almost made to seem like a rolling beast.

The chase sequences are done very well and very suspenseful, the driving and stunt work is well choreographed. But I also like that it's not just a chase but also a deadly game of hide and seek, as that truck at time just appears out of nowhere and anywhere. Your constantly hopping Lance will find a way to evade and outrun the truck.

But of course the biggest highlight of the film is the second tale which is my favorite "The Biship of Battle". This tale was a dream come true for me since I'm a gamer and I've been to the video arcade myself ever since I was six. In a way this tale is sort of a time capsule since I'll admit seeing those video arcades and the cabinets really made me miss them now that most video arcades has gone extinct like the drive ins.

Anyway, it was a fun and suspenseful tale. This was a first film for Emelo Estavez and all I can say is great start, I like his performance as the character J.J. which I thought was believable, whom at first seems like a cool guy you could almost be friends with but then further on we see he's became or is an addict. I don't know whether the video game put a spell on him as there was some hints from the mom and his best friend saying he's not himself or his own free will all the same from the way he's behaving you already know he's going down. Like for example J.J. ditches a would be date just to play another round of the game; if I had a girlfriend that looked like Emma Watson and she asked me to go for pizza I'd just go because a. want to spend time with her and b. I'm hungry; so yeah J.J. doing that is not a good sign.

However the real star of the tale is of course "The Biship of Battle" game which just looks awesome, it's a shame that video game doesn't really exist. It was the use of 3D and Polygon technology for the programing and design of the game which at the time was revolutionary and was used in video games like "Tempest" and the underrated "I Robot". One of my favorite moments of the game was level 12 which predates the video game "Doom" where the game goes into first person shooter mode and the cinematography is great you really feel like your in the game going thorough the maze and shooting down the minions.

The CGI effects I think are just fantastic because they are an example of the technology used the right way and reasons, and this was way before the technology was common place and they still look great in my opinion. I really love the designs of the minions of the Biship and whey they come out of the game they don't disappoint. Along with the bishop himself voiced well by James Tolken another actor I really like. His voice acting is just excellent it has that detached friendly but also cold and slightly sinister/menacing tone which is the kind of voice I sometimes hear in the pinball games sometimes.

And the battle sequence is well chirography, Emelio had LAPD gun maneuver training for two weeks and it shows, he really does it well. It's just one of my favorite battles of all time as the video arcade becomes a battlefield and he's armed with only the laser gun, just blasting away at the minions and they also return fire both causing some explosions to their enviorment, it's just fraking awesome.

If the story has a message it's simply don't let video game be your whole life, unplug once in a while otherwise just like in the video games life will beat you. At least that's what I think.

So just like all the story in an anthology, give this one a try and pleasant dreams.

Rating: 3 stars

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