Nightmares & Dreamscapes: From the Stories of Stephen King (2006) is a sci-fi, thriller horror anthology series made for TV that was filmed in Melbourne, Australia. Stephen King wrote the eight-episode short story anthology series on TNT. Most of the episodes are the same name as in Stephen King’s collection, but some episodes have different names. The episodes that were based on stories from the Nightmares & Dreamscapes collection were The Fifth Quarter, You Know They Got a Hell of a Band, Umney’s Last Case, The End of the Whole Mess, and Crouch End. The remaining episodes were adaptations from The Road Virus Heads North and Autopsy Room Four.
Episode 1 (July 12, 2006): Battleground by Brian Henson
Jason Renshaw (William Hurt - Into the Wild (2007), Dark City (1998), The Incredible Hulk (2008), A History of Violence (2005)) is a professional quiet hit man. Jason mysteriously received a package containing toy soldiers after he murdered the CEO of the toy company that sent him the toy soldiers. Jason becomes the target in this episode where revenge is needed. Battleground did not contain much dialog, and that did not affect the episode in a bad way. Battleground was an average watch where I did not dislike it or like it.
Episode 2 (July 12, 2006): Crouch End by Mark Haber
Doris Frehman (Meet Joe Black (1998), Green Street Hooligans (2005), Mallrats (1995), The Rock (1996)) and her husband who is an attorney are newlyweds. Doris and her husband Lonnie (Eion Bailey - Fight Club (1999), Mindhunters (2004), Almost Famous (2000), And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2003)) were honeymooning in London when they got lost in Crouch End. Crouch End is a neighborhood that believed to have portals to another dimension. Crouch End was a nice story where the actors gave an okay performance. The episode started off nicely where my expectations rose, but I lost interest after the actors started to wander around the empty streets.
Episode 3 (July 19, 2006): Umney’s Last Case by Rob Bowman
Clyde (William H. Macy - Fargo (1996), Jurassic Park III (2001), Shameless (2011), Pleasantville (1998)) is a writer whose son recently died. Clyde decides to write himself into a 1930s story where he forces his lead character who is a detective to switch places with him. Umney’s Last Case is not the best short story to be included in this series when there were so many of Stephen King’s short stories that are better than Umney’s Last Chance. The story was not bad and is not the worst in the series.
Episode 4 (July 19, 2006): The End of the Whole Mess by Mikael Salomon
Howard (Ron Livingston - Office Space (1999), The Conjuring (2013), Swingers (1996), The Cooler (2003)) is a renowned successful filmmaker. He is dying and remembers an experiment his brother (Henry Thomas - E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Gangs of New York (2002), Legends of the Fall (1994), 11:14 (2003)) had to end world violence. The scientific experiment comes at a horrible cost that will be discovered by you after watching this episode.
The End of the Whole Mess was one of the best episodes that had a great storyline, great acting, awesome special effects and not much blemishes.
Episode 5 (July 26, 2006): The Road Virus Heads North by Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Richard (Tom Berenger - Inception (2010), Platoon (1986), Training Day (2001), Major League (1989)) is a famous horror, writer. Richard bought a gruesome demonic painting to give him some inspiration, but the painting had other plans. The painting started to change and correspond with real life events. The Road Virus Heads North was the worst segment/episode in this series although I like the concept. It was awful where I only found the painting to be exceptional and likable when compared to everything else in the episode.
Episode 6 (July 26, 2006): The Fifth Quarter by Rob Bowman
Willie (Jeremy Sisto - Law & Order (1990), Suburgatory (2011), Wrong Turn (2003), Clueless (1995)) is a released convict. Willie decides to risk his freedom that he just earned and his family by going on a hunt for stolen money. The Fifth Quarter contained good performances and kept me interested to see the outcome as I go on the hunt with Willie.
Episode 7 (August 2, 2006): Autopsy Room Four by Mikael Salomon
Howard (Richard Thomas - The Waltons (1971), Wonder Boys (2000), All Quiet on the Western Front (1979), Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)) was bitten by a venomous snake and fell into a catatonic state. Everyone assumed he was dead and an autopsy was performed on him which he witnessed. Autopsy Room is also a great story that lacked great performances. I would love to see this segment be remade with a different cast.
Episode 8 (August 2, 2006): You Know They Got a Hell of a Band by Mike Robe
Mary (Kim Delaney - Army Wives (2007), NYPD Blue (1993), Mission to Mars (2000), 10.5 (2004)) and her husband Clark (Steven Weber) got lost in a place that no one wants to be lost in. Clark (Steven Weber - Wings (1990), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), Single White Female (1992), Jeffrey (1995)) and his wife were lost on "Rock and Roll Heaven" which is where the ghosts of dead rock and roll legends resides after death. This was a good short story that performed well in all areas including acting and special effects.
Overall, I gave this series a six because it was an enjoyable watch for the most of it, but it is not something that I will watch again. It is a great drama thriller horror series to watch for Stephen King fans and also for those who are not a fan of his. Most of the segments were executed nicely with average acting. Jim Henson’s Creature Shop did a fantastic job with the special effects.
About Nightmares & Dreamscapes - From the Stories of Stephen King (2006)
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Mammone
Director: Rob Bowman, Mikael Salomon
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