Nightmares & Dreamscapes Ep. 03:
Umney's Last Case
Clyde Umney (William H. Macy) is a private detective circa 1938. His job is full of danger and chaos, so he relies on the little things to get him by. He finds small comforts in the repetitions of his private life: the rain never stops falling; the neighbor's dog never stops barking; his favorite diner never closes; and the paperboy on the corner, the secretary in his office, and the operator on the elevator are always there.
Then one day Umney wakes up. The sun is shining; the dog is silent; the diner is closed; and all of his acquaintances are either gone or leaving. His whole world is changing, and he doesn't like it one bit.
A man appears in his office, sharing his face and carrying a wacky typewriter from the future. He claims to be Sam Landry--Umney's alter-ego from the future, his creator, who has come to take over Umney's life.
I've always enjoyed stories that blur the line between reality and fiction, and this is no exception. Umney's hardboiled tough guy shtick is a dead on representation of a romanticized time period with very little basis in fact, but that doesn't prevent him from being one cool mother. It seems slightly padded at times to fill the one-hour running time, and gets a little too slapsticky when Umney is being controlled by Landry, in my opinion. And while it's not the horror that Stephen King is known for, this fantasy tale is still a pretty fun sixty minutes.
"Stay out of the rain, kid."