Nightmares (1983/Blu-ray/Scream Factory) Review

Nightmares is an anthology horror film that consists of four stories. The first one is called "Terror In Topanga" which follows a woman who is desperate for cigarettes and goes out to get some even after she finds out about a killer on the loose nearby. Things go from somewhat calm to tense as she is forced to stop off at a desolate gas station. What happens next is of a classic urban legend. The second being "The Bishop of Battle" which follows J.J. Cooney who is a video game expert and hustler who decides to break his old score and finally beat the game he has an obsession over. What he is unprepared for is what happens when he finally does beat the game, now he will be playing it for his life!

The third story is called "The Benediction" which follows a priest who after having a series of surreal nightmares he decides to leave the church. On his way out of town he is put into a life and death struggle against an unknown evil in a black truck. Will he survive this terror or become a victim of it?! Last but not least we have the forth and final story "Night of the Rat". This story is about a family that is being terrorized by a rat like no other. After the husbands insistence to take care of the problem himself he is unaware of just what true evil he is up against.
When it comes to anthology films I have seen so many of them throughout my life and when it comes to Nightmares it's one that I am sure I had seen before, but never knew the name of. The tale in this film I remember the most is The Bishop of Battle which stars Emilio Estevez as an expert gamer. It could be because of my fondness for video games or the fact that of the four it's the best one. Now don't get me wrong all the others were good as well. The only thing it feels like it's missing is a wrap around story like other anthology films have. For me it's hard to beat something like Creepshow which has an excellent lineup of tales and a pretty cool wrap around story.
The strongest thing going for this film is the great cast involved in each story. With a cast consisting of Emilio Estevez, Richard Masur, Cristina Raines, and Lance Henriksen you cannot go wrong. Each one of them brought their best to this film and each also helped make this pretty standard horror anthology into something more than that. Granted this film originally was made as a pilot for a show, but was released as a film after bring rejected by the studio for being to violent. Granted if they tried to do this same thing today it would also be looked as tame compared to the modern horror shows. There really is only gore in the first tale.

Now if I had to rank the stories I would say that the best was "The Bishop of Battle" and the worst was "Night of the Rat" which had some quite bad green screen effect dealing with a huge rat. I did like the story, but it was kinda crippled by them doing that effect kinda poorly. For me my second favorite was "Terror In Topanga" which takes a classic urban legend and brings it to film and is done so greatly. In that one I really like how they had  William Sanderson as one of the characters because he is great and I think he deserved a bigger career than what he got.
Overall this was a pretty good horror anthology and I think if you are a fan of anthologies then you should give this one a shot. It's got a great cast and some pretty cool stories. This release has an excellent picture and audio quality. You will get a choice of either widescreen or full frame aspect ratio and you also get an audio commentary which does dive deep into the making of the film. This is a very satisfying release for this film and I do very much recommend this as a purchase!

-Daniel Lee

Director: Joseph Sargent
Lead Actor/Actress:
Genre: Horror/Anthology
Blu-ray Release Year: 2015
Theatrical Release Year: 1983
Time Length: 99 mins.
Rating: R
Region Code: A
Release Company: Shout! Factory
Website: www.shoutfactory.com