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  • Warning: Spoilers
    This might be the craziest Stephen King adaptation ever made (and yes, I am aware of "The Lawnmower Man"). It's so f**king intense from start to finish that it makes Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" look like a Hallmark movie. The studio executives no doubt wanted to make a few bucks with a by-the-numbers B-movie and chose the director based on his past experience on a number of respectable movies; no one could have predicted that he'd go balls-out crazy and treat a story about a mutant rat monster as if he'd been handed the script to "Macbeth."

    A drifter named John arrives in the town of Gate's Falls and applies for a job in a rat-infested textile mill run by Mr. Warwick (played by an unknown actor named Stephen Macht, whose attempted Maine accent sounds more Transylvanian), a deliriously evil man who rules not only the mill, but the entire town, with an iron fist. Warwick regularly strolls through the mill to laugh at how exhausted everyone is and knowingly sends his employees to their doom in the basement, which is inhabited by a huge rat-bat hybrid. This seems like an extremely counterproductive way to run a business, but it's best not to question anything in this movie. Meanwhile, an exterminator gone wrong (Brad Dourif's performance will give you nightmares) attempts to flush out the mill's rats, and John sort of develops a relationship with the mill's secretary, although even the romantic scenes are not handled calmly. As an example of the film's overall mood, at one point Warwick sends John to help clean the basement; the script probably said, "Warwick sends John to clean the basement," but it plays out with Warwick and John staring each other down wild-eyed as if Warwick had challenged John to a death-match; it is indeed the most intense "one character asks another to do a simple task" scene in history.

    Basically everything in the movie is like that, until the final sequence, at which point the maniacal director apparently tore the script into confetti and threw it into the air, because all nine levels of hell break loose. Our small cleaning crew, including Warwick, descends through a trapdoor and finds itself lost in a maze of wooden tunnels, the mill being some kind of labyrinthine, "House of Leaves"-style structure that extends hundreds of feet below the surface of the earth, and the rat-bat begins killing them off. Warwick goes completely off the beam at this time and begins chasing John and his girlfriend through the tunnels after smearing his face full of black grease. He encounters the rat-beast and throws himself at it, screaming, "We're going to hell... TOGETHUUUHHH!!!" Somehow, John and Jane descend even deeper, and end up in a massive cavern packed full of human bones; I could only imagine the director running around foaming at the mouth as he told his set design crew he needed the most gigantic cavern ever put on screen. Then, through some miracle, our man John makes it back into the textile mill and defeats the monster using, and this is no less crazy than it sounds, a Pepsi can. These final scenes are exhausting, but the movie isn't about to let some trifle like an "ending" release its grip on the viewer, because a nightmarish theme song then begins playing consisting of a bizarre techno beat with sounds of industrial machinery and bits of dialogue mixed over it. The tremendous amount of effort that was put into this thing forces me to rate it 8/10; any less and I am afraid the director might track me down and cut out my eyes or something.
  • Right then, I've read every review up until this one and I have to say..its the same old story - you're mostly all fruitcakes. GRAVEYARD SHIFT is one ripper of an admittedly "oddball" movie. A few people evidently share this view which is encouraging at least.

    The film is a terrific character study and never have I come across a more depressingly grotty and apt setting for a bleak horror film. You need little imagination to smell the filth and dirt. David Andrews makes a superb anti-hero, as the college-boy/drifter who takes it right up to Mill owner Warwick...as dislikable a screen presence as any and so well played by Stephen Macht. Loved the caddie-bashing sequence. Brad Dourif as the Exterminator was simply out of his tree here - overacting????? hardly! this is Brad Dourif we're talking about!

    So, four-fifths of you heaped scorn on the rat/bat? (it was a BAT actually) What the HELL does it matter WHAT it was - a feral chicken even? I've seen way worse monsters than this in my time around horror flicks. The production values on this film were high, this was NOT a rabid el-cheapo along the lines of HOWLING II !

