IMDb > Watchers (1988)
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Watchers (1988) More at IMDbPro »

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Writers (WGA):
Dean R. Koontz (based on the novel by)
Bill Freed (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for Watchers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 December 1988 (USA) See more »
Secret experiment, Unstoppable monster, Deadly mistake... See more »
Based on a novel by Dean Koontz. A boy takes in a stray dog, later finding out that its an ultra-intelligent runaway from a genetic research lab... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
We get that it's not exactly like the book; it's not supposed to be See more (57 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Michael Ironside ... Lem
Christopher Cary ... TV Newscaster (as Christopher Carey)
Graeme Campbell ... Man On Boat
Dan O'Dowd ... First TV Reporter

Lala Sloatman ... Tracey (as Lala)

Corey Haim ... Travis
Dale Wilson ... Bill Keeshan

Blu Mankuma ... Cliff
Colleen Winton ... Deputy Porter

Duncan Fraser ... Sheriff Gaines

Barbara Williams ... Nora
Lou Bollo ... Man By Stream

Jason Priestley ... Boy On Bike
Matt Hill ... Boy on Bike
Andrew Markey ... Boy On Bike
Norman Browning ... Hockney
Ghislaine Crawford ... Girl At School
Justine Crawford ... Girl At School

Tong Lung ... Teacher
Keith Wardlow ... Maintenance Man

Don S. Davis ... Veterinarian
Freda Perry ... Second TV Reporter
William Samples ... Motel Clerk
Suzanne Ristic ... Motel Clerk Wife
Frank C. Turner ... Salesclerk
Phillip Wong ... Oxcom
Sandy The Dog ... Furface

Directed by
Jon Hess 
Writing credits
Dean R. Koontz (based on the novel by)

Bill Freed (screenplay) and
Damian Lee (screenplay)

