A film written for the screen by Stephen King, "Sleepwalkers" is an odd attempt at horror, with a plot that ends up making the film seem unintentionally funny due to how absurd it is. To launch into a detailed talk about the plot, it involves a mother-son team of shape-changers who need to snack on people. In fact, they must be virgins (I'm not kidding, that's what the story said.). The son, Charles Brady(Brian Krause) meets a prime target in Tanya Robertson (the whatever-happened-to Madchen Amick).
If he doesn't get a virgin to his mother, than she might pass on due to lack of food. This explanation is a little bit awkward, but it's really the only way of talking about such a weird movie. That, and he and his mother have a relationship that's a bit too friendly at times. We also find out that cats are the natural enemies of these shape-shifters as local cats try to attack every so often (or, simply sometimes they just sit in the scene and look fascinated.).
There's even a few car chases set to 80's metal music thrown in for good measure. What special effects the film does present are almost completely unconvincing, some even laughably funny. The acting by some of the cats throughout the film is actually better than most of the humans, although Alice Krige(who also played the Borg Queen in "Star Trek: First Contact") is quite entertaining playing the mother.
What keeps the film moderately enjoyable is that the movie obviously doesn't take itself completely seriously. While that definitely doesn't save it completely, it at least makes it a little more watchable as B-movies go.
VIDEO: This is an okay presentation from Columbia/Tristar; it's probably the best they can do with the material. The picture looks fairly soft at times, although some scenes look better than others. At best, the picture looks fairly well-defined and at least clean, free of all but a couple of problems.
Print flaws didn't seem to be too much of an issue. Some slight marks appeared on an inconsistent basis, and weren't enough to prove to be much of a distraction when they did appear. Minor shimmering and pixelation come up a couple of times, but very briefly. Colors seem a little bit pale, but generally look natural and crisp. Overall, this is a pretty good presentation, probably the best the film has looked. English, Korean, Chinese, Thai, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles are included. A choice of widescreen or full-screen presentations are available from the main menu. Making it "wide-scream" or "full-scream" in the menu would have been a funny way to go along with the kind of goofy nature of the movie, but oh well.
SOUND: "Sleepwalkers" is presented in Dolby 2.0; the audio fares pretty well, but there's not much in the way of fireworks to provide a very active sound experience. The score varies from decent, if dated, music to some more irritating tunes, but they all sound fine here. Dialogue remains clear, if a little flat sounding at times.
MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with film-themed images serving as backgrounds.
EXTRAS:Full-Screen trailers for "The Tingler", "Johnny Mnemonic", "Screamers", "I Know What You Did Last Summer" and "Night Of The Living Dead". Talent files, as well.
Positive: Picture and sound quality are decent, but unremarkable.
Negative: The movie is pretty terrible at times, making "Pet Sematary" look great in comparison. There's not much in the way of extras, but I doubt I'd want to hear a commentary anyways - although a commentary by the cat trainer may have proved interesting.
The Film D
Video 86/B = (344/400 possible points)
Audio: 82/B = (328/400 possible points)
Extras: 70/C- = (210/300 possible points)
Menus: 70/C- = (140/200 possible points)
Value: 80/B- = (240/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: D
DVD GRADE: C