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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Sleepwalkers aka Stephen King's Sleepwalkers [Blu-ray]


(Mick Garris, 1992)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Columbia Pictures Corporation

Video: Image Entertainment



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:29:11.346

Disc Size: 19,568,778,450 bytes

Feature Size: 18,820,952,064 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.88 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: September 4th, 2012



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)



English, Spanish, none



• Trailer (1:52)





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.



The Film:

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.















Audio :

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.


Extras :

Only a trailer as a supplement.



These "Stephen King's ABC" popcorn flics have a kind of comforting level of gimmicky, inventive horror to them. Thinner was similar in this regard. Not bad if you let your guard down. I can, at least, appreciate that they aren't masquerading as something superior. Sure, parts of this are goofy but if you are forgiving in that film-going regard you might get some cheapish thrills from Sleepwalkers. I was attentive and didn't hate the experience - whatever endorsement that implies. Hey, keep your eyes peeled for the likes of John Landis, Joe Dante, Stephen King, Clive Barker and Tobe Hooper as part of the onscreen cast. The Blu-ray elevates the fear and tension and that alone should give it value to any fans of the film - if there are any. 

Gary Tooze

September 3rd, 2012


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.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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