Produced by
Roger Corman .... executive producer
Mary Eilts .... co-producer
Damian Lee .... producer
David Mitchell .... producer
Original Music by
Joel Goldsmith 
Cinematography by
Richard Leiterman (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Carolle Alain 
Rick Fields 
Bill Freda 
Casting by
Trish Robinson 
Production Design by
Richard Wilcox 
Art Direction by
Tom Duquette 
Set Decoration by
Marti Wright 
Costume Design by
Monique Prudhomme  (as Monique Stranan)
Makeup Department
Linda A. Brown .... makeup artist
Leslie Dumbleton .... makeup: second unit
Nikki King .... hair stylist: second unit
Dianne Pelletier .... makeup: second unit
Janet Sala .... hair stylist
Lisa Rocco .... special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Carl Borack .... production executive: Carolco
George A. Grieve .... production manager (as George Grieve)
Bob Misiorowski .... production executive: Carolco (as Robert Misiorowski)
Michael Werth .... post-production supervisor (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Brett Dowler .... first assistant director: second unit
Lee Knippelberg .... first assistant director
Damian Lee .... second unit director
Robert Lee .... third assistant director
Rachel Leiterman .... second assistant director
Curtis Petersen .... second unit director
Lisa Weinstein .... trainee assistant director
Sue Wisener .... trainee assistant director: second unit
Art Department
David Birdsall .... set buyer (as David Birdsail)
Lou Bollo .... carpenter
Gary Brooks .... key greensman
Glenna Ewing .... carpenter
Jurgen Gottschlag .... head painter
Arthur A. Green .... greensman (as Arthur Green)
Pat Hollywell .... greensman (as Thomas Holleywell)
Pierre Hubert .... carpenter helper
Bryan Korenberg .... props buyer
Jane Lailler .... lead painter (as Jane Lallier)
Bob Levesque .... assistant property master
Bob Levesque .... property master: second unit
Philip Lunt .... greensman: second unit (as Phillip Lunt)
Lin MacDonald .... set dresser
Rob Maier .... carpenter
Jeff Matheson .... property master: second unit
Peter McGregor .... carpenter
Myers Munshaw .... carpenter helper
Gary Myers .... graphic designer
Rob Nicholson .... construction foreman (as Bob Nicholson)
Al Rourke .... carpenter
Jenny Seinen .... stand-by painter
Mary-Lou Storey .... assistant set decorator (as Mary Lou Storey)
Rick Stranan .... construction coordinator
Chris Wright .... property master
Gary York .... carpenter
Sound Department
Anke Bakker .... sound effects editor
Marc Chiasson .... dialogue editor (as Mark Chiasson)
Stuart Copely .... dialogue editor (as Stuart Copley)
Camille Crawford .... adr editor (as Stephanie Crawford)
Jacqueline Cristianini .... sound supervisor: dialogue
Richard Crosthwait .... foley assistant
Bruno DeGazio .... sound effects editor (as Bruno Degazio)
Joe Dorn .... adr editor
Alastair Gray .... assistant sound effects editor
Frank H. Griffiths .... sound mixer (as Frank Griffiths)
Lock Johnston .... dialogue editor
Andy Malcolm .... foley artist
Josephine Massarella .... adr editor (as Josephine Masserella)
Denise McCormick .... sound effects designer: creature
Paul McGowan .... assistant dialogue editor (as Paul McCowan)
Greg McMaster .... assistant dialogue editor (as Gregory McMaster)
Tom McMurtry .... sound effects editor
Andy Nelson .... sound re-recording mixer
Marta Nielsen .... sound supervisor: effects
Annellie Rose Samuel .... assistant dialogue editor (as Annellie Samuel)
Jane Simelzer .... assistant dialogue editor (as Jane Shmelzer)
William Skinner .... boom operator (as Bill Skinner)
Peter Thillaye .... supervising dialogue editor
David Trevis .... assistant dialogue editor
Michael Werth .... supervising dialogue editor
Don White .... sound re-recording mixer
Leon B. Wood .... assistant sound effects editor (as Leon Woods)
Camilla Mauritzson Skjaerbaek .... sound re-recording mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Mike Arbios .... special props assistant (as Michael Arbios)
Ron Craig .... special effects: second unit
Rory Cutler .... special effects: second unit (as Rory Culter)
Dean Lockwood .... special effects coordinator
Mark Maitre .... special props assistant
David B. Miller .... special props supervisor (as David Miller)
Lisa Rocco .... special props assistant (as Lisa Ann Doering)
Scott Stofer .... special effects: second unit
Stan Zuwala .... special effects: second unit
Mike Elizalde .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Lindsay Bourne .... stunts
Andrew Chamberlayne .... stunts (as Andy Chamberlayne)
Alex Green .... stunts
David Jacox .... stunts
Ken Kirzinger .... stunts
Mark Langlois .... stunts
Michael Langlois .... stunts (as Mark Langlois)
Dean Lockwood .... stunts
Jacob Rupp .... stunts
Kymberly Sheppard .... stunts
Bill Stewart .... stunts
Scott Stofer .... stunts
Dawn Stofer-Rupp .... stunts
Betty Thomas Quee .... stunt coordinator (as Betty Thomas)
Danny Virtue .... stunts
Keith Wardlow .... stunts
Tong Lung .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
David Barritt .... lamp operator
Rob Bojeck .... grip
John Clothier .... Steadicam operator: second unit
Drew Davidson .... best boy (as A.W. Davidson)
Richard Eagan .... camera trainee: second unit
Gary Fahner .... grip: second unit
Derek Grieves .... key grip: second unit (as Derek Grieve)
Einar Hansen .... gaffer: second unit
Brad Harder .... grip: second unit
Phil Hersee .... stills photographer
Dale Hildebrand .... key grip: second unit
R.K. Hill .... key grip: matching
Janet Jackson .... key grip: second unit
Gaetan Jalbert .... lamp operator
Robin Jobin .... best boy grip
Gary Kennedy .... second assistant camera: second unit
Nick Kuchera .... key grip
Harvey LaRocque .... camera operator
Ron MacLeay .... key grip: matching
Barry Madden .... lamp operator
Robert McLachlan .... camera operator
Tim Moynihan .... second assistant camera
David Pelletier .... first assistant camera: second unit
Curtis Petersen .... additional photography
Curtis Petersen .... director of photography: second unit
Glenn Pineau .... second assistant camera: second unit
Ian Preston .... first assistant camera
