Shout Factory continues to bring the horror classics to Blu-ray for the first time. The films range from the most popular to the cult classics with all having something worth checking out. The latest getting the release is that of 1983s anthology film Nightmares featuring early works from Emilio Estevez, Lance Henriksen, William Sanderson and more.
Nightmares follows four horror tales based on urban legends. The first story ‘Terror in Topanga’, has a smoking addict going out to buy some cigarettes despite there being a killer in the neighborhood. This one plays up like your typical slasher thriller and while it works it stumbles a bit in its execution. They should have streamlined it a bit more to get to the meat faster with a bigger payoff due to the short amount of time they had to execute it. There is a moment closer to the end of this one where you think someone is the killer, but it takes an unexpected twist making the ending worth the buildup. The second story ‘Bishop of Battle’, has a teenager who becomes so good at a video game, that the game comes to life to collect him. This one delivers a lot more in its short time and screams of the popularity of the arcades of the time. Mix that with the always great to watch Emilio Estevez and old school video game effects and you get a lot of fun. This story moves quick and gets to the point with a fun payoff that while you will surely see coming still manages to deliver.
The third story, ‘The Benediction’ (based on Steven Spielberg’s ‘Duel’) has a priest whom has lost his faith, leaving his monastery and stalked on the road by a black pick-up truck from hell, literally. This one offered up probably the most complex story of them all not only focusing on the struggles of faith but also the intense action of the road rage from hell. The always awesome Lance Henriksen leads the charge bringing everything needed to make you buy into this priests issues as well as the rugged nature to stand toe to toe with the truck on his tale. It’s not offering up anything we haven’t seen before, but still a lot of fun to watch. The fourth story ‘Night of the Rat’, (loosely based on ‘Poltergeist’) has a couple, along with their young daughter, battling a giant rat living in their suburban home. This one is the most average of them all with it focusing on the creature genre and going the old school route of using an actual rat superimposed onto the regular film to appear larger. While this is a dated style and looks silly at times, there is still something charming about it.
In the end this early anthology plays up like a poor man’s Tales From the Crypt but in a good way. It offers a little bit of everything for the horror fan and while it doesn’t offer up any scares it does offer up nostalgia of the horror of that 80s. If you love these kinds of films then you will no doubt want to check out Nightmares available now from Scream Factory.
For more information head over to www.shoutfactory.com