Sci-Fi Horror Anthology With 80s Heartthrob Completely Gone From Streaming

By Brian Myers | Published

nightmares movie

Streaming services offer horror fans a number of anthology films and television series to choose from, spanning across decades of entries from some of the greatest minds dedicated to the genre. But for every Tales from the Darkside and Body Bags that fans can delight in watching at home, there’s the Nightmares movie that has faded almost completely away. Though the movie features many popular stars of the day, including 80s teen idol Emilio Estevez, its absence from streaming services and VOD makes it appear that it will face certain obscurity if its availability is not rectified.

Terror In Topanga

nightmares movie

Nightmares takes popular folk tales and transforms them into mini-movies, a concept that later influenced the bigger-budget Urban Legeds film franchise. The movie consists of four of these cautionary tales and inserts many faces familiar to moviegoers in the 1980s.

The first vignette in Nightmares is a take on the “killer in the backseat” urban legend. In the movie segment “Terror in Topanga,” Lisa (Christina Raines) is heading out to get cigarettes and hears a report on her radio about a serial killer that just escaped from a mental asylum.

When she’s low on fuel, she is approached by a creepy gas station attendant that bears a striking resemblance to the description of the killer from the radio reports.

The Bishop Of Battle

nightmares movie

“The Bishop of Battle” is the second Nightmares mini-movie. This segment is about teenage J.J. Cooney (Emilio Estevez), a small rat that is an avid video game player that becomes obsessed with beating a notoriously difficult game, The Bishop of Battle.

Though no one he knows has beaten the 13th and final level, J.J. is determined to try. His obsession forces him to break into the mall arcade after closing hours to give it another try, but finds that the game comes to life and gives him terrifying, real game play.

The Benediction

Nightmares then gives fans the third movie, “The Benediction.” This story follows Catholic Priest Frank MacLeod (Lance Henriksen), a man whose faith in his God has been put to the ultimate of tests.

After being unable to give reasonable comfort to the mourners at the funeral of a child he officiated, Frank believes he has lost his faith. But a confrontation in the desert with the Devil himself might be what sets him back on the righteous path.

Night Of The Rat

The final Nightmares movie, “Night of the Rat,” a suburban family is bothered by an infestation of rodents in their home. After putting out traps and capturing one of the rats, the family is plagued by an unseen force that eventually reveals itself to be the manifestation of a 17th century legend called “The Devil Rat.” The family works to figure out what this creature wants and to deliver it to her before it’s too late.

See It If You Can


Nightmares gives a unique twist to several urban legends, succeeding in bringing them into the modern world of the 1980s. The “Bishop of Battle” segment in particular is great, weaving in the parental concerns about video games into the mix and creating a genuinely disturbing mini-movie.

The movie as a whole isn’t a great addition to the genre but does possess several positive attributes worth mentioning. Nightmares gives audiences great performances from Raines, Estevez, and Henrickson, as well as raising some hairs on the backs of necks with a handful of well-timed jump scares.

As an anthology film, Nightmares rates far under Tales from the Darkside and The Vault of Horror, but it’s mild violence and gore make it a reasonable movie option for younger or more squeamish audiences.