Joel Ransom .... first assistant camera: second unit
Chuck Reid .... second assistant camera: second unit (as Charles Reid)
Dave Riopel .... grip
Wayne Robinson .... best boy: second unit
John W. Scott .... gaffer (as John Scott)
Steve Vincent .... generator operator
Tom A. Wallace .... dolly grip (as Tom Wallace)
William Waring .... first assistant camera (as William Warring)
Mark Willis .... lamp operator: second unit
Andrew D. Wilson .... first assistant camera (as Andy Wilson)
Chris Helcermanas-Benge .... still photographer (uncredited)
Curtis Petersen .... camera operator (uncredited)
Casting Department
Zahn Douglas .... extras casting
Anne Tait .... casting director: second unit
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Kate Healey .... wardrobe: second unit (as Kate Healy)
Christina McQuarrie .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Eduardo Castillo .... apprentice editor
Adam Druxman .... post-production assistant
Carole A. Kenneally .... first assistant editor (as Carole Kenneally)
Shannon Mitchell .... first assistant editor
Ricardo Olivero .... color timer
Charles Simpson .... second assistant editor
Music Department
Sean Boyd .... music engineer
Marita Ditmore .... music coordinator
Michael Dittrick .... music editor
Max Goldsmith .... assistant engineer
Transportation Department
David R. Anderson .... driver captain: second unit (as Dave Anderson)
David R. Anderson .... driver (as Dave Anderson)
Donald Frank Bush .... driver: second unit (as Donald Bush)
Gary Chibi .... driver
Tom Evans .... driver captain
Darold Hadley .... driver (as Darrold Hadley)
Kim Harmer .... driver
Ken Johnson .... driver
Bruce Kaduhr .... driver
James Kish .... driver
Keith Lapp .... driver
Joe Lehnert .... driver
Allan Morgan .... driver (as Al Morgan)
Darla Nathorst .... driver captain
Merrill Shapiro .... driver: second unit
Alois Stranan .... transportation coordinator
Sidney L. Tencarre .... driver (as Sid Tencarre)
Sidney L. Tencarre .... driver: second unit (as Sid Tencarre)
Geoff Williams .... transportation co-captain
Rocky Zantolas .... driver
Other crew
Blue Angus .... chef: Location Caterers (as Mark 'Blue' Angus)
Lynn Barr .... assistant production coordinator
Gabrielle Berkovics .... craft service: second unit
Gabrielle Berkovics .... first aid: second unit
Brian Boyer .... security (as Brian J. Boyer)
Gus Bradley .... security (as Angus Bradley)
Gord Brennan .... security (as Gordon Brennan)
Bruce Caldwell .... security
Richard L. Calkins .... additional trainer: "Furface" (as Richard Lee Calkins)
Edward Chan .... security
Chris Charters .... security
Barbara Chomos .... publicist
Debbie Coe .... animal trainer
Randy Colvin .... security
Pauline Crawford .... production assistant
Jono Drake .... production assistant: second unit
Adam Druxman .... production assistant
Jeffrey Falyn .... production assistant (as Jeff Falyn)
Candice Field .... script supervisor
Michele Futerman .... production assistant
Andrew Gainor .... production assistant: second unit
Glen Garner .... trainer: "Furface" (as Glen D. Garner)
Helder Goncalves .... controller: Rose & Ruby
Jeanne Grundl .... production coordinator: second unit
Christine Haebler .... location manager
Caroline Hardon .... production assistant
David James Hardwick .... production assistant: second unit (as David Hardwick)
Bill Henderson .... security
Harriet Katz-Stevens .... production accountant (as Harriet Katz)
John Kostos .... assistant: Mr. Haim
Gerri Kuhn .... craft service
Gerri Kuhn .... first aid
Angela Mastronardi .... craft service: second unit
Angela Mastronardi .... first aid: second unit
Ian Matheson .... production assistant: second unit (as David Matheson)
Boyd McConnachie .... photo double: Travis (as Boyd MacConnachie)
Ann McDonough .... accounts clerk (as Anne McDonough)
Sandra Mikki .... assistant location manager: second unit
Karl Lewis Miller .... animal furnisher: "Furface"
Robert A. Pandini .... production assistant: second unit (as Robert Pandini)
Kevin Parks .... production assistant
James Sallis .... assistant location manager
James Sallis .... location manager: second unit
Monique Savin .... production assistant
Linda Sheehy-Brownstein .... production coordinator (as Linda Sheehy)
Liz Staniforth .... assistant accountant (as Elizabeth Staniforth)
Erik Strandgaard .... assistant chef: Location Caterers (as Erik 'Duke' Strandgaard)
Beverly Sutton .... production assistant: second unit (as Bev Sutton)
Carol Thompson .... script supervisor: second unit
José Vergara .... assistant: Mr. Hess (as Jose Vergara)
Danny Virtue .... horse wrangler
Robert Weatherwax .... animal handler: second unit
Marty Weiss .... assistant to the producers
Beverly Wiens .... accounts clerk (as Bev Wiens)
Nancy Wilson .... senior production coordinator
Tom Allwood .... acknowledgment: our appreciation and sincere thanks for their assistance during the production of Watchers
Lloyd Burris .... acknowledgment: our appreciation and sincere thanks for their assistance during the production of Watchers
Stan Ford .... acknowledgment: our appreciation and sincere thanks for their assistance during the production of Watchers
Dick Jol .... acknowledgment: our appreciation and sincere thanks for their assistance during the production of Watchers
Herman Lourenço .... acknowledgment: our appreciation and sincere thanks for their assistance during the production of Watchers (as Herman Lorenco)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
91 min | Germany:87 min (DVD version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Paul Haggis wrote the original screenplay. By the time the movie was greenlighted, the Writer's Guild Strike hit and Haggis refused to do any further writing on the movie during the strike. Production was passed to Canadian producer Damien Lee who rewrote the script. Haggis read the script and took his name off it - taking credit instead as "Bill Freed", his WGA pseudonym, and insisted Damien Lee take credit for his work.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "Smallville: Krypto (#4.14)" (2005)See more »
Dream MachineSee more »


