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The F*cking Black Sheep: Stephen King's Graveyard Shift (Video)

09.13.2017by: Cody Hamman

Directed by Ralph S. Singleton from a screenplay by John Esposito, the 1990 adaptation of Stephen King's short story GRAVEYARD SHIFT has a bad reputation, and I'll be honest - there were many years when I would have said that its reputation was justified. Although I gave the movie several viewings through the '90s, because it came on cable from time to time and I'm addicted to horror, I didn't like GRAVEYARD SHIFT at all when it first came out. 

The set-up inspired by King's story is fine: 

Gates Falls, Maine. When an abandoned textile mill is reopened, several employees meet mysterious deaths. The link between the killings: all occurred between the hours of 11pm and 7am - the Graveyard Shift. The sadistic mill foreman (Stephen Macht) has chosen a group to clean up the mill's rat-infested basement. But what the workers find is a subterranean maze of tunnels leading to the cemetery - and an unimaginable horror that comes alive in the dead of night...

Problem was, I didn't like the execution. The way Singleton and Esposito told the story didn't work for me, I didn't like the characters, and I found the cast unappealing (with exceptions like Brad Dourif and Andrew Divoff). Macht, with the weird accent he puts on, was especially off-putting to me. For twenty years, I considered GRAVEYARD SHIFT to be a bad movie.

It was something here on Arrow in the Head, long before I started writing for the site, that turned me around. A podcast commentary for the film recorded by Ammon Gilbert and Eric Walkuski that was posted back in October of 2011. Listening to that commentary while watching the movie, I began to see its charms. I started enjoying Macht's performance. By the end, I was now seeing GRAVEYARD SHIFT as a very entertaining monster movie.

Lance Vlcek is also a fan of GRAVEYARD SHIFT, and with King's IT currently doing huge business at the box office, it seems like the perfect time for Lance to come to the defense of this maligned King adaptation with his latest video in the The F*ckin Black Sheep series. If you look down on GRAVEYARD SHIFT like I used to (or if you're a fan who would like to hear the movie receive some much-needed praise), check out the video below. It was something on Arrow in the Head that changed my negative view of this movie, and maybe this video will do the same for you.

Extra Tidbit: What do you think of GRAVEYARD SHIFT?

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