    In case you're interested. I would rate this as one of the better horror flicks of the last millennium. If I'm losing my objectivity then it must be a case of collective hypnosis because everyone in this family (and you're talking seriously varied tastes here) likes this flick! I would rate it a 6.75 !
  • You don't hear or read much about this movie based on a short story written by Stephen King and I think that's a shame. It sure ain't no big masterpiece but it got several things going for it. Though, there is ONE aspect that makes this film very memorable ! The very creepy atmosphere. Graveyard Shift takes place is a textile factory during a very hot summer. Temperatures are so high, the men have to work at night...during the Graveyard Shift !

    You can actually feel the heat these men are working in. You can feel the sweat running down their back and you can feel the dirt on their bodies, caused by the hard work. That's a very good mood being set. When it comes to the level of "scary" I would dare to say that some scenes equal to that of "Arachnophobia"... Because the hideous little creatures here are rats, and these animals scare and disgust people as much as spiders do. Graveyard Shift contains some great acting performances as well. Andrew Divoff is a decent actor and the guy who plays Warwick is fantastic ! He has the face of a natural born bastard so the role he plays fits him very well. I don't know his name but he reminds me of Fred Ward. I'll keep my eyes open for possible other movies he starred in. And then there's ...Brad Dourif!! This guy always delivers !!! Whether he plays in big budget productions like LOTR: The Two Towers or in small obscure horror films, he's always brilliant. Especially here, as the "Exterminator". His little Vietnam anecdote is the best scene in the whole film. He's still too underrated, if you ask me. So these are all good elements, no ? Then, why is Graveyard Shift not up there with the big titles in the genre? Well, the low budget obviously killed this movie. Most scenes are very dark and hard to follow. The big monster is supposed to be very impressive, but you're never able to see it properly. Half of the time, you're wondering "what? ...what happened ??" Real shame and waste. I'm convinced that with a few clear and decent special effects and make-up, this movie could have been one of the best horror films of the 90's.
  • In what looks and feels like a low budget movie, the workers of a textile mill with a huge rat infestation, discover that there's a deeper more monstrous secret deep in their basement than just a rodent problem.

    With a silly story, poorly developed script, bad acting and average directing, this movie fails to deliver on almost every level. Excluding some few scenes by Brad Dourif, this movie is considered a complete waste of time and money.
  • Films like this one were released by the bucket load in the 1980's, but as 1990 approached; they became less and less common. Still, there are a lot of silly horror flicks that were released in the 90's debut year, and, surprisingly, this one isn't all that bad. It lacks all the elements that make great films great films, of course; things such as brains, coherency and any whisper of characters has been neglected in favour of monster special effects and a few nice death scenes; but seriously, that's all you want from a film like this, so to say that Graveyard Shift does it's job isn't wrong. The film is based on a short story by Stephen King. Nearly everything that King has ever touched has been turned into a film, with a lot of mixed results. I would put this one in the middling category, which isn't a bad place to be in considering all the failed adaptations. The plot is typically thin (it is a SHORT story!) and it follows a man who gets a job in a cotton mill. The place is infested with rats, and after being charged with cleaning the place up, our hero finds a trapdoor and soon he and his team are up against the reason rats have made their home in the mill...

