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26 Jun 2019

Home Video Review: Other Than Giving Mickey Rourke a Job, Horror Anthology 'Nightmare Cinema' Accomplishes Nothing

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Mickey Rourke and Maurice Benard in Nightmare Cinema. Mickey Rourke and Maurice Benard in Nightmare Cinema.

I’m a big fan of anthology horror movies and TV shows. Creepshow stands as one of my all-time-favorite horror movies, so when I see another anthology horror film getting good buzz, I get excited.

Word had it that Nightmare Cinema was a blast … but alas, it totally blows.

Mickey Rourke plays the Projectionist, a purposeless dude screening horror films in an old, mystical theater. The premise for the short films in this movie has something to do with the main characters walking into the theater, sitting down and seeing their story. Each one of those stories—including a demon-possession tale, a crazy-mother story, a cabin-in-the-woods scenario and a kid who sees dead people—is lame, lame, lame.

There isn’t an original moment to be had. It should just be called Mickey Rourke Actually Gets a Job, because that’s the only shocking thing about it. Standard gore effects, terrible writing and lousy direction abound. Even Joe Dante, the man who made Gremlins, accomplishes next to nothing with his stupid short about an evil plastic surgeon.

Nightmare Cinema seems like a bunch of studios took a group of throwaway horror scripts, repurposed them as an anthology, and tried to pass them off as having some sort of binding theme. There’s no point in any of these shorts being in the same realm, and the whole Projectionist gimmick doesn’t work. Nightmare Cinema is a disjointed, sloppy mess.

Nightmare Cinema is available via online sources including iTunes and Amazon.com.

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