Graveyard Shift (1990)

Posted: January 25, 2014 in Movie Review
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Graveyard Shift

Directed By: Ralph Singleton

Starring: David Andrews, Kelly Wolf, Stephen Macht, Brad Dourif, Andrew Divoff,

Synopsis: A mismatched group is tasked with cleaning out an old textile mill with a serious rat infestation.

Thoughts: Spider, snakes, killer fish, alligators; none of these things really bother me when featured in horror movies, but man do I ever hate rats.  They’re dirty and disease infested and just make my skin crawl.  Graveyard Shift has many, many shots of seemingly endless amounts of rats, so it really gave me the creeps.  It’s really a great setting, always feeling claustrophobic and making you wonder what is around the next corner.

The cast is really a motley crew with a couple of familiar faces.  David Andrews, who has been in countless TV shows and movies of all genres, plays the protagonist here, a drifter that has come into town looking for work.  I thought he did a great job and really presented a commanding presence.  Throw in the fact that Brad Dourif and Andrew Divoff have small parts and I was suitably impressed with the cast.

Director Ralph Singleton has more Producing credits than anything else, but quite honestly, he hasn’t done that much.  The only other thing he has directed are some Cagney & Lacey episodes from the 80s.   He didn’t do a lot to impress me here nad ultimately is responsible for the downfall of the movie (at least in my opinion).

Now this is a bit of a spoiler, so if you haven’t seen this yet, you may want to skip this paragraph.  For much of the movie, Graveyard Shift is pretty good.  The tension is mounting and it’s taking place in a very spooky location.  We then get to see this mutant rat hybrid from hell that looks like a group of 8th grader put together for their haunted house.  This thing could have been scarier than hell, but ended up looking really phony.  This killed the movie for me.  As I sit here recalling the movie, all I can think about is this thing, and not in a favorable way.

It’s not secret that a lot of Stephen King adaptations end up being far shittier than the books.  It’s tough to place Graveyard Shift, because it is only based loosely on one of his stories.  It really has the makings of being a good movie, but I can’t get over the monster, and for that reason, this movie failed in my eyes.

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