    One thing that really stands out about this film is the atmosphere. Director Ralph S. Singleton delights in presenting a fetid and disturbing aura around the central location, and this helps the story massively and gives the film an almost 'odyssey' approach when the characters finally make their way underground. I don't find rats scary, personally, but many people do and this film could easily be a reason why! The way that the rats surround the characters is brooding and frightening and provides the film with one of it's key elements. Acting definitely isn't a key element of Graveyard Shift, but the appearance of popular cult actor Brad Dourif will please many of this films' audience. I'm not a massive of fan of Dourif personally, but I respect his ability to shine in campy productions. The story doesn't offer anything in the way of a point, and it's incoherency will annoy many - but if you go into this film with the right sort of expectations, and don't think you're about to see a horror classic, Graveyard Shift really shouldn't disappoint.
  • Stephen King's Graveyard Shift is curiously one of my favourite adaptations of his work. I say curiously because it's not a very tasteful film, let alone even a good one. It's simple schlock and awe, goo and slime for 90 minutes straight, every human character either an unsettling nutcase or cardboard stock archetype. There's just something so Midnite Movie- esque about it though, a sense of fun to its gigantic, hollowed out mess of a textile mill in which some kind of vile denizen stalks a night crew that pretty much deserves everything they get. People wander about, squabble and are picked off in ways that get steadily more gruesome until the final reveal of the monster in some overblown puss-palooza of a finale. What more do you need in your bottom feeder helping of horror? Steven Macht is the sleazebag who runs the mill at his tyrannical whim, while David Andrews is the closest thing you'll find to a stoic protagonist. Andrew 'Wishmaster' Divoff shows up as a stock character, but it's Brad Dourif who chews scenery and ends up the only memorable person as the world's most simultaneously intense and incompetent exterminator, a bug eyed little weirdo who freaks people out with extended monologues about Viet Nam when he should be perusing corridors to find whatever's lurking there. The monster itself, if I remember correctly, is one big pile of grossly misshappen, poopy prosthetic puppetry, as is often the case in early 90's King fare. Would you want it any other way? Simple, efficient and impressively gory is what you'll find on this shift.
  • A surprisingly good rat flick (another in a long line of minor classic neglected King adaptations). The changes made to the story are really quite good. In particular Brad Dourif as the Exterminator. He has a scene where he's describing how rats were used in 'Nam (not present in the short story) that's mesmerizing -- Dourif completely owns it.

    Stephen Macht is great with his ridiculous "Maine" accent and scene chewing. It's a kind of perfect demented B-movie performance.

    This is just another good rat movie let down by an abrupt, nonsensical ending. This one ends as just a boring creature feature with a giant bat underground. None of the foreboding or terror that preceded it. Killing off the best characters in lackluster ways. It really felt like the filmmakers had no idea where to take it, or ran out of time and money. Sad.
  • Bland David Andrews is a quiet hunk drifter who starts the late shift at a grimy Maine textile mill, headed over by a sadistic sleazeball boss (Stephen Macht). The basement work crew start falling prey to a giant rat monster that lurks underground. Real rats are all over the place too, to clean up the bodies.

    The gore FX are mostly top-notch, the sets are good and there's plenty of violence and action, but this pointless movie is one big, unpleasant cliché thanks to poor direction and scripting (by John Esposito, based on the Stephen King story). Everyone yells and screams a lot, but Kelly Wolf (as a tough female worker who can hold her own) and Brad Dourif (as 'Nam vet pest exterminator Tucker Cleveland) are the only two who bring any spark to their roles.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film is sadly underrated: Actually, this may be caused by the relative low-key way the film is shot in. In contrast to many other recent "horror"-movies (take "The Mummy" for instance) the special effects are not generally exploiting gory, in-depth looks at the monsters (which almost always tend to ruin much of the real horror, i e where you yourself fill in on the aspects not covered by the camera; a commendable example of this last aspect would be the first "Alien", where the monster often only is shown in extreme short-cut scenes). Anyway, what made the film stand out is, however, not the spare use of monster-over exposure but the social setting of the plot. Unlike many other American stories, which seem to be set in rather idyllic surroundings (but for the appearance of the monster, that is!), this film actually lay out a more grim, perspective: The owners and the manager of the plant are basically exploiting the workers in search of greater profits, the possibilities of getting other jobs seem slim, the local people is not very keen on strangers and peoples´ basic attitudes towards each other often seem to range between distrust and hostility. This creates a darker, more menacing setting for the everyday life than could be expected; something I find much more interesting than the ordinary "everything here was so fine until the monster arrived to our idyllic town"-plot. If one likes to think about symbolic interpretations of horror movies (and why not? Even Stephen King does this in his book "Dance Macabre"), one could perhaps state that the monster in some way could be perceived as the physical manifestation of all hostility, exploitation and other bad feelings which seem to prevail in the little society depicted;-)

    To top it all (warning- spoiler ahead!), given what happens to one of the sympathetic characters very close to the end of the movie, there is not a really wholeheartedly happy ending: Quite extraordinary if you think about that this actually is an American movie!

