& DREAMSCAPES - FROM THE STORIES OF STEPHEN KING (2006)
Nightmares & Dreamscapes - From the Stories of Stephen King (2006)
Actors: William Hurt, William H. Macy, Eion Bailey, Ron Livingston,
Directors: Rob Bowman, Mark Haber
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Number of discs: 3
after his 345th novel or something
author Stephen King’s literary output lapsed into self-parody.
Nowhere is it more apparent
than this collection of eight of his short stories adapted into hour-long TV
episodes. While most of the episodes can be described as pure Stephen King,
some are simply so unoriginal that one wonders why the makers (or King for
that matter) even bothered.
While some of the episodes
work better than others, one cannot escape the feeling that the stories
would have packed a better punch if they were shoehorned into a half an hour
per episode format instead of stretching things out to the full hour format
(42 minutes actually, allowing for ads).
Most of the episodes only
come across as overlong and they all exhibit both King’s strengths and
weaknesses as an author (King is great at build-up, not too fantastic at
wrapping things up). What is strange however is how the best stories doesn’t
always translate to being the best episodes and how the opposite is
Filmed in Australia
which has to unconvincingly double for anything from the streets of urban
London to Stephen King’s own hometown state of Maine
Nightmares & Dreamscapes’ cast at times reads more like a “where are
they now?” and “gosh! look how old they look now!” ensemble than anything
else. Remember when William Hurt was described as a promising young actor?
Or when you lusted after Greta Scacchi who somehow managed to appear topless
in every movie she was in? Well, if you do, then these episodes will make
you feel pretty old . . .
THE DISCS: You get
eight episodes stretched over four discs. Special features are a bit on the
skimpy side with only a few additional scenes, a featurette, some interviews
and production sketches.
The episodes are:
a quiet hit man (William Hurt) becomes a target for violent revenge when he
finds a mysterious package on his doorstep
A young woman and her attorney husband gets lost in a notoriously evil
Umney's Last Case
a 1930's era detective realizes he's the main character in a novel
The End of the Whole Mess
A successful filmmaker recalls his genius brother's scientific plan to end
world violence (there are obviously with unanticipated results)
The Road Virus Heads North
a celebrated horror writer realizes the demonic figure in the painting he's
just acquired is changing to show that it's onto the same stretch of road
The Fifth Quarter
an ex-convict goes to dastardly means to find treasure that puts his
family's life at risk
Autopsy Room Four
a man is about to witness his own autopsy and yet he's speechless to stop it
You Know They Got a Hell of a Band
a husband and wife on a spontaneous road trip stops over in a town inhabited
by late music legends.
WORTH IT? Despite
the uneven tone of the collection of stories, some gems are still to be
found. (At least they’re less predictable and more ambitious than
Tales of the Crypt, for instance.)
However, one cannot escape the nagging suspicion that these stories probably
work better in their original literary format and that the media’s
unrelenting campaign to film every single word ever written by the prolific
Stephen King is misguided at best.
recommended purchase for dedicated Stephen King groupies. More casual fans
would probably want to only consider a rental.