Monday, July 20, 2009

Sleepwalkers (USA,1992)

(Trailer.) There are terrible movies, truly fucking terrible movies and, possibly worst of all, Stephan King movies.
Stephan King may be one of the world's best-selling authors, and he may have even written a scary paragraph or two, but his stories tend to make totally illogical, boring lousy films that fail to even raise a single goosebump. The few that have translated well onto the screen, like Carrie (1976) or The Shining (1980/trailer) or Cujo (1983/trailer) or Misery (1990) or Dolores Claiborne (1995/trailer), seem to do so almost despite their scriptural creator rather than because of him. In general, most films that have sported his name, be it Christine (1983) or Firestarter (1984) or the multitude of dull and overly long television movies and mini-series, are boring, unscary snooze-a-thons that function well as a Valium substitute but for little else.
One does feel a bit sorry for Sleepwalkers' two female leads, Alice Krige and Mädchen Amick (seen here in full glory in some unknown flick). Despite all the attention she got way back in 1981 from Ghost Story and the crappy Chariots of Fire, Krige's career is amazingly comparable to that of Brad Dourif: She does an occasional noteworthy highlight—like her sexy turn as the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact (1996)—but for the most part she is usually the best thing found in a B or Z film. And as for Mädchen Amick, like all the other breathtakingly beautiful babes David Lynch paraded across the television screen in Twin Peaks (1990-91), including the equally striking Sherilyn Fenn, Mädchen may be one hot tamale but she can neither act nor choose a good script.
What's more, she is both much too old and her make-up much too good to play a convincing high-school virgin. And in Sleepwalkers, seeing how the shape-shifting creatures fixate upon her, the beautiful babe must seemingly also be the only virgin left in the entire town. That itself is unbelievable, even if the town is supposedly located somewhere in Indiana. But then, that is the smallest flaw in a lame story full of holes.
Charles Brady (Brian Kraus) and his mom Mary Brady (Alice Krige) are Sleepwalkers, a race of shape-shifting creatures that live off the life energy of virgins and who can only be killed by cats (!). Possibly the last of their race, the most horrific thing they do is have incestuous sex all the time. When he isn't busy ripping the hands off homosexual English teachers, Charles favourite activity next to boning his Mommy seems to be to lead cops on long, drawn-out and unexciting car chases. Tanya Roberstson (Mädchen Amick), obviously the only girl in town still with an intact hymen, takes a liking to Brian, who quickly turns into a monster on her while on a picnic at the local cemetery. Luckily the local cop likes to cruise with his pet cat, so though he bites the dust, she survives. This, of course, leads to the logical action of Mommy Brady charging into the Robertson house, where she slaughters everyone and kidnaps Tanya. All the while, forever more and more cats begin to surround the Brady family home....
Nothing scary here, nor is anything at all logical. Why fixate on Tanya when there would be numberless preteens and children – i.e., virgins – available at every playground or school crossing? Why do the cats simply surround the Brady house for the entire film and only attack after Tanya has been kidnapped? Why are Sleepwalkers and cats enemies in the first place, and why are cats the only creature that can kill them? Why did the filmmakers give the Sleepwalkers such obviously fake and laughable latex suits to run around in? Why did this film even get made? Why does the director still have a career? Why the fuck did I ever watch this piece of crap?
Director Mick Garris has since made a career out of making bad Stephan King television mini-series, including The Stand (1994) and The Shining (1997), which is a good reason to shoot him. Until that happens, however, one is advised to avoid this embarrassing piece of shit. Oddly enough, such names as Joe Dante, John Landis, Clive Barker, Mark Hamill and Tobe Hooper all had enough faith in this turkey to grace it with cameo appearances—a fact that cause one to seriously begin to doubt their tastes. Hooper and Hamill can probably lay the blame on drugs and alcohol, but Barker and Dante cannot. (Landis, of course, doesn't have to excuse himself at all, having long proven in his own films that he has no taste at all.)

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