    To summarize: This is a horror movie which, in many positive ways, feels like it was made by an independent company!
  • In Gates Falls,Maine,an old textile mill that has been closed down for many years is reopened.The place is dirty,run down,and overrun with huge rats.The graveyard shift is operated by a skeleton crew,just enough to keep it going.This is where we meet John Hall,a young drifter who gets hired on to work with the crew.The plant which is infested with rats also harbors something much larger,deep in it's cotton filled bowels,something that wants to come up to the surface.The crew of the graveyard shift are about to come face to face with what's underneath the factory."Graveyard Shift" is loosely based on Stephen King's short story.The film is fast-paced and entertaining and offers some gore plus a few shocks.Many people trashed this horror film,but I don't care."Graveyard Shift" is still much better than bloodless and politically correct horror garbage produced today.The cast is decent and the production design provides plenty of eerie atmosphere.Give this one a look.9 out of 10.
  • Toronto8511 March 2011
    Warning: Spoilers
    Stephen King's Graveyard Shift is a gritty and messy little film about rats and yarn mills. The story is about a group of workers who are instructed by their boss to clean out the rat infested basement of the mill they work at. Meanwhile, a few other people have been murdered by a mysterious creature roaming the workplace. Also there is a hoard of rats down there which love to lick up human blood. So as soon as the cleaning crew start their work, they get attacked by the huge creature and many of them die. The creature's death at the end is done well, but it doesn't make up for the boring movie.

    Now, I still don't know what the hell the huge creature is at the end. It's supposed to be a giant rat (I think) but it looks like a bat. Maybe it's a mutation, who knows? It does look gruesome though. The death scenes involve lots of gruesome gore as well. The problem with this film, which was originally a short story, is that it goes on and on too long. It's very dull and just plain boring at times. And I have to say watching this film, I wonder if the actors were told not to shower at all during the making of it. They all looked so dirty and nasty. The grittiness of the movie is at an extreme.

    And all of the characters are plain scum. As viewers you root for them to die in a way just so they'll shut up. Like the guy down in the basement killing rats with a water hose. Did he have to scream every time he pumped out the water? That scene went on for a good three minutes. I couldn't wait for him to be off my screen. This is one of Stephen's King's worst adaptions. Children the Corn is often frowned upon when King's films are mentioned, but this is far worse.

    3/10
  • John Hall (David Andrews) is a drifter looking for a job in a small town, somewhere in Maine. He is hired by Warwick (Stephen Macht) to work the Graveyard Shift at the local textile mill. Some of the employees are starting to disappear during the night shift. When Warwick hires John and a group of other workers to work in the fourth of July for clean-up work. Soon enough, they discover the unknown.

    Directed by Ralph S. Singleton made an decent horror movie, based on a short story by Stephen King (Cat's Eye, Creepshow, Stand by Me). The two-thirds of "Graveyard Shift" is pretty good, but the Giant Rat-Bat(!) shows up towards the end, the feature turns silly. Still, there is some good performances by Andrews, Macht and Brad Dourif as the Exterminator. Andrew Diroff, Best Known as The Djinn in "Wishmaster 1 & 2" is wasted in a supporting role. Die-Hard fans of Stephen King might forgive some of the flawed. Despite, an messy third act. It is worth a look. (*** ½/*****).
  • Truthfully, the production isn't so bad (no worse than most King adaptations) and the direction is rather passable. The bug, like in most bad films, is the script.

    With such a strong cast and good production values, this should have been a great film.

