Stephen King's 'Graveyard Shift'

1990

Stephen King's 'Graveyard Shift'

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

13%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 8

22%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,904
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Stephen King's 'Graveyard Shift' Photos

Movie Info

Loosely based on the Stephen King novel, this thriller is about a man working the graveyard shift in a rat-infested textile mill. He begins to find remnants of the bodies of missing workers and discovers that a murderous monster lurks beneath the building.

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Critic Reviews for Stephen King's 'Graveyard Shift'

All Critics (8)

Audience Reviews for Stephen King's 'Graveyard Shift'

  • Oct 01, 2016
    Subterranean horror doesn't get much more Augean or sordid than Graveyard Shift which endeavors to make the audience feel like they need a tetanus shot after the last frame. In that respect of sweatshop atmosphere, the film is a humdinger. The mill is a rat-infested, diseased den of pestilence and the creature responsible for the multiple mutilations is a gooey, repulsive bat out of hell. Ralph S. Singleton hints at a 'Willard'-esque rodent revolution when a textile worker is punished after grinding a rat in a cotton picker to "make an example" of it. However, the nocturnal beast is a much larger opponent. Since it is based on a short story from Stephen King, the material is sometimes threadbare but the creepy aura fortifies the film greatly. Every shot is bedraggled and damp. Also underlining the wafer-thin plot are rabid supporting roles from the glassy-eyed Brad Dourif as a gleefully sadistic, tobacco-chewing exterminator and Stephen Macht as the megalomaniacal foreman. As per the cliché, Macht is foreshadowed as the secondary villain when he gnashes on an apple. It's also evergreen to see character actor David Andrews as the drifter lead of the mood piece. Dourif delivers an entertainingly cockeyed monologue about the origins of his prejudice and how the Vietcong utilized vermin for extreme rendition. I do wish his interplay was less smoldering antihero ("You get no guarantees with any man. It's only instinct."). In the subsequent years since the film's debut in 1990, writers have neglected the care to populate B-movies with multilayered characters such as John Hall, Warwick and Tucker Cleveland. As with most horror films, the middle drags its feet before Tucker is killed in a swampy burial. Frankly this is an anticlimactic ending for such a memorably loopy sidekick. Naturally, the turning-point into the grimy conclusion is Warwick and Hall's fisticuffs in the skeletal lair and it's executed with grossly unpalatable panache. Unfortunately, the critter-centric ending is frequently underwhelming since the animatronic is only briefly glimpsed and the pell-mell behavior from Warwick is overamped past believability. As far as King adaptations go, this is a superlatively yucky example of one of his lesser works.
    Cory T Super Reviewer
  • Mar 22, 2011
    I don't understand the flack this film has gotten. I mean yes, it's low budget, and yes the acting and script are mediocre, but the film does have it's moments. Graveyard Shift is obviously not the best of Stephen Kings adaptations. If you want the worst, check out Firestarter. Now that was a terrible film. Graveyard Shift however is a simple, fun horror film. People seem to be turned off by the fact that its low budget, and doesn't respect King's original. Well many of book to screen adaptations of Stephen King's books have never been truly faithful to the source material. In fact the only only one that can adapt a Stephen King work successfully to the screen is Frank Darabont, director of The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist. I can't put my finger on what I like about this film. Maybe its because its simple in its concept and story, I found appealing. Graveyard Shift is a fairly good horror film that doesn't deserve all the flack it has been given. I understand as to why it has, but theres something pretty enjoyable in this film. The film is far from the worst ever made. Graveyard Shift has a decent enough cast to support the film. One performance in particular was terrific, Brad Douriff as The Exterminator. The film is worth watching due to his performance alone. Graveyard Shift for all its imperfections is still a film worth seeing, and it is a film thats fairly entertaining as well. It's good cheesy fun, yes it cheap, yes, the acting is sloppy; but who cares?
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Sep 06, 2010
    Another excellent movie based on a Stephen King story. I really liked this one, it's creepy, but simple. I know it usually gets low ratings, but I liked it anyway.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • May 20, 2010
    This movie is horrible, its a horrible story, and it has horrible actors. It has many of the marks of a horrible movie. Terrible and off dubbing also it never gives a clear shot of the antagonist. Hell even the tag line is horrible; "Stephen King took you to the edge with The Shining and Pet Sematary. This time......he pushes you over." REALLY! Brad Dourif is one of the actors that the director must of spent most of the budget on. This is actually the second movie that I have reviewed with Mr. Dourif in it. I reviewed Halloween 2 where he plays a sheriff. This actor is actually pretty awesome, he has been in like everything horror. From Blue Velvet & the X-Files to being the voice of everyone's favorite plaything Chucky. Well this movie, if you haven't seen it please don't rush out. This is quite possibly the worst Steven King adaptation I have ever seen. I am going to spoil whatever their is to spoil here. The main bad guy/girl/thing is a giant rat. That's the antagonist, is a huge fucking rat. I haven't read the book or short story or whatever but this movie is a great deterrent. I wouldn't even want to dignify this movie with an actual number score, but I am going to have to give it something I guess... 1. I do not recommend seeing this movie, but I do recommend not seeing it. Please do not see unless you are some hardcore Brad Dourif freak who cant go on in life without seeing every movie he has done. Rat or Bat who cares S!D * It had a budget of 10.5 million (WOW, it knocked me on the ass to know this) * Filmed in Main at the historic Bartlett mill they renamed it "Bachman"
    Brandon S Super Reviewer

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