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|S E A R C H D V D B e a v e r|
Sleepwalkers aka Stephen King's Sleepwalkers [Blu-ray]
(Mick Garris, 1992)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation
Video: Image Entertainment / Eureka (UK)
Region: 'A'/ Region 'B' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 1:29:11.346 / 1:29:14.307
Disc Size: 19,568,778,450 bytes / 46,732,654,582 bytes
Feature Size: 18,820,952,064 bytes / 30,134,022,144 bytes
Video Bitrate: 24.88 Mbps / 35.49 Mbps
Chapters: 16 / 9
Case: Standard Blu-ray case / Transparentinside O-Card slipcase
Release date: September 4th, 2012 / October 26th, 2020
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: VC-1 Video
DTS-HD Master Audio English 1755 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1755 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
DTS-HD Master Audio English 2030 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 2030
kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1536 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1536 kbps /
English, Spanish, none / English (SDH), none
• Trailer (1:52)
New Audio Commentary with
director Mick Garris and film historian Lee Gambin
Description: Only Stephen King, the dark genius behind Misery, The Shining and Pet Sematary, could have written Stephen King's SLEEPWALKERS, a classic horror story that takes a perfect Norman Rockwell town and turns it inside out. Brian Krause and Alice Krige star in this terrifying tale of modern-day vampires who prey on virtuous young women. Madchen Amick plays the sexually curious virgin who falls for the new boy in school (Brian Krause), only to learn too late that he's a life-sucking Sleepwalker. Mutating at will from golden boy to savage monster, Krause stalks Amick to feed his seductive mother. As the tension mounts (and the casualties pile up), the town's tabbies gather for a final, chilling showdown with the monsters in their midst— and we all know it's not nice to hurt people's felines... With cameo appearances by Stephen King and Clive Barker.
Teen hunk Krause and his incestuous mother Krige are the last of a line of creatures who feed on the virtue and suffering of small-town virgins like Amick. So when Amick takes Krause to a graveyard to make out, he transforms into the date-rapist from Hell. The creature and transformation effects are impressive, but undermined by wild swings of tone: here, for example, explicit physical horror gives way to misjudged jokey taunts, until ended by the truly laughable intervention of a fearsome kitty cat. The slide into implausibility gathers pace as the scratched and wounded Krause is nursed by his fading mother in a house surrounded by a growing horde of vengeful pussies. It's never explained why they're afraid of domestic cats, why they're the last of their line, or why they're called Sleepwalkers. Garris is left by Stephen King's typically threadbare script to extract what few frights he can with tricksy camerawork, shock effects, and flesh-ripping gore.Excerpt from TimeOut located HERE
The film, which opened today at local theaters, follows the mayhem wrought by Mary and her son Charles (Brian Krause) when they arrive in the small town of Travis, Ind. Both mother and son are Sleepwalkers, werewolflike creatures condemned to feed on the life force of beautiful young women to stay alive. They are also lovers. Before dispatching her son to find a fresh young victim, Mary entices Charles to slow dance with her to his favorite song, "Sleep Walk" (what else?), the 1959 hit by the Brooklyn guitar duo Santo and Johnny.Excerpt from NY Times located HERE
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Image Entertainment use the VC-1 encode for their Blu-ray of Sleepwalkers. The effects don't look any more transparent than originally and the overall 1080P image quality is quite decent - clean, tight colors with a shade of softness. It seems brighter and truer than SD could relate although the single-layered visuals can tend to look a bit blocky at times. This Blu-ray seems to do its job without digital manipulations and although not upper-tier provides a fine presentation.
Eureka Classics Blu-ray of "Stephen King's Sleepwalkers" is the debut of the film in the UK in 1080p high definition. The older Image disc was sadly only a single-layer affair, with a mediocre VC-1 encoding (and middling bitrate). Fans can breathe easy though, knowing that Eureka's new Blu-ray disc is dual-layered with a completely maxed out bitrate. Not only do the colors look less saturated, the detail really shines and doesn't look anywhere as blocky as the old Image Blu-ray. Reds are still as bloody as ever, and the black levels are much stronger, and less blotchy and gray. A worthy upgrade for those with a Region 'B' player.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
No surround here with a DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel stereo track at 1755 kbps which seems to do well-enough. Nicholas Pike's score sounds balanced establishing some good aura. There are instances of depth and I don't have any strong complaints. There are 'blocked' opttional subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.
