Horror anthology about a college professor (Zada) teaching a course called "The Psychology of Fear". He brings his students (including psychic McWhirter) to his home, one dark and stormy ... See full summary »
A little girl named Cathy tries to keep her mother from making out with a man while driving one day, and she inadvertently causes her mother's death in the car crash. 16 years later, Cathy ... See full summary »
Dr. Alexander Brown (Martin Sheen) arrives in Las Vegas, awarded for his recent medical invention. An ex-G.I. tells Brown he was a test subject during the 1950's, exposed to atomic bomb ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The recurring line of dialogue said by Bishop (voiced by actor James Tolkan) heard in "The Bishop of Battle" segment was: "Greetings, Earthling. I am the Bishop of Battle, master of all I survey. I have thirteen progressively harder levels. Try me if you dare." See more »
Presumably as the Bishop of Battle game progresses, the view/angle of each level changes to make it more difficult for the player. We see this the first time JJ plays the game as level 12 is at a lower angle and shows less of the overall play arena than level 11 had. However, the second time JJ gets to level 12, the angle is now almost a first person shooter, with the player's view being from the ground rather than an aerial view showing their player character. See more »
A Great Opening Segment, The Rest Are Kind Of Boring
** 1/2 (out of 4)
'Terror in Topanga' has a crazy killer escaping prison but housewife Lisa (Cristina Raines) needs cigarettes so she decides to go out. Of course, you know what happens. In 'The Bishop of Battle' a teenager (Emilio Estevez) obsessed with getting to the thirteenth level of a video games gets more than he bargained for. 'The Benediction' has a Priest (Lance Henriksen) walking away from his faith and on a journey through the desert he runs into a mysterious black truck. 'Night of the Rat' has parents (Richard Masur, Veronica Cartwright) trying to protect their daughter and home from a giant rat.
As with any anthology film, NIGHTMARES is a mixed bag but overall it's worth watching if you're a fan of this type of film. With that said, there's no question that the best film is the first one. It's based off a fairly popular urban legend and I must admit that I found it to be quite creepy at times. Director Joseph Sargent really does a great job on this number and we've got a terrific performance from Raines that helps sell it. The entire sequence is the shortest of the lot but it really hammers home the tension and the twist is quite effective as well.
The following three stories aren't nearly as good and all of them are rather disappointing in their own way. I'd argue that the third one was the next best as Henriksen at least delivers a nice performance but the religious overtones never really work and what we're left with is a cheap copy of DUEL. The second story with the teenager playing video games probably belonged in a different movie. It's not creepy enough to fit with the rest of the film and I'd argue it would have been better in something else. It's just too bright and the special effects just don't ring a horror film.
The fourth and final story is without question the weakest and it's too bad because both Masur and Cartwright give very good performances. This type of story had already been done in several other films including stuff like THE FOOD OF THE GODS. The story runs way too long and I'd argue that the ending is more silly than anything else. In fact, I'd argue that stories two through four all ran way too long and none of them could compare to the first so that made them even more of a letdown.
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