Nightmares (1983) Quick Review

Nightmares 1983

Our Quick Reviews bring you great movie recommendations without the spoilers.

Genre:  Horror/Sci-Fi

Plot:  Nightmares is comprised of four short films based on urban legends.  The first concerns a woman who encounters a killer in the backseat of her car.  The second is about a video game-addicted teenager who is consumed by his game.  The third focuses on a fallen priest who is stalked by a pickup truck from hell.  The last one follows a suburban family battling a giant rat in their home.


Nightmares is a lesser-known anthology movie directed by Joseph Sargent.  It was originally intended to be part of ABC’s Darkroom anthology series but these segments were considered too dark for TV and were released theatrically instead.

What we liked:

  • 3 of the 4 short films are strong with a fast pace and unpredictable story lines.
  • The excellent (and awesomely cheesy) Bishop of Battle segment, which takes place in an arcade and stars Emilio Estevez, is a must watch for the 80s nostalgic and video game geeks.
  • Most stories feature clever twist endings.

bishop of battle

What we didn’t like:

  • The final short, Night of The Rat, doesn’t live up the the standards of the other entries and features unlikeable characters as well as a ridiculous looking and not even remotely scary giant rat.
  • While I found them endearing, the very dated special effects won’t be everyone’s taste.


If you like 80s horror and don’t mind a solid dose of cheese, then Nightmares is a can’t miss.  It’s worth watching for the Bishop of Battle short alone,  but you’ll also enjoy the suspense offered by the Terror in Topanga and The Benediction segments.  It’s a shame that the movie didn’t end on a more positive note as that likely soured some people’s opinions of the film.  Recommended.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Check out the Nightmares trailer:

9 thoughts on “Nightmares (1983) Quick Review

  1. This is one of my favorite cheesy movies. The Bishop of Battle has a few awesome songs by punk band FEAR in it, and The Night of the Rat is like “The Killer Shrews” in the 80’s. Awesome pick.

  2. Huzzah! Another made-for-TV horror anthology?? Love them! Of course, I’d like to know how this one measures up to “Trilogy of Terror”, starring the lovely (and so underrated) Karen Black and the tiny crazy Zuni doll!!

  3. “I am the Bishop of Battle, Master of ALL I survey.” I still use that line to this day! …of course, nobody knows what I’m talking about!

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