5.4/10
10,109
47 user 17 critic

The Tommyknockers 

Trailer
2:04 | Trailer
The small town of Haven becomes a hot-bed of inventions all run by a strange green power device. The whole town is digging something up in the woods, and only an alcoholic poet can discover... See full summary »
Reviews
Popularity
2,840 ( 154)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1993  
Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Most of the passengers on an airplane disappear, and the remainder land the plane in a mysteriously barren airport.

Stars: Patricia Wettig, Dean Stockwell, Tom Holland
Storm of the Century (TV Mini-Series 1999)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A dangerous blizzard hits an isolated town and brings along a mysterious stranger intent on terrorizing people for his own desires.

Stars: Becky Ann Baker, Kathleen Chalfant, Adam Zolotin
The Stand (1994)
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After a deadly plague kills most of the world's population, the remaining survivors split into two groups - one led by a benevolent elder and the other by a maleficent being - to face each other in a final battle between good and evil.

Stars: Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan
Sometimes They Come Back (TV Movie 1991)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A man and his family return to his hometown, where he is then harassed by teenagers that died when he was a kid.

Director: Tom McLoughlin
Stars: Tim Matheson, Brooke Adams, Robert Rusler
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A mysterious new shop opens in a small town which always seems to stock the deepest desires of each shopper, with a price far heavier than expected.

Director: Fraser C. Heston
Stars: Max von Sydow, Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia
The Shining (1997)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A recovering alcoholic must wrestle with demons within and without when he and his family move into a haunted hotel as caretakers.

Stars: Rebecca De Mornay, Steven Weber, Wil Horneff
Desperation (TV Movie 2006)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

When a sheriff arrests a writer, a family, a couple, and a hitchiker and throws them in a jail cell in the deserted town of Desperation, they must fight for their lives.

Director: Mick Garris
Stars: Tom Skerritt, Steven Weber, Annabeth Gish
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A reporter is on the trail of a vampiric murderer who travels by plane.

Director: Mark Pavia
Stars: Miguel Ferrer, Julie Entwisle, Dan Monahan
Rose Red (2002)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A group of people with psychic powers are invited to spend the night in a haunted house.

Stars: Nancy Travis, Matt Keeslar, Kimberly J. Brown
Thinner (1996)
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An obese attorney is cursed by a gypsy to rapidly and uncontrollably lose weight.

Director: Tom Holland
Stars: Robert John Burke, Joe Mantegna, Lucinda Jenney
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer (TV Movie 2003)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

The wife of an oil tycoon becomes engrossed in the sinister evil residing within her Seattle mansion home.

Director: Craig R. Baxley
Stars: Lisa Brenner, Steven Brand, Kate Burton
Salem's Lot (2004)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Writer Ben Mears returns to his childhood home of Jerusalem's Lot and discovers that it is being terrorized by vampires.

Stars: Rob Lowe, Andre Braugher, Donald Sutherland
Edit

Cast

Series cast summary:
Jimmy Smits ...  Jim 'Gard' Gardner 2 episodes, 1993
Marg Helgenberger ...  Roberta 'Bobbi' Anderson 2 episodes, 1993
John Ashton ...  Trooper Butch Duggan 2 episodes, 1993
Allyce Beasley ...  Deputy Becka Paulson 2 episodes, 1993
Robert Carradine ...  Bryant Brown 2 episodes, 1993
Joanna Cassidy ...  Sheriff Ruth Merrill 2 episodes, 1993
Annie Corley ...  Marie Brown 2 episodes, 1993
Cliff De Young ...  Joe Paulson 2 episodes, 1993
Traci Lords ...  Nancy Voss 2 episodes, 1993
E.G. Marshall ...  Ev Hillman 2 episodes, 1993
Chuck Henry Chuck Henry ...  Chaz Stewart 2 episodes, 1993
Leon Woods ...  Hilly Brown 2 episodes, 1993
Paul McIver ...  Davey Brown 2 episodes, 1993
Yvonne Lawley Yvonne Lawley ...  Mabel Noyes 2 episodes, 1993
William Johnson William Johnson ...  Elt Barker 2 episodes, 1993
John Steemson John Steemson ...  Barney Applegate 2 episodes, 1993
Rick Leckinger ...  Jingles 2 episodes, 1993
Peter Rowley Peter Rowley ...  Benton Rhodes 2 episodes, 1993
John Sumner ...  Mr. Arberg 2 episodes, 1993
Elizabeth Hawthorne ...  Patricia McCardle 2 episodes, 1993
Craig Parker ...  Student Bartender 2 episodes, 1993
Kay Helgenberger Kay Helgenberger ...  Pearl 2 episodes, 1993
Larry Sanitsky Larry Sanitsky ...  Neurologist 2 episodes, 1993
Helen Medlyn ...  Neurologist #2 2 episodes, 1993
Jim McLarty ...  Dr. Etheridge 2 episodes, 1993
Daniel Bieber Daniel Bieber ...  Boy at Vet 2 episodes, 1993
Timothy Bartlett Timothy Bartlett ...  Mr. Allison 2 episodes, 1993
Karyn Malchus Karyn Malchus ...  Tommyknocker 2 episodes, 1993
Edit