    But somehow the story bogs down at the beginning, more interested in the terrible management of an old mill than the giant monster in the basement. The story makes a play at being true to the source while making a statement but by the last 30 minutes it suddenly remembers that it's a horror movie and tries to stuff the denouement and everything else into a few rushed scenes. The monster, which was actually quite good, doesn't even get time to breathe.

    Brad Dourif does his best to save the movie, playing a creepy exterminator with a Jeffery Combs style mania (if the two of them were ever in a movie, the world would explode from the awesome).

    But in the end this film had everything, from a giant bat to a good cast, and it still sucked.
  • I first saw this in the early 90s on a vhs. Revisited it recently. Workers working in a mill from evening till morning to avoid the extreme heat encounter rats infestation due to the mill being next to a cemetery. The mill foreman hires a rat exterminator but he is unable to kill all of the rats. He explains to one of the worker that during the Vietnam war, the soldiers used to cut open a portion above the abdomen of captured soldiers n make a hungry rat nibble on the wound. To make the rat pierce inside the wound, the soldiers used to take a metal bucket n cover the rat n heat up the bucket with flames. This short story is much better than the entire film. This film has lack of tension n the kills r nothing memorable or gory.
  • the only thing good about this movie is the fact that you keep guessing over and over and over until the annoying ending. i rank this movie a 2 out of 10 because it makes no sense, the monster makes no sense, and they could have improved greatly on the actors.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Graveyard shift is set in a textile mill that from the outside looks like a large house. It also has a small run down graveyard next to it that is constantly enshrouded in mist and fog, no matter how sunny and clear it is elsewhere. It's late at night, a worker is operating a machine called a 'picker'. He notices rats everywhere, the mill is infested with them. He picks one up and puts it into the machine which slices the rat up into little pieces. Then he notices a shadow, someone or something is behind him, he turns around there is a loud squealing noise, he screams and falls into the machine. Chopped up bits of his body emerge from the other side which the rats begin to nibble on. This unfortunate 'accident' means there is a job vacancy at the mill. A drifter named John Halls (David Andrews) wanders into town and sees an advert in a local diner for the position at 'Bachman Mills'. He talks to the supervisor, Mr. Warwick (Stephen Macht) and is given the job, that of operating the picker from 11pm to 7am which is dubbed the 'graveyard shift'. Shortly after starting work Warwick gives Halls a chance to earn double pay. He is assembling a clean up crew to tidy up the basement. Halls agrees, along with four other workers Charlie Carmicheal (Jimmy Woodward), Brogan (Vic Polizos), Danson (Andrew Divoff) and Warwick's ex wife Jane Wisconsky (Kelly Wolf). While cleaning up Halls discovers a trap door, they all venture down inside only to become trapped and be killed off one by one by a giant rat-bat monster!

    Directed by Ralph S. Singleton this is a seriously poor, stupid and incredibly clichéd horror film. The script by John Esposito based on a short story by Stephen King is terrible. The fog enshrouded graveyard, characters who argue with each other and split up rather than help each other to survive, a stupid over-the-top exterminator (Brad Dourif) who takes his job ridiculously seriously and rambles incoherently on about past exploits and Vietnamese trained rats who becomes the 'comedy relief' plus a blossoming relationship between the two leads which becomes stronger as the film goes on because of the situation they find themselves in. Every cliché in the book is here, you can easily figure out who's going to die and who's going to survive. The scenes in between the rat-bat monster attacks are really dull and uninteresting, I just sat there waiting for the next special effects scene hoping it's not too far away. No explanation for the giant rat-bat monster is given at all, not a single reason for it being there or how it was created. It's just sort of there and that's it, we have to accept it. The acting is uniformly bad, Andrews has to be one of the most bland and uninteresting leading men ever! You can barely understand what Macht is saying because of his ridiculous accent. This film apparently cost $10,500,000! Where did all the money go? I bet the executives at Paramount had heart attacks when they saw what their money had brought! There's not even that much gore in it, a chopped off foot, a man with no hand and a couple of shots of blood splattering over walls and furniture, and that's it. No nudity either I'm afraid. The monster is never really completely seen, just shots of it's head, claws, tail and wings although I thought the effects looked alright. A real wasted opportunity, this film adds nothing new to the horror genre and is pretty poor. Definiteatly one to avoid.
  • hkspam6 January 2020
    The best actors were the rats, and that's saying something.
  • Scarecrow-8829 December 2006
    Warning: Spoilers
    This is one that goes under the title, "How To Make a Bad Creature Feature." Still, it's completely trashy nature charms me somewhat. It certainly has enough filth, garbage & rats to satisfy anyone who loves to immerse themselves in low-rent horror.

