Movie Review: Stephen King’s Graveyard Shift

We Open Graveyard Shift with a man in a , well, there are two machines doing something with cotton, and there are a ton of rats. I mean a TON of rats. The Man gets a bit ticked off when a rat pees on a chair and tosses one of the Rats into the Machine. One, the Machines gears are on the other side, the rat can easily get out, and two, blood really doesn’t come out of cotton real easily. Something suprizes the man and he’s knocked by something into the machine- and the Rats eat him.

Roll Credits. Over a Graveyard.

Really.

Graveyard Shift warwickTwo men show up and are using some kind of contraption that is shooting water on one side and rats out into the river on the other. No idea how that works or how you don’t think the rats will go about 50 feet back into the building. Hey! It’s the Bachman Mill! Inside joke for the King fans among us. The Mill is really under code, as the inspector is bribed to give the mill more time over the July 4th weekend to clean it up. Our Hero shows up to run the picker (the machine we saw in the open) overnight- due to the heat. Somehow Our Hero is able to shoot empty cans from a slingshot to knock the rats. I would think to use marbles and kill the little stinkers. One of the exterminators show up and tells a scary story about how the Veit-Cong would stake an American out and have a rat eat him so they would get the taste for white meat.

Apparently there are only two women around, the foreman- Warwick- is banging the hot one, but he’s obsessed with the other one. She not only turns down a promotion to a nice air-conditioned office, she is also talking with Our Hero. Warwick gets a little upset, to say the least. He’s also putting together the crew to go downstairs and clean up the basement. Warwick puts on the hottie he’s banging in the office on the shift, so she takes an axe to his car. Warwick is about to slap her around- but Our Hero stops him. I get the feeling this is only there to make sure that we hate Warwick, because being an Ass isn’t enough, he also has to be a woman beater.

We are 40 minutes in before we actually get to the basement cleanup, and we have already seen the thing twice, and kill someone on screen. Talk about shooting early. The body count is at 3 before we even get here, by the way. Somehow we don’t have our normal useless backwoods cop ™ yet.

So how is Graveyard Shift?

Shit. I have read the book, and yes, you have to stretch it out to get a full film out of it, but holy shit this movie jumps the rails and jumps it hard. So we have this giant mill, with a basement, then a sub-basement under that- then under THAT a giant lair with a mountain of bones and bodies with a winged bat-rat creature. Somehow this thing not only can go outside (we see the mill from the lair) it can also go through a heavy trap-door into the basement. Is there that much of a population where that many people can vanish without a trace? For some reason a creature that lives underground grows giant wings.

Graveyard Shift 20The problem is that we see the beast early and often, so when it shows up, we don’t care. We have a group of people that we have been trained to not care about, 2 that are Our Hero and The Girl and one guy who is decent, as far as we know, and 2 guys that are assholes for no reason and the foreman we have been pushed to hate. So of the 6, instead of seeing them get picked off, or even a hint of redemption. The humans decide to divide up on their own, to make it easier to get picked off. Plus the Exterminator is wasted. He’s got kind of a buildup, then nothing but a cheap death.  Not to mention there is a TON of light down here underground for no reason. The film makes a big deal of stringing up lights, but then we go down deep underground and the place is lit like early morning. I just can’t think of a decent reason to watch this movie, even if you are a King Fan. I’m going with a 1 here for Graveyard Shift. The deeper we get in the movie, the worse it gets. Someone explain to me why Warwick goes all Rambo at the end – on the HUMANS no less!

If you are trying to figure out where you know Brogan from, he’s in Harlem Nights. Like to have killed me for half the movie.

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