Storyline

The small town of Haven becomes a hot-bed of inventions all run by a strange green power device. The whole town is digging something up in the woods, and only an alcoholic poet can discover the secret of the Tommyknockers. Written by Niz

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

A chilling thriller from the master of horror. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sci-fi terror/horror | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA | New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tommyknockers See more »

Filming Locations:

Auckland, New Zealand See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Sheriff Ruth Merrill is searching in the woods for Davey Brown, she is accosted by Bobbi Anderson's dog. She remarks that he is acting like a "Cujo". This is a reference to the Stephen King novel. See more »

Goofs

The Nutcracker doll's knife has blood on it before it stabs Ruth. See more »

Quotes

Roberta 'Bobbi' Anderson: [to Gard] It wasn't the plate that kept them out. It was you.
See more »

Alternate Versions

After the initial television broadcast, Vidmark released a cut version of the miniseries for home video. This version ran for 120 minutes, cutting out several characters and even a few sub-plots (including the romance between Ruth and Butch). See more »

Connections

References Star Search (1983) See more »

Soundtracks

The Star-Spangled Banner
(uncredited)
Music by John Stafford Smith
Lyrics by Francis Scott Key
Performed by Joanna Cassidy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
nothing great, but certainly better than expected
13 November 2009 | by Quinoa1984See all my reviews

Usually the norm for Stephen King adaptations, particularly with those directly adapted for television or as a miniseries, to stay away. They're mostly produced by hacks who have to cut apart King's works, even then ones that don't need or shouldn't be adapted (or the ones he comes up with himself like Storm of the Century), and place them in a set running time meant for commercial breaks and to (sometimes) tone down explicit language and whatever bloody violence tends to happen in the original stories. But somehow Tommyknockers came to me (via the wife of all people), and decided to give it a chance purely based on the premise. It's about a small town in Maine (for King, color me shocked and awed!) and what happens to them when one of the townspeople, local writer Bobbi, comes across a strange object buried in the ground. She keeps digging and digging, and it just becomes an obsessive thing to unearth the entire metal-maze that seems to be underground. But then a green substance or other overcomes her, and the town, and they're slaves to some extraterrestrial entities - all except for one, a man with a metal plate in his head who can't be made zombified.

With a good premise and a few interesting cast prospects (Jimmy Smitts, Marg Helgenberger, EG Marshall, Traci Lords), I was prepared for anything. It could have been a horrid telling of the story, or perhaps something truly surprising and brilliant. It's in the middle; it's not very brilliant nor bad at all. The Tommyknockers works, more or less, how one sees a Stephen King book (one of the really good ones) work as a story: introduce the characters, let us get to know them very well and maybe empathize with them or sympathize with their troubles (alcoholism, infidelity, superstitions) or just understand them, and then just put them through total HELL (in caps). Most of the first half is just set-up, seeing the relationship between Bobbi and Jim, who has been on the wagon until an incident that sends him in turmoil, the fractured marriage of a cop and a postal worker- the latter cheating with a sultry temptress (Lords) every day- and the little boy who wants to master, and believes, in magic.

But once the effects of the Tommyknockers spreads through the town, it gets equally interesting and hokey. Some of the acting is just terrible, as one might expect (the kid playing the would-be magician is the kind one would usually find on low-rated episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark), and some of that green visual effects stuff is rather cheap even when nifty coming out of a lipstick container. And the writing in some scenes is silly too, and I'm not sure if that's a criticism of the movie or of King. Yet what does work is that it's a solid story, told with a degree of professionalism and some creativity that makes it worth watching. Smitts and Helgenberger give as good as they've got, which is a big boost, and some scenes like the 4th of July climax of the first half of the movie are staged in a creepy manner and style (cutting between the zombies, the dolls, the kid repeating and the telekinetic typewriter typing Tommyknockers over and over). Even the aliens are a lot of fun to watch towards the end, with the end result revealed as just a rip on what would later be seen in the Matrix.

Some of this is predictable, and silly, and its ending is equally tragic and unintentionally funny. But I was entertained and didn't want to get up or stop the DVD during its running time, and that's my two cents.


6 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 47 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed