An escaped madman on the prowl, a video game addict meets his match, a man of the cloth looking for answers and a larger than life infestation in the family home all fuse together to make 1983’s Nightmares.
Wake up, bitches! ‘Cause this ain’t no Creepshow (1982).
Despite its shortcomings, it’s got a great cast. Featuring Cristina Raines from The Sentinel (1977); Pumpkinhead (1988), Lance Henriksen ; Veronica Cartwright on the run from the Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978); Richard Masur of 1982’s The Thing, although arguably known to every horror fan as the guy who wrote IT on the bathroom wall in his own blood. Oh, and Emilio Estevez.
The first segment is probably the strongest, based on the urban legend of the killer hiding in the backseat, which I always thought to be a motorist’s version of the babysitter and the man upstairs. It effectively brings to life a disturbing tale long before you-know-what was released over a decade later. It’s also the only chapter in which someone actually dies.
Although, Estevez turns in a good performance as the hot-headed arcade legend JJ, part 2 of the anthology has more of a sci-fi bend than anything and comes off looking very dated as well as highly predictable. A far more realistic approach to the effect of obsessive video gaming would have been more unsettling, and far less expensive.
I’ll always welcome Henriksen with open arms, but in the case of the 3rd story, no matter who takes a shot, I just don’t think anyone is ever going to make killer cars scary. However I did appreciate the symbolism behind the protagonist’s ordeal and spiritual crisis. Releasing this one in the same year as Stephen King’s Christine may not have been the best idea.
Night of the Rat, the fourth and final installment could have surpassed the opener, Terror in Topanga, if it hadn’t been for the hugely disappointing pay-off when they reveal some of the worst visual effects I have seen in a good while. Okay, maybe not Birdemic bad, but still, dear lord what a mess.
From the director of THAT Jaws sequel that Michael Caine hates, and I keep forgetting even exists, comes 80s horror anthology, Nightmares. Four tales of terror that failed to make my heart skip, let alone race.