31 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Long overdue release of terrifying classic!, 30 Mar. 2005
First let me say that I'm reviewing this serial based on the terrified recollections of a 10 year old in 1981 - if my memory has failed me and this DVD turns out to be rubbish I apologise (but I doubt it will!).
THE NIGHTMARE MAN is the last time I recall something on television actually scaring me - By that I mean REALLY, heart-quickening palpatation scary. The plot is simple - Something is brutally murdering the populace of a remote Scottish island that has become cut off from the mainland by fog. Clues arise that point to the 'beast' being of extraterrestrial origin, but it soon emerges that far more is going on that meets the eye. To say more would spoil the surprise - It certainly surprised me originally, but with hindsight I suspect I would have guessed the outcome had I viewed the serial as an adult. Still, the quality performances and atmospheric locations still make this an essential genre piece to own on DVD.
Particularly lodged in my memory are the spooky cliffhangers - Episode 1 ends with the creature bursting into a camper's tent as a camera automatically photographs the murder, and episode 2 sees the staff at an under-seige coast guard station locking all the doors and windows only to discover that they've trapped the creature in with them. The opening title music made my skin crawl and the fleeting glimpses of the monster, whether seen in shadow or captured on still photograph and audio tape (evil, gutteral laughter as it murders the camper) all conspire to make this a definitive horror story to watch on a dark night.
No way would this sort of thing be made today so lap up this DVD and enjoy - I only ever watched it on a black and white portable television so I'm hoping the all-colour presentation doesn't dull the experience. I've been angry with the BBC ever since THE NIGHTMARE MAN was screened, as "Points of View" (then presented by Barry Took) featured nothing but praise for the series from viewers and promised a repeat screening - That repeat never happened, so this release is LONG overdue!