Sleepwalkers – USA, 1992 – reviews

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Sleepwalkers aka Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers is a 1992 American supernatural horror feature film directed by Mick Garris (Nightmare Cinema; Bag of Bones; Psycho IV; Critters 2; et al) from an original screenplay by Stephen King. The Columbia Pictures production stars Brian Krause, Mädchen Amick and Alice Krige.

Plot:

Charles Brady and his mother Mary are Sleepwalkers — nomadic, shapeshifting energy vampires who feed off the lifeforce of virgin women. Though they normally maintain a human form, they can transform (partially or fully) into human-sized bipedal werecats (presumably their natural form) at will. They are considerably more resilient than humans and have powers of both telekinesis and illusion.

Their one weakness is cats, who are not only able to see through their illusions but whose claws are capable of inflicting severe to fatal wounds upon them. They also maintain an unnatural mother and son relationship…

 

On November 6, 2018, Scream Factory released Sleepwalkers as a Collector’s Edition Blu-ray:

Buy Blu-ray: Amazon.com

  • New Audio Commentary with director Mick Garris and actors Mädchen Amick and Brian Krause
  • New Feline Trouble – an Interview with director Mick Garris
  • New When Charles Met Tanya – a conversation with actors Mädchen Amick and Brian Krause
  • New Family Values – an Interview with actress Alice Krige
  • New Feline Trouble: The FX of “Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers – interviews with special make-up effects creator Tony Gardner and prosthetics designer Mike Smithson
  • Behind-The-Scenes Footage
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spots
  • Still Gallery
  • New cover artwork by Devon Whitehead

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“While it suffers from slow pacing and little character development, it’s further hindered by a weak script but I’ve always had a soft spot for it … it’s a film which tries its best to humanise its monsters and make us care for them, whether or not it’s successful in doing that depends on how much you like your horror combined with elements you find in a daytime soap…” Static Mass Emporium

‘The plot doesn’t make a lick of sense. Who’d a thought, a story involving a much-too-intimate mother and son, nomadic feline shape-shifters, a yard full of cats, and life-force sucking vampires (oh, the irony!) that look like giant hairless moles would turn out so terribly.” High-Def Digest

“If you don’t like a healthy dose of weird in your horror, then you’ll probably spend most of the time wondering what the hell you’re watching, and if you’re a cat lover, I would warn you that Sleepwalkers are not, and the movie proves that pretty explicitly. But, if you’re ready for a bit of an oddity, then I’d definitely say that you should give Sleepwalkers a visit (or a revisit).” Daily Dead

Sleepwalkers starts out in fine form, as a serious, grim, involving horror film about the last two survivors of a species doing what they must to survive, Krige is incredibly sensual as the half-crazed mother […] “devolves into a campy disaster…” John Kenneth Muir, Horror Films FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Slashers, Vampires, Zombies, Aliens, and More

“Its highlights rival the creme de la creme of the cinematic cheese-and-corn buffet. Someone is stabbed in the eye with a corkscrew. Someone is stabbed through the ear with a pencil. Someone is stabbed in the back with a boiled ear of corn. And the script. My god, the script. The script is so achingly bad, so wondrously inept, that it sent me into transports of unadulterated joy.” Black Cat Reviews

“The biggest problem with the movie is its script, written by King himself, which leaves a lot of questions unanswered and eventually becomes more amusing than anything else. One of the biggest mistakes made by the script is that it just glosses over the whole mythology of the Sleepwalker race, which is an area that is just begging to be explored.” Horror Digital

Buy: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca

“King’s script meanders through pointless chitchat scenes. Unless something is blowing up or bleeding right in front of director Mick Garris’ camera, he doesn’t know how to photograph it. At one point, he tosses in close-ups of knees.” Mike Mayo, The Horror Show Guide, Visible Ink Press, 2013

Cast and characters:

  • Brian Krause … Charles Brady
  • Alice Krige … Mary Brady
  • Mädchen Amick … Tanya Robertson
  • Lyman Ward … Donald Robertson
  • Cindy Pickett … Helen Robertson
  • Ron Perlman … Captain Soames
  • Jim Haynie … Sheriff Ira Stevens
  • Dan Martin … Deputy Andy Simpson
  • Lucy Boryer … Jeanette
  • Glenn Shadix … Mr Fallows
  • Sparks … Clovis
  • Stephen King … Cemetery Caretaker
  • John Landis … Lab Technician
  • Joe Dante … Lab Assistant
  • Clive Barker … Forensic Tech
  • Tobe Hooper … Forensic Tech
  • Frank Novak … Deputy Sheriff
  • Rusty Schwimmer … Housewife
  • O. Nicholas Brown … Officer Wilbur (as Nicholas Brown)
  • Richard Penn … State Policeman
  • Ernie Lively … Animal Control Officer
  • Bojesse Christopher … Crawford
  • Lucy Boryer … Jeanette
  • Judette Warren … Carrie
  • Stuart Charno … Police Photographer
  • Mark Hamill … Lt. Jenkins (uncredited)

Filming locations:

Los Angeles, California

Technical details:

  • 91 minutes
  • Technicolor
  • Aspect ratio: 1.85: 1
  • Audio: Dolby

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