Graveyard Shift (1990)
What’s It About: Strange deaths occur to the employees at an old textile mill in the wee hours of the night early morning. Besides the hordes of rats and dilapidated conditions of the mill, the employees also have to fear and contend with the asshole foreman of the mill.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Nothing spookier than a textile plant.
- Especially with rats!!
- AN ARMY OF RATS!!!!!
- Asshole worker who was torturing rats gets his comeuppance by an unseen assailant. Could be a giant rat. Who knows? Stay tuned.
- Brad Dourif as the exterminator! That would probably be a way better flick.
- Brad Dourif has a man-bun. In 1990.
- Brad Dourif really takes his extermination job seriously. With gusto and pride.
- Drifter (most likely our protagonist) enters a diner and glances at a bulletin board. Some jerk locals ask him (while his back is turned) what’s in his bag. The drifter doesn’t respond most likely because A. his back is turned and he doesn’t know they are talking to him and B. it’s a ridiculous question. Another local says that he isn’t very friendly. Fucking yokels.
- $100 says that the drifter gets a job working alongside those local jerks.
- Hey it’s Sean’s dad from Monster Squad!
- You owe me $100.
- If you’re applying for a job and the boss’ office has a punching bag hanging in it, you may want to rethink your application.
- Another sign you may want to leave the interview, the boss offers coffee and states its nothing more than an instant enema. He’s not too good with small talk.
- Sean’s dad (Stephen Macht) plays Warwick, the foreman. He’s really doing a very bad accent. Kinda like creole mixed with New England but it’s so bad I can’t tell. I never heard anything like it.
- Now the drifter guy, John Hall, is torturing rats on his first shift at the plant. At least he’s just slingshotting empty Diet Pepsi cans at them. I guess if I worked the graveyard shift at a rundown textile mill I’d start torturing rats too.
- Hey don’t bad mouth Bruce Dern Dourif!
- So now I know what a Viet-Cong rat eats. Thanks Brad Dourif. Apparently it’s raw American whole male.
- This Vietnam rat story that Dourif is telling Hall rivals the USS Indianapolis scene from Jaws!
- This Vietnam story went on for way too long for no good reason.
- This creature that’s killing the jerk from the diner is kinda like the good guy creatures from Beast-Master who suffocate and eat their victims with their cape-like bat wings.
- A rat burger!
- Sean’s dad looks eerily like Clancy Brown mixed with Mitch Pileggi in this movie.
- Warwick scares the guy cleaning the basement to tell him that the rats don’t bite. Dick move Warwick.
- After Warwick gives his “girlfriend” the basement cleaning shift she goes bonkers and starts destroying Warwick’s car with an ax. Have you seen that basement? I don’t blame her.
- Some dude is reading the novel Ben. Subtle.
- I’m assuming this diner/bar is the only eatery in this town.
- So Hall and Wisconsky left the bar that they were eating at only to go to Wisconsky’s trailer home to eat again?
- Yeah, the lady who works at the mill who has a liking to Hall is named Wisconsky. The other lady there is named Minnesotason. Some guy is named O’regon.
- This accent is really really distracting.
- Why is this yutz excited about an old desk? Does he have a desk fetish?
- Ya know for a textile mill they sure have a lot of non-textile related garbage in their basement.
- So Brad Dourif gets exterminated by some freak accident in the cemetery. I really thought his character would be more substantial. Or the very least be killed by a rat-related accident. Ponderous.
- There’s a basement in the basement?!
- “Smells like stale piss down here.” This movie smells the same way.
- This sub-basement sure is well-lit.
- Did Warwick just apply black-face?
- That’s one nasty gloryhole.
- How is there a river underneath the sub-basement?
- How are Hall and Winsconsky not disturbed by them clinging on a floating coffin in a “river” that is red?
- Warwick just fell about 3 stories even lower! How is that even possible? I thought this was textile mill not a mine!
- Maybe the mill is built on top of a steep mountain.
- OK, why is Warwick attacking Hall and Wisconsky after they helped him out of the rubble of human skeletal remains?
- Why is it in every movie when someone is on top of an adversary choking a person and the person being choked reaches over to grab something to use against the choker does the choker never notice the chokee trying to grab something?! This happens in every movie where’s there’s a choking.
- I still not have the foggiest idea why they’re fighting.
- HR is going to have a field day when they find out Warwick killed Wisconsky.
- So the creature is either a giant bat or a giant flying rat. Still not sure.
- I don’t understand why this monster is attacking now. If it wanted to kill and eat humans it had a very clear window of opportunity when they were cleaning the basement. Does the creature have a specific killing time. A ‘graveyard shift’ of its own perhaps?
- So Hall uses his sling shot to shoot a Diet Pepsi can at the switch for the huge cotton gin that the tail of the monster is stuck in. Just like when Luke Skywalker throws the rock at the switch to kill the Rancor. Not sure how an empty soda can has enough force to activate such a switch but whatever at least this movie is over.
Scare Level: Blech.
Gore Level: I honestly don’t remember. I really should keep better notes. But I do remember some guy getting his arm bitten off and you see the stump. So there’s that.
Nudity Level: You would think the fact that they work at a textile mill the filmmakers would ironically have a lot of nudity but alas, nada.
Best Line: It’s not in the film but in the trailer: “We’re like shrimp at an all-you-can-eat salad bar and that thing ain’t stopping till it’s full!” What salad bar has all-you-can-eat shrimp?
Best Scene: Jeez. Hard to say. This film was very dull from beginning to end. However, most scenes with Brad Dourif were worth some of my time. Can’t go wrong with Dourif chewing scenery.
Worst Scene: The whole finale is a complete waste of time, money and effort. I especially don’t understand why Warwick became absolutely insane and wanted to kill Hall and Wisconsky. One minute he’s trying to take charge of the bad situation with his group, he falls a few stories into a pile of bones, they help him out and he starts attacking them. It makes zero sense.
Stephen King References: Lame name (John Hall), Castle Rock
Overall: Never even heard of this one until I was researching King movie adaptations. And now I want to forget it ASAP. Just dull, boring, unscary, unimaginative and poorly acted. Stephen Macht’s accent is ridiculous, Brad Dourif is in this for no Cromdamned reason and the creature is stupid. It was like a very weak Tales From the Crypt episode that didn’t seem to end. But what do you expect from a short story King wrote that ended up in a 1970 issue of Cavalier Magazine.
Score: 2 Viet Cong Rats Eating Raw American Male Whole (out of 10)
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