This is a bad movie. I’ve seen my fair share of bad movies, and this one definitely ranks up there. It’s not as pain inducing as say Revenge of the Fallen or the recent Journey to the Center of the Earth remake, but it’s not good.
We open in California where two cops (one of whom is played by Mark Hamill!) find an abandoned house with several cat corpses hanging out on the porch. They investigate and find the decaying corpse of a young girl. We then cut to credits.
I will say this, the movie has an impressive cast: Alice Krige (who once again takes on the role of a mentally disturbed villain), Ron freakin Perlman, Glenn Shadix, with this caliber of actors you would expect better. Heck, even Stephen King makes a cameo as does John Landis, Tobe Hooper, and Clive Barker.
The movie then relocates to Indiana where young Charles Brady cuts a T into his arm with a knife. The T stands for Tracy, a young girl he is crushing on. He even circled her picture in the yearbook with a heart. Now, Edward Cullen has a reputation for being a bit of a stalker, what with his breaking into Bella’s house and watching her sleep every night, but even he pales in comparison to this guy.
Charles walks downstairs and has a brief conversation with his mother. The dialogue becomes increasingly suggestive until you start to question whether or not they really are related. Yes, they are actually mother and son, and they make out. You read that right, they make out, several times in fact. That’s not all they do either. At about the halfway point in the film they go the whole nine, I’m not joking. Alice Krige isn’t unattractive, but…its his mom. That ain’t right.
Charles goes to visit Tracy at the movie theater where she works. She makes pleasant conversation and gives him free food. That’s what we need, more cute girls who work at movie theaters willing to give out free food. Do you have any idea how awesome that would be? It would be extraordinarily awesome, let me tell you.
Tracy is one of the pros of the movie. Not just because she’s easy on the eyes but because her character is actually sympathetic and the actress (Madchen Amick) really sells the likable girl next door personality. When you see her reeling from the attack after she returns home, you genuinely feel sorry for her.
As it turns out, Charles and his mother are some sort of vampire cat..things, called Sleepwalkers. They feed on the life force of young girls and Charles’ mom is starving and wants some food. Why can’t she go get herself some food? I don’t know, laziness I guess?
Oh, and they’re vulnerable to cats. What is it with these movies and cat heroes? This may have worked better as a short in Cat’s Eye, it would’ve made a whole lot more sense for his aid to be required to fight these things rather than being summoned to fight a tiny troll. An appearance by the General would’ve been a cool nod, but alas he doesn’t show up here.
A lot of the acting is pretty bad, the guy who plays Andy, the cop who pursues Charles has some bad dialogue and Charles, good grief. His acting at the cemetery scene was almost painful to watch. While we’re speaking of bad dialogue, the winner for the worst line goes to Krige for delivering “no vegetables, no dessert, those are the rules” after killing a cop with an ear of corn. I’m not kidding, she does that. When Clive Owen killed people with carrots in Shoot ’em Up, it was done for a laugh. Here, it’s played perfectly straight. It’s even played straight when she kills two other cops by clunking their heads together like Moe. I mean, come on. Then there’s a scene where she shoots at a pair of cop cars and they both blow up in flames. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work like that.
Fortunately, Ron Perlman shows up, finally. As one would expect, he’s awesome. He shows up on the scene and you’re just filled with joy, so much so that you don’t ever want him to leave. Sadly, he doesn’t have much in the way of screen time and he gets taken out of the picture pretty quickly. The movie definitely could’ve used more Ron Perlman. Of course, every movie could use more Ron Perlman.
The special effects aren’t very good. Neither are the scares for that matter, they rely mostly on “jump” scares and none of them work.
This movie was adapted from an unpublished novel written by King. I want to say that it’s a good thing he left it unpublished, but this is also the guy who managed to make an effective story about a killer washing machine so really, a novel based on this idea could go either way.
The movie does have a few things in the plus column. Ron Perlman, Tracy, Stephen King’s cameo was amusing and there are some creative kills, but overall this one’s a stinker. I wouldn’t recommend watching it. It’s not bad in that funny riffable way, it’s just bad.