Nightmares is a 1983 horror film by Joseph Sargent.The film is divided into four different stories:
- Terror in Topanga: Smoking addict Lisa (Cristina Raines) goes out at night to buy new cigarettes, against her husband's warnings (and a radio news) that psychopath William Henry Glazier (Lee Ving) is on the loose. Things go From Bad to Worse when her car runs out of gas.
- The Bishop of Battle: The most popular of the four stories. Arcade whiz J. J. Cooney (Emilio Estevez) is obsessed with beating the eponymous and fictional arcade game. The game is so difficult that not even the best players made it to the 13th level.
- The Benediction: Catholic priest MacLeod (Lance Henriksen) lost his faith following the violent death of a young boy. While driving on a highway, he gets stalked by a black Chevrolet pickup apparently intent on killing him.
- Night of the Rat: A family has a rat problem. The father, Steven Houston (Richard Masur) wants to fix the problem himself. His wife (Veronica Cartwright) eventually gets fed up and calls an exterminator (Albert Kague). Little do they know that the rat is bigger than they thought.
This film contains examples of:
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Terror in Topanga
The Bishop of Battle
- And I Must Scream: Cooney.
- Arc Number: The game has 13 levels. Guess what happened to Cooney when he reached the final level.
- Defictionalized: Still a demo version. Hopefully, in the final version it won't come to life or harm you physically in the thirteenth level.
- Downer Ending: The Bishop kills Cooney and traps him inside the game. He becomes the new player avatar.
- The Game Come to Life: When Cooney finally succeeds (after having snuck into the arcade in the middle of the night), he realizes that beating the game causes the threats and enemies from within to come alive.
- The Most Dangerous Video Game: One of the earliest examples.
- Schmuck Bait: It is better to lose on the twelfth level.
- “Stop Having Fun” Guys: In-universe, with the players who are determined to beat the game, Cooney included. It doesn't end well.
- Too Dumb to Live: Cooney leaves his gun behind when he enters the parking lot. Then the Bishop comes out of nowhere...
- Trailers Always Spoil: Fortunately, it doesn't spoil the ending.
- Animate In Animate Object/Automated Automobiles: Averted. The pickup was driven by Satan, though he never appears on-screen.
- Car Fu: Whoo boy.
- Chekhov's Gun: The holy water.
- Dark Is Evil: The pickup.
- Daylight Horror
- Jump Scare: At one point, the pickup bursts out from the ground, complete with a loud engine sound.
- Loud of War: The pickup's engine.
- Nothing Is Scarier
- Satan: The driver, as implied by the upside down cross hanging on the pickup's mirror.
- Stuff Blowing Up: The pickup blows up MacLeod's car after ramming it several times.
- Vehicular Assault
Night of the Rat
- Attack of the 15-Foot Giant Rat
- All for Nothing: Steven wanted to kill the rat. In the end, he puts his gun down and the rat leaves the house, harming no one.
- Monster Is a Mommy: The normal-sized rat killed early in the segment was her baby, and its gigantic mother is looking for it.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The rat.