HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Base
Tampopo
My Life as a Courgette
Cold-Blooded Beast
Lake Mungo
One-Eyed Jacks
20th Century Women
Monster Trucks
Lookout, The
Black Belt
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Their Finest
Stella Cadente
Water Drops on Burning Rocks
Replace
Belladonna of Sadness
Aquarius
Erik the Conqueror
Baghead
Guns at Batasi
Gang Story, A
Magnificent Ambersons, The
Climber, The
It's a Big Country
Raw
Last Man Standing
Transfiguration, The
Alien Nation
Kajaki
Certain Fury
   
 
Newest Articles
The Empress, the Mermaid and the Princess Bride: Three 80s Fantasy Movies
Witching Hour: Hammer House of Horror on Blu-ray
Two Sides of Sellers: The Party vs The Optimists
Norse Code: The Vikings vs The Long Ships
Over the Moon - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 2
Alpha Males and Females - Space: 1999 The Complete Series on Blu-ray Part 1
Animated Anxieties: From the Era of the Creepiest Cartoons
Manor On Movies--Clegg (1970)
Plans for Nigel: The Crunch... and Other Stories on DVD
Let's Get Harry: Repo Man and Paris, Texas
   
 
  Graveyard Shift Rats In The WallsBuy this film here.
Year: 1990
Director: Ralph S. Singleton
Stars: David Andrews, Kelly Wolf, Stephen Macht, Andrew Divoff, Vic Polizos, Brad Dourif, Robert Alan Beuth, Ilona Margolis, Jimmy Woodard, Jonathan Emerson, Minor Rootes, Kelly L. Goodman, Susan Lowden, Joe Perham, Dana Packard, Skip Wheeler, Richard France
Genre: Horror
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: At the Bachman cotton mill the employees are under the thumb of the taskmaster of a boss, Mr Warwick (Stephen Macht), who cares little for the poor conditions they toil under as long as he makes a profit. In the lower level there is machinery which only needs one operator, so they sit there alone while the temperature rises and the rats scurry around, only today there seem to be more than usual. The worker accidentally cuts his hand and dabs the wound clean with a cotton pad which he discards, then is disgusted to see a rat pick it up and feast on it, which prompts him to grab it by the tail and lower it into the teeth of the machine as an example to the others. But there's something bigger than that down there...

Graveyard Shift started life as a Stephen King short story from the nineteen-seventies, a briefer American cousin to its contemporary, the James Herbert novel The Rats which had been filmed in Canada to very little effect in the eighties. King's deal with his short stories was he would sell the rights for one dollar, because let's face it he didn't need the money, and also it offered the chance for filmmakers starting out in the industry a chance to make something with a higher profile than they might otherwise have done, though the bigger studios got in on the act too, hence many works where his text was stretched out to feature length, way past the point where the snappier source was effective.

Such was the case here, as a tale of rat exterminators in a factory getting more than they bargained for, sort of a companion piece to The Mangler (also filmed in the nineties), was padded out with various character bits when most audiences would want them to get to the monster attacks sooner rather than later. There was a good half of the movie over before the excursion into the basement actually began, whereas the King story had wasted little time, and you did feel the extraneous material was contributing to the listless feeling, although there were minor compensations, Stephen Macht's bizarre attempt at a thick Maine accent being one of them, King's plots often taking place in his home state though few actors would give the local intonation a try.

So you could enjoy Macht's enthusiastic voice talents, or you could opt for a no less over the top Brad Dourif as the head exterminator who sets about the job of massacring the small furry creatures with ill-disguised glee; naturally we can tell he will meet a sticky end for the crime of exaggerated hubris, though it might not be the one you expect and relies on him behaving foolishly to get him into the position where he meets his demise. They could have made a lot more of Dourif's eye-rolling, lip-smacking performance, but evidently they only secured his services for a short time, so he was relegated to a glorified supporting part. Our actual leading man was David Andrews as John Hall, a drifter who has wound up at the mill seeking a wage.

An outsider, he gets short shrift from his co-workers, although token nice girl Jane (Kelly Wolf) is friendly, earmarking them for the onerous task of cleaning out the basement along with a selection of other not too well known but perfectly capable character actors. Finally, we are down among the rats when they discover the whole building has been built on (or near) an old graveyard, and has more levels than the Oak Island Money Pit, leading to a huge cavern piled high with bones and running with vermin. In Aliens fashion (taken from the story, to be fair) there is a huge version of the rats hanging around below - literally, as it's really more of a giant bat for some reason. We don't see it fly, but it chomps a few of the cast as its comrades mop up the leftovers, and is one of those big, rubber, grotty creatures you would get before CGI arrived on the scene and spoiled it all. With a faith in the working man and a mistrust of the bosses (Warwick even turns inexplicably homicidal at one stage) mixed with clunky corporate product placement, that's about all the depth you get in a very basic monster flick.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 585 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Who's the best?
Robin Askwith
Mark Wahlberg
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Ian Phillips
Jensen Breck
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Stately Wayne Manor
Paul Shrimpton
  Vikki Sanderson
   

 

Last Updated: