Sometimes They Come Back (1991)
What’s It About: History teacher returns to his childhood home to live with his family, despite he having a really bad childhood there. Sure enough the greasers who terrorized him and his brother from the 60s return from the grave to further give him a bad time.
Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:
- Dino De Laurentiis AGAIN?! How many King features did he produce? Six. The answer is 6.
- From the director of Jason Lives. While that film was fun and well made it was a Friday the 13th and I haven’t seen anything else he’s done so this could go either way.
- Alan Stanwyk is the protagonist? Not a great sign that Tim Matheson is our hero in this horror flick.
- Weird. Brooke Adams in her second Stephen King film. Strange thing is, I’ve never seen her in anything before this month. She’s OK, kinda a poor woman’s Karen Allen.
- Matheson just said in narration that if he had the same sense as his parents he would take his wife and kid in his arms and run as far away from this town as possible. So why did he come back?!
- This jock’s self-proclaimed nickname is “The Chipster?”
- 27 years his childhood home has been vacant?! That’s absurd!
- I always feel like Maine is more or less as exciting a state as Delaware.
- Oh jeez one of the punk greasers is the dude who played Ron Grady in Freddy’s Revenge. Hopefully this flick isn’t an allegory for latent homoeroticism.
- The greasers “accidentally” kill Matheson’s brother back in the 60s. He was shoved too hard and fell into one of the thug’s switchblades. As the greasers try to flee the murder scene, the train smashes their car because they were stuck on the train tracks. They were not smart greasers.
- Matheson keeps telling the jocks, notably The Chipster, that if he wants to play football he has to do the work. But isn’t doing good work more the point?
- “Dust in the Wind” reference! Take a shot! Oh wait, that’s just me.
- One of the better students, Billy, is being chased by the same muscle car as the dead greasers but Billy is riding his bike in the middle of the road like he went to the Prometheus-school-of-running-away-from-things.
- That gave me a chuckle. In a flashback, Matheson’s character asked his brother why “he keeps staring at me?” And he was referring to the statue of Jesus in a church.
- Not sure what that church being safe flashback is all about. Maybe Matheson defeats the greasers in a church later on. Like Highlander rules?
- Matheson’s kid finds a pair of old Converse sneakers and really wants to keep them. What a weirdo.
- Another flashback?! This movie is 72% flashbacks.
- Hey they’re watching the 76′ King Kong. I much rather be watching that.
- Matheson asks one of his students if the old train still runs through town. What a ridiculous question. A. What old train—please be specific. B. What HS student would know about trains? C. It doesn’t look like a large town, I hear trains all the time in the distance and I live in a moderately large town. Surely if a train runs through town, he should hear it.
- I know he just moved back but what would happen if he suddenly left? Would the flashbacks, the nightmares and the reincarnation of one of the greasers go away? These protagonists and their issues tied to a particular place and them not leaving is really growing tiresome. Try leaving and see what happens.
- And speaking of the reincarnated greaser, why is it only one of them? Back in the 60s there were 4 of them. But now only the “leader” is back.
- Eric Stratton is freaking out the parents by expressing his doubts that the new suicide is actually a murder without much proof.
- Oh I get it now, when one student dies, one of the old greasers comes back in their place. Real scary. Hope they don’t ruin the sock hop with their rambunctious rock n’ roll.
- I understand Chipster is concerned about what the greasers might do to Otter and his family but maybe nows not the time to admit you had beers with them. It’s A. Illegal and B. Irrelevant.
- I must’ve missed the part when the third other greaser came back. Who’s this cat?
- One of the greasers name’s is Vinnie Vincent! Sadly, it’s not the ex-KISS guitarist.
- Now they killed The Chipster. Rest in Peace Chipster.
- Nothing’s more inept than a police chief in a Stephen King story.
- I thought the old greasers came back when a student dies. But apparently they just enroll in the school after they die. It’s kinda dumb.
- Hey kid! You may want to not run in the street away from the menacing automobile. Maybe run across the yards. Just a suggestion.
- I really don’t know how Scotty survived that attack. He climbs under a car and the greasers muscle car rams the car hard enough that it toppled back but Scotty is about a yard away from the toppled car. That’s one fast kid to move that fast under a car and away from it in the time the muscle car rammed the other car.
- You forgot about The Chipster!
- Another criticism about Kong’s stories is that there’s never a clever twist in his finales. Matheson tells his wife the whole story about the greasers coming back and that he’s not crazy. My point here is, he isn’t crazy, the greasers are back and he’s going to stop them in the end. Clever would be that he’s crazy and somehow these kids dying is something entirely else.
- And in every King story, there’s always a character’s that confirms the protagonist’s story to him/her and gives them advice or help. Usually this person is an old person.
- These movies/books are so disposable. I can’t imagine anyone watching these more than once. I’m having a hard time sitting through most of these just once.
- William Sanderson? Larry from Newhart is one of the old greasers that didn’t die in the past? This film isn’t trying much is it?
- Hahahahaha. They stole the getting a bigger knife from the knife block gag from Gremlins.
- OK so Matheson shoots Rich (the main Greaser) to protect his family from their attack and of course he can’t kill him. But the greasers just leave anyway. What’s their deal? Why are they wasting their time?!
- Like I said, the greasers can’t go in the church. Highlander rules. No fighting on hollowed ground.
- Hahaha. Matheson begs his dead brother for help at his grave and a large bright light (like a portal) opens up and Matheson sees his brother. But a moment later the portal closes again and his brother his gone.
- Man, Scotty is so dumb.
- William Sanderson was a great help. Thanks Larry.
- So basically Matheson’s dead brother comes to help and some of the same events unfold exactly how they did back in 1963. Except Matheson fights back because he’s not 8 anymore. This saves his brother from dying again but the greasers still try to flee from the train in the tunnel but again they die. That is all. Thanks for stopping by.
Scare Level: Sometimes They Come Blah.
Gore Level: I don’t remember.
Nudity Level: This was a Made-For-TV movie.
Best Line: “Time to rock, jock!” No, seriously, there are no notable lines in this waste of space.
Best Scene: Months later, I don’t remember enough about this movie to comment on a good scene. My life savings say that there was nothing notable to comment on.
Worst Scene: Of course the ending not because it was lame and useless and predictable but also because it was almost note for note the same scene we saw earlier in the film.
Stephen King References: Vehicular death, 60s greaser personas, Inept police chiefs, old wise men aiding the protagonist.
Overall: As you can see I watched a few more Stephen King flicks back in October that didn’t make the Schlocktoberfest cut. While I had some interesting and amusing observations, this movie really isn’t worth much of anyone’s time. I don’t even think King watched this ever. It brings nothing new to the table, horror-wise, drama-wise, fantasy-wise, Ray Wise—nothing. So only if you really really really have to watch every single Stephen King movie adaptation would I recommend checking tis one out.
Score: 2 Tears for the Death of The Chipster (out of 10)