    Down in the bowels of a cotton mill lives something quite sinister, with an appetite for factory workers who venture anywhere near his lair.

    John Hall(Dana Andrews, who is simply a lifeless blank)is a mysterious drifter who wanders into the position of running a Graveyard Shift textile machine once operated by someone else who saw something massive and fell it that blasted machine providing the rats with nourishment. Warwick(Stephen Macht, a hoot as he overextends his character's menace to the extreme) is the manager of the mill with a bit of a nasty streak which hides under a vile visage. Tucker Cleveland(Brad Dourif, who easily steals the film with his limited time on screen)is the exterminator of the mill who works day and night wasting those rat-vermin who wish to rear their ugly heads from the bowels. This mill should've been closed down forever, but Warwick has a way of extending time for a 4th of July clean-up where those who decide to work for double-pay, including Hall and his love-interest Jane(Kelly Wolf), will find true horror down in the basement of the place.

    I have no right whatsoever recommending this hunk of pure trash to anyone, but those who enjoy rats and garbage may find it amusing. It's full of nefarious, colorfully animated characters like Macht's evil manager and Dourif's exterminator which may bring a delight to trash-lovers everywhere. Highlights include Dourif's exterminator explaining to Hall about an experience in Vietnam which inspired his choice of occupation where a prisoner of war is used as meat for specially trained rats(as he expresses in exact detail, Dourif gets so caught up in the intensity of the character he sheds a tear..that ought to bring a bit of respect from some that an actor of his caliber would care so much to give away part of himself to such a rotten movie), or how Hall traps the monster in the textile machine.But how Warwick goes over the edge, insanely with face paint used from grease of an old jar, as he chases after the creature has to be the ultimate highlight.

    I think the best audience for this type of film is those lovers of bad Creature features, because in it's own ugly way, this film can be entertaining. But, it doesn't have one good bone in it's body, so others might wish to stay as far away as possible.
  • I first saw this film back in 1991 and was not to impressed. It wasn't until about 7 years ago I decided to watch the film again and give it a second chance. It's a good thing I did because the film is actually rather good. The characters are interesting enough, especially Brad Douriff's character as the exterminator, but I think what makes this film worth watching was the atmosphere. It is very dark and you get the feeling through the whole movie something is horribly wrong. I think it was one of the better Stephen King adaptations to screen (even if it is loosely based on the short story). I give it a 7. Worth while for any horror buff simply for the mood of the film.
  • Stephen King and Hollywood has always had an unsteady relationship. For every good to decent film produced from the prolific horror-meister's works (Misery,Pet Semetary,Stand By Me) there have been several more middling to downright awful ones (Children of the Corn,The Lawnmower Man,The Dark Half). Graveyard Shift, a 1990 adaptation of King's same named short story, is absolutely in the latter category. Graveyard Shift is a complete waste of time and celluloid, devoid of any scares, laughs or any other redeeming quality. If you want a bottom of the barrel Stephen King film, look no further than this travesty.

