Thursday, January 5, 2012
Graveyard Shift (1990)
I'm a bit addled as to how it's possible to send a Stephen King short story into disarray. A full length novel yes, but a short story that's essential plot moment is the cleanup crew in a basement? In truth I'm not even sure what occurred for a good half of this film, as nothing was developed. Instead a shallow plot carries equally shallow characters into a well lit (I'll address that later) basement where a monstrous creature is eating the workers. Having read the short story part of the terror was the concept that the untouched areas of darkness could mutate horrors beyond conception, hence the legless rat at the end of King's story that brought more terror in its inability to move than this flying bat creature of proportions. The script was almost painful at times by how obvious it was that King didn't write it, the dialect being flaky and the skin deep story. The missing workers addition seemed so slasher in context that when contrasted against the monster sub genre it falls in the it didn't really work bracket. The small love story added to appeal to more audiences was needless and it went nowhere. I'm not sure I'll understand the obsession of making two characters of the opposite sex always being attracted to each other in films. Maybe why I seek out horror and not romance.
At the end Graveyard Shift is just an inept film, with direction and writing being it's main faults. Hardly anything redoubtable, unless you have a fear of rats. This is not my favorite King story, by no means, and further adaptations have been much worse for him but turning the short story that didn't have much too it into a full length film seems inane. And again if your just going to change everything than why bother. Also I must point out the tagline inaccuracy which reads "Stephen King took you to the edge with The Shining and Pet Sematary. This time......he pushes you over", almost sad how untrue the statement is. If this is to attest for anything it's to not believe taglines. Graveyard Shift is not an entirely wasted watch, it does hold some interest in the rats and I love Brad Dourif with all my horror movie loving heart so it's always good to watch him be creepy. Likely a two out of five star film there's no need to watch the forgotten early 90's film unless you've had your eye on it.