Ben's Nightmarish Dreams

Bruce Von Stiers

There have been several films whose main character dreams of a murder, only to find out it actually happened. But what happens when the main character is a cop, one who is a homicide detective?

That is the premise of a new film titled Nightshade. Filmed in and around the Los Angeles area, the film stars Lou Ferrigno, Jr. as Detective Ben Hays. A murder has occurred and Ben is sure he's seen it happen in a dream.

Ben, along with his partner, Beckett, begin to investigate the murder. But why does the victim, and the murder scene, seem so familiar to Ben? Was it the dream, or something else entirely?

Ben is also having a lot of trouble sleeping. And when he does sleep, Ben has dreams of a bizarre and sometimes sinister nature. He is seeing a psychiatrist, Dr. Amy Collins, who is using hypnosis to try to help Ben determine why the dreams are occurring. And on top of everything else, Ben seems to be sleepwalking.

As the bodies begin to pile up, Ben and Beckett are under the gun from their captain to solve the cases. Is there a serial killer loose or are the murders just an unhappy coincidence? On top of everything else, weird things are happening at Ben's home. Also, Ben and his wife Lucy are dealing with the loss of an unborn baby. When he visits an occult store looking for answers, the store's owner, Dawn, senses something dark and foreboding lurking around Ben's spirit.

But where does all of this lead? There are several supernatural seeming elements that move their way through the film. The first of these is the opening scene of the film where a little girl witnesses her father digging a hole to bury the mother. And that a pentagram is drawn out on the ground next to the hole. Then later there are things that occur during a visit to the occult store and a fellow cop may or may not be stalking Ben.

The film has some fairly notable actors. As I mentioned earlier, Lou Ferrigno, Jr. plays Ben. From The Young and The Restless to NCIS to Bones, Lou has been very busy in his acting career. He has a recurring role on S.W.A.T.

B.J. Britt plays Detective Beckett. From Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D to Being Mary Jane to For The Love of Jason, B.J. has quite the resume of television appearances. He has also been in several feature films. Ben and Beckett's captain is played by Tim Russ. Even though he's been in a bunch of films and television series, I most remember Tim as Tuvok on the show Star Trek: Voyager.

Dina Meyer plays Dr. Amy Collins. Dina has had such roles as Barbara Gordon in the television series Birds of Prey opposite Shemar Moore, guest starring in multiple series and appearing in a couple of Saw films. Jaime Gallagher is Dawn, the occult store owner. Jaime has been seen on screen on The Newsroom, The Daily Show and in films such as Oceans Eleven and the horror film Candy Corn.

Kenzie Dalton is Ben's wife Lucy. Kenzie was featured in an episode of NCIS and co-starred in the show Driven.

There are several other actors you might recognize in minor roles in the film. Among those actors are Jason Patric, James Duval, Madison Russ and Nick Sarando. There is also Emily Dane, Chris Levine, Casey Krehbiel, Thyme Lewis and Eryn Rea.

Landon Williams directed the film. His credits include working on a Slayer music video, producing a handful of films and providing visual effects for several episodes of a television series. He also has screenwriting credits, including this film, which he co-wrote with his wife, Sarah Smith-Williams. As for Sarah, she recently completed the film, All But Fools, which she wrote, produced and co-starred in.

Chris Faulisi is the cinematographer for the film. His previous credits include Anabolic Life and Spinning Dry.

Through Line Films is one of the production companies involved in the film. There was also Positive Mind Productions and Audacious Dreamer Productions along with Blue Bow Tie Productions. SP Releasing is doing the distribution of the film.

I wasn't too sure what to expect from the film. Labeled as a mystery / thriller I assumed there would elements of both. I didn't expect the supernatural aspect of the film. But as the film progressed, I found myself wondering if there were truly supernatural forces at play or was there someone just making it appear that way. As a huge fan of mysteries, both in literature and film, I kept trying to second guess the true nature of what was happening in this film. I had some of it figured out, but I was way off on a lot of it.

Nightshade was a pretty good mystery / thriller. It will keep you guessing throughout the film. The acting was well done as was the cinematography.

Nightshade is available on VOD at Amazon Prime and Vudu.

I don't know if there's an official web site for Nightshade, but it does have a Facebook page. That can be found at

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© 2022 Bruce E Von Stiers