    Set in a cotton mill in what I guess is supposed to be Maine (one character references Castle Rock, King's well known fictional Maine town), Graveyard Shift begins with a character who likes to shoot rats with rocks being attacked by . . . something . . . and then dying in the cotton picker. Into town walks John Hall (Dave Andrews) a drifter looking for work, who lands a job at the mill, under the direction of the rather unkind, and potentially unhinged, foreman, Warwick (Stephen Macht). Warwick is a rather despicable character, using the female employees to fulfill his sexual needs while trying to cut a few bucks here and there in regards to worker safety. When he is ordered to clean up the basement or be shut down, he recruits several of the plant workers for the job, but they quickly realize that there is . . . something . . . down there in the basement with them.

    Graveyard Shift is the kind of film that used to be cranked out in the 1970s and 80s by major studios, I suspect, because they were cheap to make and even with a lower than average box office compared to major films, they still managed to turn a decent profit for the studio. Because it is almost certain no one was greenlighting Graveyard Shift because it promised to be a good movie. And a good movie is definitely not what director Ralph S. Singleton and screenwriter Jon Esposito have supplied. There is nothing of value in Graveyard Shift. The characters are almost exclusively ciphers, existing for no other reason than to be picked off one by one by the film's creature that lives in the mill. Main character John Hall has no development to speak of, and the attempt by the filmmakers to create a relationship between him and female worker Jane (Kelly Wolf) is dead on arrival. Neither character is interesting, or heck, even really present, other than to serve as something for the camera to be focused on most of the time.

    Stephen Macht provides a seemingly hissable villain in the form of Warwick, but he is almost completely a caricature, a creation of the screenplay to give us someone to root against, not a three dimensional character. When he goes off his rocker towards the end of the film, it is completely out of left field, not something that has been building throughout the narrative. The only character who is even vaguely interesting is the exterminator called in to deal with the rat problem at the mill, played by Brad Dourif. His exterminator holds a personal vendetta against rats due to their use in torture when he was in Vietnam (and I wonder if some material intended for his character was transplanted to Warwick at some point in the re-write stage of development). But slightly interesting doesn't equal necessary, and Dourif's character is even given the weakest, most pointless send-off of any of the film's characters.

    The makeup effects of the creature are acceptable, I guess, but we are never given much of a good look at it. But, for the most part, the film's gore quotient, one of the reasons people would show up to these films, is pretty limited. And there is certainly no tension, scares or suspense to speak of. Never once was I concerned for anyone on screen, and there is a jump scare or two, but nothing remarkable, and many of them are predictable.

    Graveyard Shift was released in 1990, at the end of the horror film era of the previous two decades, before the genre would go into remission for a few years before being re-born with the self referential Scream series followed by Hollywood's brief dalliance with J-Horror. And frankly, if Graveyard Shift is representative of what the genre brought to the table, then it was deserving of being buried.
  • dawson-michelle26 December 2004
    I did not think this film was bad, in fact I enjoyed it and I was surprised, my usual 'tipple' are 1930's black and white horror, usually I do not like modern horror but this film was Shown over Christmas 2004 on British TV and I thought I would watch it, I am glad I did.... Why??? A uncle of mine used to have a farm and he was plagued with rats, there was hundreds of them, the dogs would go mad... ...in one week we finished of some 500+ in one day saw over 250+ and... I once heard a Vicar/Preacher talk of meeting some thing strange when he was in a graveyard one night, some thing over eight feet tall and very evil looking, he was serious, very very serious.... There are some very strange things on this Earth... Do watch this film.... Martin Dawson
  • In a dark and nasty textile factory close to a cemetery and infested of rats, many workers are missing. When the corrupt manager Warwick (Stephen Macht) is forced by a sanitary agent to hire the exterminator Tucker Cleveland (Brad Dourif), he asks Tucker to use less poison than necessary to reduce the costs. Meanwhile, the drifter John Hall (David Andrews) applies for a job and accepts the position of operator of a textile machine in the graveyard shift. What they do not know is that there is a huge creature is in the underground of the mill threatening the workers.