Another notable upgrade here on Eureka's new Blu-ray is the 5.1 surround track (albeit in DTS-HD 16-bit). There is a fair amount of separation that isn't too overwhelming, in fact it was rather impressive in the car chase sequence. That being said, I tend to prefer the original audio track, now in 16-it linear PCM 2.0 stereo. This track certainly bests the old Image disc's DTS stereo track, though both are adequate. The most memorable piece of music here is Santo & Johnny's surf guitar hit "Sleep Walk". The score is thanks to Emmy Award winning British composer Nicholas Pike. There are optional English SDH subtitles on this Region 'B' Blu-ray disc from Eureka.
Only a trailer as a supplement.
Not only does the Eureka Blu-ray provide the audio commentary with director Mick Garris (and actors Mädchen Amick and Brian Krause) but they also provide an all new track with director Mick Garris and film historian Lee Gambin. Gambin proves to be just as astute of a moderator / interviewer as he is a solo commentator, here asking director Garris some very deep and thoughtful questions, making their talk a fascinating listen. I particularly enjoyed the insight into Glenn Shadix's (R.I.P.) character, and the fine balancing act of not coming across as homophobic (Shadix was an openly gay actor and he and Garris made sure to not fall into old offensive tropes). There is also a great section where the two laugh about avoiding the tired and clichéd depictions of police in horror films. Eureka (via Scream Factory and Red Shirt productions) provide a bunch of must-watch interviews. The first up is, "Feline Trouble" is a 19-minute interview with director Mick Garris. Garris mentions that he found some common ground with Stephen King, since his early films have a thematic connection of "Norman Rockwell goes to Hell". The director discusses his excitement to work on "Sleepwalkers'', his first studio film (though he had made "Critters 2" and "Psycho IV" before this shoot) especially with a script from Stephen King. This interview, along with Garris' commentary with Lee Gambin, provides a great amount of insight into the film and the filmmaking process. "When Charles Met Tanya'' is a 15-minute interview with 2 of the film's lead stars (Mädchen Amick And Brian Krause). They still have quite a bit of chemistry and fondly recall working on "Sleepwalkers''. Krause also recalls an earlier role where he gave a line to Amick. The two then discuss certain memorable scenes and their mutual attraction to the 'dark and sexy' script. "Mother & More" is an insightful 16-minute interview with the eloquent Alice Krige. Krige discusses her acting process, as well as her time working on "Sleepwalkers". "Creatures & Cats: The FX of Stephen King’s Sleepwalkers" is a 16-minute featurette dealing with the rather effective special make-up effects used in the film. Tony Gardner (special make-up effects supervisor) first appears, speaking of coming off of working on "Army of Darkness" and "Psycho IV" (with director Garris). Mike Smithson (prosthetic design & sculpting) also appears to discuss his work with Gardner and some early use of CGI for a transformation scene. Garnder also mentions his work on Clive Barker's "Nightbreed" and John Landis' "Thriller" music-video. "Behind-the-scenes" is 7-minutes of rare archival footage, mostly dealing with the film's special effects shots. The film's trailer, some TV spots, and a stills gallery round out the extras on this Eureka Blu-ray disc. There is also a limited edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Craig Ian Mann for the first 2000 copies.
Image - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Eureka - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
"Sleepwalkers" is a much, much more enjoyable film than I had remembered. There is a ton to enjoy here, from the casting (yes those are also Ferris Bueller's parents) and cameos to the groundbreaking special effects and rather acerbic script from King. Eureka's new Blu-ray outshines the old Image release by leaps and bounds (image, audio, and extras). The real stand-out is the participation of director Garris in the bonus features. Highly recommended for genre fans.
September 3rd, 2012
October 14th, 2020
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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