I just checked out a crazy fun episode of the 2006 Stephen King series ‘Nightmares and Dreamscapes”.The very first episode “Battleground” is a blast, LITERALLY! It seems this series went under the radar of most horror fans, probably because the rest of the episodes are pretty mediocre adaptations of some of Stephen King’s short stories of the same name.
Battleground starring William Hurt though is quite the exception to say the least. Directed by Brian Henson (son of Jim Henson) it of course features some pretty SPECIAL fx work. The premise of the story makes perfect sense to for Henson to be at the helm here and this almost demented “Small Soldiers” style story is a sweet little bloody brawl that’s enthralling to watch unfold.
William Hurt (R.I.P. who doesn’t speak a word in the entire episode) plays a cunning hitman who’s hired to take out the brainy CEO of a prominent toy corporation. It seems like a slam, dunk easy job and he heads home to his lavish high rise apartment after doing the dirty little deed. However it doesn’t take long for strange things to begin happening when he receives a mysterious package delivered to him.
Come to find out it’s filled with a shit load of toy soldiers as well as toy army tanks, planes, helicopters and jeeps. He doesn’t think much of it until he is viciously attacked as the toys aggressively come to life with one goal: to destroy this giant assassin!
What transpires is a pretty intense and bloody battle between a full grown assassin and a vicious toy battalion in Hurt’s fancy highrise and it’s one helluva spectacle. It even harkens back to such classics as the Trilogy of Terror’s Zuni fetish warrior doll and the classic King horror anthology, Cat’s Eye!
Brian Henson also does sn excellent job here directing, creating truly tense thrills and some really inventive special effects using very minimal CGI and mostly real human beings to create some truly stunning action sequences with the toys. There’s a great little special effects featurette on the DVD that shows how he brought this gruesome little minature war to life.
Hurt also does a really great job as the silent assassin, who relies on all of his expertise to try and survive the encounter. You really get a sense that he has finally met his match, wasting no time trying to figure out why or how this is happening and just simply focuses on how to exterminate the enemy. I highly recommend checking this wildly unique little episode down as it certainly packs a wallop! Thankfully someone has posted it right on YouTube:
So if you’re like me you’re most likely quite sad that the Halloween season has finally ended. Now we head quickly towards Thanksgiving and very rarely do we see much in the way of kick ass Thanksgiving themed viewing that us huge Halloween horror fans can get behind! Don’t fret though because I’m on the case to solve this crisis! In this first installment I’ve got three recommendations that will make your Thanksgiving nice and weird and slightly creepy as well. Check these out to switch things up this year…
Amazing Stories (1986) ‘Thanksgiving’:
This is hands down one of my favorite shows from the 1980s. Steven Spielberg brought the star power and the budget to craft some of the coolest TV episodes of all time. This episode, takes place right around Thanksgiving, hence the title and features David Carradine and Kyra Sedgwick in a strange little tale that takes place in the barren, lonely desert. It involves a bizarre hole in the ground where it appears, far below, lives a strange race of beings who they accidentally begin communicating with. Carrdine though let’s his greedy tendencies get the best of him when he realizes these beings offer treasure for random items they lower below the surface on a rope to them. An intriguing and creepy episode that is a true delight to watch around the Thanksgiving season!
Tales From the Darkside (1986) ‘The Last Car’:
‘Tales from the Darkside’ is probably the best horror themed TV show of all time in my opinion. Luckily they produced an episode in Season 2 called ‘The Last Car’ that features a young woman on her way home from college to meet family for Thanksgiving late one night. One of the standout episodes of the second season this one oozes with dread as she rides rides a the last creepy train car into the night and meets all sorts of bizarre characters along the way. The true question though is will she make it back for that sumptuous turkey dinner? Slip this creepy atmospheric horror tale into rotation this year for the whole family!
The Incredible Hulk (1979) ‘Homecoming’:
Why not brighten things up a bit with an awesome episode of ‘The Incredible Hulk’ series from the late seventies? I just can’t get enough of the big green guy and had to add this this one to the festivities. Lou Ferrigno remains my favorite on screen Hulk and Bill Bixby my favorite Banner, who’d have thought huh? This episode we see Banner head back home for Thanksgiving to a small town where he ends up on a mission to save his family farm. Of course we know that there’s someone who’s gonna be fuckin’ with Banner. We’ll of course get to see the Green Goliath once again kick some ass on the holiday, you just can’t go wrong mixing The Incredible Hulk with Thanksgiving!!
Here’s a totally excellent comic book cover way back from 1986 done by the always awesome Brian Bolland, who in my opinion is easily one of the best cover artist of all time. This one’s a great portrayal of the legendary Elvira in House of Mystery #1!
With the Halloween season coming in mere days this one’s worth a second look and re-read. Cassandra Peterson still wows fans to this day with her iconic persona, she still looks as great as she ever did, perhaps she really is UNDEAD?!!