Blu-ray Review: NIGHTMARES

nightmares blu 3d

NIGHTMARES was directed by Joseph Sargent from a screenplay by Christopher Crowe and Jeffrey Bloom. The film stars Cristina Raines, Emilio Estevez, Lance HenriksenVeronica Cartwright, Richard Masur, Anthony James, William Sanderson and James Tolkan.

Terror in Topanga” follows Lisa (Cristina Raines), a chain-smoking housewife who heads out to the local c-store to pick up some more smokes, against her husband’s better judgement. The dark drive to her destination becomes one of paranoia that ends in a fight for her life when she realizes an escaped madman is hiding in her car and about to kill her. This is a night that Lisa wishes she would’ve taken her husband’s advice and simply stayed in. The story was the best of these four that was one part slasher and one part suspense. “The Bishop of Battle” follows J.J. Cooney (Emilio Estevez), a video game wiz who is obsessed with defeating the ultimate video game. He rebels and breaks in the middle of the night to play the game and he ends up beating it only to find out there’s a price to pay afterwards that takes him to one more level that is out of this world. I enjoyed the story for the segment that also included the hot trends of that time which featured punk rock and video games.

The Benediction” follows a troubled priest (Lance Henriksen) who seeks to find the faith he has lost on the road, but instead he finds someone (or something) in this desert is trying to drive him out of his mind in. The priest ends up battling for his life against a mysterious pickup truck that appears and begins to play a deadly game of cat and mouse with him. The devil is behind the wheel and ends up the  winner in this roadside thriller. This segment reminded me of horror classics like The Car and Duel. “Night of the Rat” is just that, a night that a giant rat terrorizes a family inside their own home. The couple and their daughter learn first hand that sometimes things are simply better left alone and that they should never have disturbed this rodent. This segment was my least favorite and looked really dated because of the special effects used at that time. Miniatures are used and one thing is for sure, blue screen has come a long way since 1983.

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Okay, this 1983 horror anthology ended up being a really fun watch that included four different branches from the horror genre. The segment “Terror in Topanga” is a slasher that is full of suspense and plays with a person’s paranoia. The segment “The Bishop of Battle” is more fantasy that deals with obsession and addiction with a tragic payoff. The third segment “The Bishop of Battle” is more of a demonic supernatural that deals with the a priest and his loss of faith who has to battle the devil in a pickup truck. The fourth and final segment, “Night of the Rat” is a creature feature that follows a family that has to deal with an unwanted house guest/pest.

The front of the packaging features the classic artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from “The Bishop of Battle” segment. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were crisp and clear. The video looked great and the audio was just right. Scream Factory did a fantastic job with this upgrade.

Bottom line is, Nightmares was a really fun and exciting first time watch for me. I’m a fan of horror anthologies and this one here is an obscure gem that definitely deserved a nice Blu-ray release like this. Scream Factory is really good at giving obscure horror romps like this a second life! All four segments were intense and interesting with each one playing out like its own little mini-movie. If you’re a fan of The Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt, Tales from the Darkside and even Amazing Stories, then you should really enjoy this one. Nightmares is four tales of terror that releases on Blu-ray on December 22nd and is definitely worth checking out .

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 99 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.78:1) and Full Frame (1.33:1)

Blu-ray Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio Mono

Subtitles: English

Special Features: There’s not much but we do get some audio commentary plus Scream Factory threw in the original trailer and radio spots.

  • Audio Commentary With Executive Producer Andrew Mirisch And Actress Cristina Raines
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Radio Spots
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