Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
Ralph S. Singleton
John Hall.Jane Wisconsky
What's it about
A new gentlemen moves to town and find himself working the Graveyard shift at a textile factory amongst a small group of chracters. Unbeknownst to them, a giant evil rat lives beneath the Bachman (LOL) textile factory, and people start dying. Interested yet?
Is it good movie?
It's hard to believe that so many of Stephen King's flicks have been so badly. They've got this mystique, almost a curse which hampers each one, and most of them deserve it. Yes, we have had some 'okay' ones like Cujo, The Shining and Pet Sematary, but King himself either hates them, or they're simply better than garbage like Thinner, or Needful Things, or Silver Bullet.
Unfortunately, Graveyard Shift really doesn't fare much better. Now, this isn't to say it's a horrible film, because it isn't; but rather, one that just didn't need to exist. Consider that the original tale penned by King himself is only 16 pages long, and that's in pretty big print. Why does that need to be stretched out to an hour and a half feature film?
The isn't anything all that original or groundbreaking in this movie. The acting is lame, hammy and overdone (but then again, this is the 80's, although I give mad props to Brad Dourif, who's pretty much awesome in everything he does), and there is a love story between John (David Andrews) and Jane (Kelly Wisconsky) which is tacked on and par for the course. And of course, we get our big rubber creature, which i'll take over CGI any day, and lots of rats for good measure.
I enjoyed Graveyard Shift for what it was, but my problem with it wasn't what it did, but rather what it didn't do. There was so much potential given the atmosphere and situation that the movie presented, and you're waiting to be on the edge of your seat, but no one takes advantage of it. Scares are few and far in between, and the movie is somewhat gory, but it's ultimately disappointing, considering the groundwork the setting laid out for them.
Video / Audio
The film comes to us in a proper 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen picture, and looks great for its age.
Audio is also presented in a gorgeous 5.1 Dolby mix that allows you to hear all of the spookiness in great detail.
I wish Stephen King wouldn't have sold so many freakin' movie rights as quickly as he did. No wonder he was so disappointed with what the end result often was. Graveyard Shift has potential, and really isn't completely awful, but ends up being very run-of-the-mill and slightly below average, which is another unfortunate negative check in the running tally of King films.