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27 out of 37 people found the following review useful.
We get that it's not exactly like the book; it's not supposed to be, 3 March 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

When a saboteur blows up a controversial government research lab, two experimental animals are loosed in a small community in Washington State. One is a dog with unusual intelligence. The other is an "Outside eXperimental COmbat Mammal", or "OXCOM". Because of reasons divulged further into the film, the oxcom hates the dog, and so is trying to kill it. Watchers concerns the accidental involvement of Travis Cornell (Corey Haim), his mom Nora (Barbara Williams) and his girlfriend Tracey (Lala Sloatman) with the dog and oxcom, as two National Security Organization agents, Lem Johnson (Michael Ironside) and Cliff (Blu Mankuma), track them down.

Many comments are made about Watchers being very different than the Dean Koontz book that serves as the launching pad for the film. This is true. But it should not affect your rating. If you want the book, read the book. Judge the film on its own merits, not how closely it matches the book. Bill Freed and Damian Lee, who wrote the screenplay, are just as much artists as Koontz is (that's not a quality comparison, just a statement that they're all artists). So is director Jon Hess. Their job as filmmakers isn't to slavishly follow the book as if it were a script. They're adapting the book, as artists, to make a unique artwork. It's based on the book. Not identical to it. You have to loosen your preconceptions/expectations when you watch the film, because you're going to be experiencing an artwork that you are not already familiar with, even if you've read Koontz' novel.

So, is Watchers a good film? It's pretty good, not excellent. Good enough to earn a "B", or an 8. Hess begins things on the right foot with one of the most beautifully filmed explosions I've seen in awhile. Unfortunately, he trips a bit immediately afterward as we listen to some very thick, jargonistic exposition. After that scene Watchers threatens to become a clichéd 1980s film as we first meet Travis and Tracey.

Veering towards cliché is a tendency continually threatened. But it is only a skew. More often than not, Hess is able to transcend well-trodden territory with a number of interesting twists: Both Travis and Tracey are from single parent homes, with their genders flipped. Both have unique, mature relationships with their parents. Although this is a horror film, a major focus is a cute, intelligent canine, and it often feels as much like an adventure film as it does horror, a thriller, or sci-fi, which are all genres it touches upon. Hess introduces a large cast of characters, some not entering until late in the game, yet the film is never confusing and no characters feel as if they are left in the dust--all of the threads are nicely tied up in the end. The structure is also complex in that there are two major villains, the second becoming less obviously ill-intentioned as the film progresses, until a twist accompanied by brutal violence makes one antagonist clearer. Soon after, Hess gives us a nice moment of doubt with the other antagonist.

The biggest flaw in my eyes is a dreaded, common one with horror films since at least the 1980s--the "attack" scenes are shot too darkly, too close, too out of focus, and they're edited too choppily. It makes it extremely difficult to tell what's going on, which saps most of the tension from scenes that should be a highlight. Surely, part of Hess' motivation for the style, and this is the typical justification for this problem, was worry that the creature would come across as humorous and/or fake rather than frightening and suspenseful. In my view, presenting the audience with a dizzying blur isn't a satisfactory solution. We only get to see the creature costume/makeup clearly towards the end of the film. It was well done enough that better shot and edited attack scenes would have brought the film up to at least a 9.

Regardless of the degree of correspondence between the novel and the film, Watchers presents a gripping story using smart, alluring characters. It is frequently a nail-biter and the horror scenes are more feral than you might expect, if not exactly gory (although there is a fair amount of blood in a couple scenes). Watchers tends to be underrated because of misconceptions about the role of film when it comes to adapting literature--don't pass it up or summarily dismiss it based on a misconception.

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Remake? Carmelina_711
signed watchers double feature lotsoflovetogive
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they need to make a REAL adaptation dalton0804
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