Three young children accidentally release a horde of nasty, pint-sized demons from a hole in a suburban backyard. What follows is a classic battle between good and evil as the three kids ... See full summary »
Films like this one were released by the bucket load in the 1980's, but as 1990 approached; they became less and less common. Still, there are a lot of silly horror flicks that were released in the 90's debut year, and, surprisingly, this one isn't all that bad. It lacks all the elements that make great films great films, of course; things such as brains, coherency and any whisper of characters has been neglected in favour of monster special effects and a few nice death scenes; but seriously, that's all you want from a film like this, so to say that Graveyard Shift does it's job isn't wrong. The film is based on a short story by Stephen King. Nearly everything that King has ever touched has been turned into a film, with a lot of mixed results. I would put this one in the middling category, which isn't a bad place to be in considering all the failed adaptations. The plot is typically thin (it is a SHORT story!) and it follows a man who gets a job in a cotton mill. The place is infested with rats, and after being charged with cleaning the place up, our hero finds a trapdoor and soon he and his team are up against the reason rats have made their home in the mill...
One thing that really stands out about this film is the atmosphere. Director Ralph S. Singleton delights in presenting a fetid and disturbing aura around the central location, and this helps the story massively and gives the film an almost 'odyssey' approach when the characters finally make their way underground. I don't find rats scary, personally, but many people do and this film could easily be a reason why! The way that the rats surround the characters is brooding and frightening and provides the film with one of it's key elements. Acting definitely isn't a key element of Graveyard Shift, but the appearance of popular cult actor Brad Dourif will please many of this films' audience. I'm not a massive of fan of Dourif personally, but I respect his ability to shine in campy productions. The story doesn't offer anything in the way of a point, and it's incoherency will annoy many - but if you go into this film with the right sort of expectations, and don't think you're about to see a horror classic, Graveyard Shift really shouldn't disappoint.
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