    "Graveyard Shift" is a gruesome horror tale with a dark story, rats, and nasty and disgusting locations. Most of the characters are unpleasant but the direction and performances are good. This film is certainly recommended for a very specific audience and may not please the viewer. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "A Criatura do Cemitério" ("The Creature from the Cemetery")

    Note: On 30 Aug 2020, I saw this film again.
  • Grover-2128 March 2000
    Seeing a certain overrated Oscar-winning film recently made me think about making a list of the worst films I've ever seen. This one is Number One. There is absolutely nothing good about this movie. Hideously unappealing characters stumble about in the dark until they're killed by bad special effects. I saw it in a theater in Philly in 1990. People were actually talking back to the screen, and the audience seemed to be enjoying their comments more than the film! Unfortunately, this wouldn't have worked on the real Mystery Science Theater 3000: it's far too dull. I love horror movies, but the only horror here was mine at being stuck watching this disaster. Avoid this film at all costs.
  • GRAVEYARD SHIFT opens w/ a grisly "accident", involving a worker at the Bachman cotton mill and a rather large pack of rats. Enter newly-hired John Hall (David Andrews), who replaces the late "cotton picker" in the basement. Hall gets right to work, stuffing piles of raw cotton into a mammoth machine. He quickly notices the rodent problem, in spite of the fact that the world's most psychotic exterminator (Brad Dourif- THE EXORCIST 3) has been on the job, having been employed by Warwick (Stephen Macht), the universe's most reprehensible boss. Of course, most of Hall's coworkers are neanderthals as well. The next thing he knows, Hall is on the titular, basement clean up crew. Hellish, hairy horror unfolds when a subbasement is uncovered, turning the rest of the movie into a nightmare fun house! Fans of the original short story by Stephen King (from his book- NIGHT SHIFT) will immediately be struck by the massive amount of padding created to stretch things out to feature film length. Even so, it's not bad, and adds more heft to the tale, building tension for the final revelation. As monster movies go, this one makes the grade. Practical effects lovers should rejoice aloud! The hungry creature is well-realized and makes quite an impression...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This cheesy adaptation of a Stephen King short story is a bad film lover's dream come true. Fans widely agree that this is possibly the worst of the King stories, but I'm forced to disagree. Didn't anybody else realise how bad PET SEMATARY was? GRAVEYARD SHIFT is a hoot from start to finish, packed with atrocious acting, stereotyped characters, and all manner of rubbery gore to boot. There isn't really much of a plot with this one, it's just about people running around in the basement of a wool mill and in the catacombs beneath.

    In most cases, it's as bad as you would expect. They forgot to add a story, the dialogue is stupid, and the acting is about as bad as you can see - I've seen amateur productions where the actors display more conviction with their lines. David Andrews is particularly poor as the charisma-free lead. An exceptionally poor performance from a young Andrew Divoff also comes as a surprise, seeing as he later when on to bigger and better things when cast as a villain in the likes of WISHMASTER.

    Elsewhere, we have a totally forgettable love interest, a Fred Ward lookalike who goes crazy in the dank darkness, and a reliable Brad Dourif who is probably this film's only saving grace, giving as he does a hilariously over the top portrayal of a crazy exterminator who is the film's greasiest, most likable character. Where this film did surprise me were the number of atmospheric, haunting moments as characters run around some old caves while the beast lurks in the shadows. It's surprising for a film of this variety to actually be scary but it does work occasionally. I also liked the deeply macabre moment where one guy falls through the ground onto a giant pile of mouldering skeletons. With this and the tentacled monster, it's almost Lovecraftian in nature.

    It goes without saying that the monster is most effective when we don't see it, and the final appearance is a rubbery monstrosity for all the wrong reasons. For the monster turns out to be a giant slimy bat, which has been eating people for ages without anybody finding out (they never explain this). It's painfully obvious how fake the beast is but I admired the gore-splattered finale which has it crushed to death in a press. This move is to be avoided by fans of decent films and rat haters. For those to like their cheese mature and enjoy playing "guess who's gonna be killed next" then GRAVEYARD SHIFT is for you.
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