The Worst Stephen King Movie, According To Rotten Tomatoes – SlashFilm


So — is “Graveyard Shift” really all that bad? Your mileage may vary, but in my humble opinion, no. This is by no means the best Stephen King movie, but it has its charms. Director Ralph S. Singleton, who never helmed a film after this, does a good job capturing how disgusting everything is. The cast is sweaty and filthy, and the mill is appropriately dirty. This is a gooey, grubby movie — it looks like everyone involved likely had to take several showers to wash all the grime off when production had wrapped. It’s disgusting. I’m not grossed out by rats at all — in fact, I think they’re kinda cute. But the rats in “Graveyard Shift” seem nasty as hell, their little furry bodies always slick with blood or other moisture. Heck, one of the first scenes of the movie shows us a rat taking a huge piss on a chair, and then some unlucky guy mopping that rat piss up with a handful of cotton. It’s friggin’ gross, folks. The rats are real rats, too, which adds a tangibility to the proceedings. One imagines if this movie got made today, all the critters would be CGI. That goes for the movies big bad, the giant rat-bat-monster, too. If “Graveyard Shift” were made today, the creature would be digital. Here, it’s a big, wet, goopy puppet. You gotta love that. 

“Graveyard Shift” also does a good job capturing King’s early blue collar worker vibes. Before he was a millionaire, King was a working stiff struggling to put food on the table, pounding out short stories in hot laundry rooms, dreaming of bigger things. His early stories and novels convey that struggle, and there’s a real sense of that in the film. The employees of the mill don’t want to descend into the rat-infested basement, but they do it, because they need the paycheck. I think we can all relate to that. Sure, we probably haven’t been forced to climb down into a kingdom of rats, but we’ve all likely had to work crappy jobs and do things we resent in order to get paid. 

David Andrews is rather bland as lead character Hall, but Stephen Macht is a blast as the wicked boss Warwick. Macht employs a Maine Yankee accent … or at least tries to. It’s not really convincing, but it is memorable, and the actor brings genuine sweaty menace to the part. The other characters don’t like him, and we don’t like him, either. Throw in a brief turn from Chucky actor Brad Dourif, playing an weirdo Vietnam veteran exterminator who pals around with a little dog, and you’ve got something fun here. “Graveyard Shift” may sit at the bottom of the pack of Stephen King movies on Rotten Tomatoes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. 

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