Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Radiator Heaven: Nightmares: "The Benediction"

J.D., the stellar talent behind the must-read film appreciation blog, Radiator Heaven, starts off our afternoon today, Day 3 of the Lance Henriksen Blogathon.

In particular, J.D. remembers a segment of the 1983 horror film anthology, Nightmares, which also starred Emilio Estevez.  I'm a big fan of this underrated anthology, which originated as episodes of the late-lamented TV series, Darkroom, hosted by James Coburn. 

Henriksen stars as a doubting thomas priest in "The Benediction," and -- in short order -- has a terrifying run-in with a REAL monster truck...from Hell.

For a B-horror film, there are some pretty weighty issues explored in Nightmares and Henriksen is more than up to the task. While the cat and mouse chase with the truck is derivative of Duel (1971) and, to a lesser degree, The Car (1977), his solid performance almost makes us forget that. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s a showstopping moment where the evil truck comes bursting literally out from under the ground! Was the truck real or merely a manifestation of MacLeod’s fears and lack of faith? Regardless of whatever actually happened, he learns an important lesson. This could have so easily been a very silly segment but Henriksen’s acting grounds things and we find ourselves invested in his plight. This is quite impressive considering he isn’t given much screen time in which to do this but it is true mark of his abilities that the veteran actor makes the most of it.

Thanks J.D., for adding this outstanding remembrance of a great Henriksen performance that some fans may have missed!


  1. So glad J.D. joined in on the festivities. Thanks.

  2. Le0pard13:

    J.D. is one of my favorite writers, and Radiator Heaven floors me every time I read it, so I'm thrilled to have him aboard as well.

    All my best,

  3. Aw shucks, guys! Believe me, it was my pleasure to contribute to this blogathon. Having hosted a couple myself I know how much work it is. My hats off to you and Joe for putting this altogether. What an awesome tribute to this great actor.