Friday, November 30, 2018

Movie #487: Graveyard Shift

Graveyard Shift is a 1990 adaptation of the short story of the same name by Stephen King, and stars Stephen Macht, Brad Dourif, David Andrews, Kelly Wolf, and Jimmy Woodard. It's...not great.

Set at a textile mill in Maine (although the surrounding terrain doesn't look very Maine-like, and the accents are sometimes New England and sometimes Southern), the film sees a drifter named Hall (Andrews) taking work for the evil foreman Warwick (Macht), snuggling up to Jane, the one woman who works on the cleanup crew (Wolf), and then everyone getting eaten by giant rats.

It's pretty much a by-the-numbers monster movie. The characters are largely forgettable; the Exterminator (Dourif, representing the largest chunk of the budget, I'm sure) is the only one with any kind of backstory that gets explained. Hall is a widower, sure, and Jane has some history, but we never really learn any of it. The giant bat-rat that winds up killing everyone is ugly and slimy and kind of impressive as far as effects go (it's gotta be practical, too, which is good), but we never get a good look at it.

The short story this is based on has a nicely Lovecraftian feel to it; the characters (some of them) are the same, but there's a fun power play between Hall and Warwick that becomes a fistfight here, and winds up being about as subtle as, well, the rest of the movie. It's watchable, though, if you like bad creature features, which, fortunately, I do.

My Grade: D-
Rewatch value: Medium

Next up: Now & Then