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Graveyard Shift

Review by: 
Head Cheeze
Release Date: 
Aspect Ratio: 
Directed by: 
Ralph S. Singleton
David Andrews
Andrew Divoff
Brad Dourif
Bottom Line: 

 Stephen King's short stories would seem ideal fodder for filmmakers, given that they are usually already screenplay length, and really don't need that much fleshing out. Stand By Me (based on the story, "The Body") is an excellent example of a King short turned to film with minimal loss in the translation. Graveyard Shift , however, is evidence that some people could fuck up the recipe for making ice.
A Maine textile mill is overun by rodents and under the gun to have it's basement cleaned up or face being closed down. When a drifter (Andrews) comes into town seeking work, he is placed on a crew of a handful of misfits to attempt to make the working conditions slightly better than a Vietnamese prison camp. Along the way we are introduced to several characters who we never grow to care about, an evil foreman named Warwick (the AWFUL Stephen Macht) who speaks in a faux Maine accent that sounds like a hybrid of Irish and the Pepperidge Farms pitchman, and a big bat-thing that apparently rules the roost beneath the mill. People die, rats get squished, there's lots of blood, but it's all sort of hollow and leaves you feeling a tad depressed.
I've trashed several films on Horrorview, and for good reason most of the time, but Graveyard Shift doesn't deserve a TOTAL thrashing simply because it never really does anything all that bad, it's just sort of there. I have to admit, I liked Brad Dourif's cameo as the "exterminator" and his scenes actually salvage about 15 minutes of the film for me. There's also a couple of very grotesque moments that caused a squirm or two, so it's not entirely inneffective, just rather innoucuos and the fact that it's based on one of King's lesser shorts doesn't help the film at all.
This Paramount Home Video release is as barebones as they come, but that's just fine with me, as I couldn't get this disc out of my player fast enough. 
Graveyard Shift is a poorly scripted, badly acted, and cheap attempt to cash-in on the King adaptation "mania" of the late 80's/early 90's. It's a rental, at best, and, even then, only if they're out of everything - and I mean everything - else.

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