STEPHEN KING'S SLEEPWALKERS
Stephen King, Master of the Macabre, chose a decidedly different spin with one of the pillars of the Horror genre. Vampires are the subject of the film however; they seem to be more feline than the vampires we are accustomed to seeing. A "mother" and her "son" have moved from their seaside community to a small town well inland. The son enrolls in the local High School and takes an instant liking to one of the local girls. Unbeknownst to her, this beau is far more than he appears and is intent on draining her life force before the date is over. When a local schoolteacher discovers that all the new kid's information is bogus, he goes with "other intentions" to determine, his background and the truth. One thing leads to another and the fur really begins to fly. People die, cats are maimed and killed and oh yeah, Alice Krige, (Borg Queen, Star Trek First Contact) plays the "mother/lover" to the monster (eeeewww!) The difference about the vampires that makes them unique is that they aren't particularly nocturnal, they don't drink blood per se' and they are more cat than anything else. Sleepwalkers provides a unique perspective from which to view one of horror's most endearing concepts.
Both the audio and video for the feature are disappointing. The audio is presented in a Dolby 2.0 channel platform that lacks depth of audio field if you will in that there are no audio effects to speak of. The bulk of the audio comes from the center and the L/R fronts. The general presentation is one that is tinny and lackluster at best. No sub and no rear activity only add to the blah audio presentation for this film. The video presentation is not the worst I've seen but it's not the best by any stretch. The print itself bears a fair amount of scratching that I would have thought would have been removed in the remastering of the video. Overall, the presentation has a dull washed out look that resembles more of a TV Non-Cable look to it. The disc bears both widescreen and full frame editions of the film. One of the quirkier aspects of the disc is that no matter what you select regarding the audio or the extras, you end up at the first screen of the menu prompting you for the full frame or widescreen version. More of a nuisance than anything.
The extras for the disc are talent bios for the cast and trailers for several films. No trailer for Sleepwalkers was provided however. You will however find trailers for Screamers, Romero's Night of the Living Dead and several other low budget bad horror/Sci-Fi films. Much like the film itself, the trailers are in pretty poor shape both audio and video wise.
Sleepwalkers is not a very good movie. The acting is pretty bad and the special effects, even for the day, are pretty poor. Nothing is really explained in the film so it's hard to One: understand the point of their existence and Two: you really don't connect with any of the characters to really give a spit one way or the other about their survival or lack of it thereof. The night Flier is another of King's vampire entries and it does a far more eloquent job in creating the kind of atmosphere and terror needed to drive this film. If you are a fan of the film and have waited for its digital release, I think you'll be disappointed. However, if you are a casual observer, it's at least worth a rental just to satisfy the curiosity. Rent it.