Media Update 10/4/18


Graveyard Shift (1990)

I remember reading this one when I was living in New Jersey, finding it on the shelf of used books the theater I worked at kept for sale or for people to read while they waited for the house to open. It was a dark tale (as you would expect) but it was interesting enough. I kind of forgot about it until I watched this adaptation. The movie expands on the short story a bit, adding in more story and background and kind of fleshing everything out. A lot of the movie felt like Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds but with rats instead of birds. The tension of humans being around so many fearless rats (an animal that usually skitters away in fear) was unnerving. Later, it takes on a more Lovecraftian feel. It also features a lot of people working on older industrial equipment which looks incredibly dangerous. While it is a fairly simple movie, I feel like they made it more memorable than the original story. Part of that is the corrupt factory owner played by Stephen Macht who brought a kind of simmering insanity to the role. Also, my boy Brad Dourif plays an unnamed exterminator who has some great monologues delivered as only Dourif could manage. The effects were great and just cheesy enough for this grim little tale. I recommend it as I think it deserves a much higher score than it got on Rotten Tomatoes.


1922 (2017)

This was adapted from a novella that I did not read nor did I even know it existed. Frankly, there are so many Stephen King books, collections, and novellas that it is hard to keep track much less keep up. It is a shame that King already had a book named Misery because that was such a key theme in this movie. The idea is that one wrong act can curse your life and lead to so many other immoral decisions. Doing something unspeakable can cloud your mind and, for lack of a better term, darken your soul. Everything you do comes back to that one act and it follows you around until you die especially if you keep it secret. This was so excellently paced as it relied on psychology instead of outright scares. Once again rats were used but in a more subtle but also more supernatural way. Thomas Jane plays the lead and also the villain of the movie and he is so good at it. He became this dark character who has reasons and justifications for everything he does but irony keeps biting him. The supporting cast is so good as well. Dylan Schmid was spot on as Jane’s nervous son who begins to have doubts about what they did. The production team painted such an ugly but captivating world around the characters and it helped draw me into the story. This was foreboding and creepy but it was also a sad movie. I definitely recommend this one as well.


Sometimes They Come Back (1991)

This is the goofiest of the movies on this list but it was fun all the same. This is adapted from another short story from Night Shift (the same as Graveyard Shift). This one is about a teacher who experienced a traumatic event that led to the death of four people including his brother when he was little. The fun part of the movie for me is that it was easy to wonder if actual supernatural stuff was happening for a little bit because of the psychological trauma. The movie starred Tim Matheson as the likable but rattled teacher. He played the PTSD-like symptoms well and it played well with nobody believing him. The villains, played by Matt Nolan, Robert Rusler, and Bentley Mitchum are creepy but kind of funny in a campy sort of way. One of my favorite parts is how they interact with their old buddy played by William Sanderson and how it shows how people grow up. This movie felt like it was approaching the same kind of idea that 1922 did but in a less dramatic way. It felt like more of a popcorn horror movie or a television movie. Still, I would recommend it for the weird story alone and the sinking feeling I got while watching it.

Next Week’s Halloween Spooktacular Schedule:

October 8 – Terrifier (2017)

October 10 – Deadly Friend (1986)

October 11 – Media Update – More Killer Clowns
Bedeviled Killjoy 2 The Funhouse

October 12 – The Void (2016)

October 13 – Aftershocks: Playthings Pt. 2

Halloween Music of the Week:
Ministry – Everyday Is Halloween

The Hellfreaks – Boogie Man

Black Moth – Blackbirds Fall

Teen Witch – Top That

Digital Daggers – The Devil Within

 

Weekly Update:
– This week’s theme is “Stephen King” or “Rats and the Undead”
– I watched more Once Upon a Time Season 7
– I finished Bojack Horseman Season 5
– I watched more Blacklist Season 5
– I watched more Iron First Season 2
– I watched more American Vandal Season 1
– I watched more The Good Place Season 2

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