ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Sleepwalkers (1992)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Mick Garris

Starring:
Brian Krause/Charles
Madchen Amick/Tanka
Alice Krige/Mary
5 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Charles and Mary (Krause and Krige) are your typical incestuous, shapeshifting, lifesucking creatures, masquerading as humans. They’ve set their sights on the lovely Tanya (Amick), she’s their next virginal lunch. Lucky for her, the inhuman duo are afraid of cats (cats can kill them) and there’s a whole lot of pussy prowling around.
THE LOWDOWN
Stephen King’s first (and last?) original screenplay, a story written for the screen. This is the way I see it. First King was sober, writing a strong, serious, original script, with a solid mythology, interesting villains and a well written heroine…then the Jack Daniel bottle caught his eye…just a couple of shots he said to himself…a couple of shots became the whole bottle. What happened? One of the villains (Krause) got a bunch of bad one liners attached to him, the murder sequences became high camp (guy gets his hand torn off, doesn’t yell or seem to feel pain and apologizes to the sleepwalker for upsetting him?!!!?), corn on the cob became a murder weapon and cop cars explode due to one bullet.

It’s too bad cause up to the first murder the movie really had me but once the bloody deed done, the film hops on the silly bandwagon till the end. The school principal is a cartoon mess, Ron Perlman hams it up as a no bull cop, every side character is as deep as a sheet of paper. Lucky for us the movie’s casting is dead on. Amick is a sweetheart, Krause is a charming mother (before he starts overacting) and Alice Krige is an amazing actress. Slap in some decent (farcical) gore, neato morphing effects, humor that’s actually funny courtesy of that singing black cop and you get a movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be but still retains a few reasons to be viewed. King quit the bottle!!!! I think I need some whiskey myself…
GORE
Death by corn (What???), hand broke off (bloody), fingers bit off, pencil stabbed in some cops ear (Cokebob…urg)…this movie is bloody but the violence is played for laughs…it doesn’t work but it’s still fun to watch to a certain extent. The sleepwalker creatures look amazing…
ACTING
Brian Krause (Charles) is a good looking dude with some talent, he does good until the one liners jump in. Whatever depth and character he established in the first 20 minutes is thrown out the window at the graveyard scene. Its not his fault, its the screenwriter’s fault who dropped characterization and replaced it with Freddyisms. Madchen Amick (Tanya) charmed the pants out of me with her sweet, vulnerable, innocent performance…she also looks great with tears in her eyes. Alice Krige is a solid actress and comes out of this a big winner. She gives an astounding performance with depth to boot and menacing charm. How she managed to do that considering the material totally eludes me.
T & A
Brian Krause without his shirt…naked cat like creatures fornicating…Where’s my Amick breast shot?????
DIRECTING
Garris directs this puppy with a heavy hand.. Lots of wild shots, occasional slow-motion and some mood. He also knows how to handle the incest theme…he did it before with Psycho 4…do I smell a pattern?
SOUNDTRACK
A witty use of "Sleepwalk" by Santo and Johnny. Enya’s "Boadicea" is responsible for half the mood of the film…effective.
BOTTOM LINE
Once the movie kicks in, its played for laughs. King should have kept a straight face and went with the somber mood he establishes in the first 20 minutes. I applaud Garris for filming most of the "scary" scenes in the daytime but… too bad they’re not scary!!! I’m torn when it comes to this flick. I like the actors, the story, the creature effects, the morphing effects and the gore but I have a hard time getting over the stinky one liners, stupid murders and the campy vibe. King next time stick to one genre and Kool-Aid.
BULL'S EYE
Check for cameos by: Mark Hamill, Stephen King and Directors: Joe Dante, John Landis and Clive Barker. Funny stuff.
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