Nightmares & Dreamscapes is an anthology of eight fifty-minute
stand alone episodes (spread over three discs) based on the
stories of prolific horror writer Stephen King.
In Battleground, a hired assassin kills a gifted toymaker
and is later surprised to receive a box of toy soldiers at
his apartment, which then proceed to come to life and attack
him. There are also gunship helicopters and the surprise bonus
of a Rambo-like special operations soldier complete with mini-nuclear
weapon. This is quite amusing but leaves a lot of unanswered
questions: Who was the assassin working for? Who send the
box of soldiers? And how did they know where he lived? Aside
from the obvious question of how did the soldiers come to
In Crouch End, an American couple on honeymoon in London
are invited to dinner in Crouch End, a place where dimensions
meet and bleed into each other. This one is agonisingly long,
and steals blatantly from the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft's ancient
In Umney's Last Case, a just too perfect 1930s private
eye learns he is a fictional character. His creator forces
them to change places, but both are left like a fish out of
water. This is probably the best of the bunch, but is badly
let down by the ending which fizzles out rather than reaching
any dramatic conclusion.
In The End of the Whole Mess, a man presents a video
diary telling how his gifted younger brother developed a way
to stop all violence in the world, and what the startling
unforeseen circumstances were. This one drags its heels too,
and a long backstory is told in order to needlessly flesh
In The Road Virus Heads North, a famous horror writer,
who might have cancer, buys a strange painting of a figure
in a car. The painting changes regularly as the vehicle passes
through various locations heading in his direction, and all
attempts to destroy it fail. This is pretty good, but once
you realise that the figure in the car heading towards him
is symbolic of the writer's own death approaching, the conclusion
In The Fifth Quarter, an ex-convict and his wife attempt
to capitalise on a dead friend's potentially lucrative criminal
exploits. This one is so slow and uneventful that you can
actually nod-off for minutes at a time and miss nothing of
the so-called plot.
In Autopsy Room Four, the voice-over thoughts of a
man thought to be dead are heard as he realises he can't move
and is about to undergo an autopsy (or post-mortem to us Brits).
In You Know They Got a Hell of a Band, a couple get
lost on the road and find themselves in an unmapped town called
Rock And Roll Heaven, where all the dead greats appear to
reside. People are being changed and it's all down to the
free nightly concert. Oh, Please!
Did the great guy actually get paid for these shorts? He ought
to be made to watch these as recompense! Whether it's down
to the writing or direction (probably both), none of these
adaptations induce any tension. In fact, you just don't care,
and only three are even worth putting yourself out to watch.
For Stephen King completists only.
Extras include: Behind the Drama (ahem!) of the Show; Page
to Picture; The Inside Look Featurettes; Interviews With the
Series Stars; Battleground Special Effects Featurette.