Sleepwalkers (1992) is one of those Stephen King movies that hits the sweet spot of horror movie enjoyment: it’s hilariously terrible, but still so ridiculous it’s fun to watch. It also doesn’t hurt that it stars one of my top 5 girl crushes of all time, Mädchen Amick, and Borg Queen Alice Krige, who was born for to play creepy women that you’re strangely attracted to even though they will most likely murder you in your sleep.
Mick Garris directed this original screenplay written by King for television, and if you pay close attention to the cast, you’ll see cameos from Stephen himself (of course), Clive Barker, Joe Dante, John Landis, and Tobe Hooper, as well as Mark Hamill decked out as a policeman.
The plot makes absolutely no sense, but that’s somehow okay. Mädchen plays plucky high school student Tanya Robertson, who falls for the hunky blonde new kid in school, Charles. But while Tanya has make-out plans on her mind (one of my favorite lines of bad dialog in this film involves Tanya saying “Oh, we’ll do some RUBBING” after the two of them make plans to go to a cemetery to do some … rubbing. Like on paper. With charcoal.), Charles is actually planning to steal her virgin life essence, which he and his mother need to survive. Why? Well, because they are “sleepwalkers”, aka some kind of giant Were-Cat things. OH, and Charles and Mother Mary are also totally sleeping together (ewwwwwwww). OH OH – and! They can be killed by — wait for it — CATS.
They are ancient cat creatures that can be killed by cats? I don’t even. I can’t … but that’s not even the most perplexing thing about this movie. The most perplexing thing (and also the most hilarious) is actually how Mary kills a policeman by jamming a corn cob into his back (“No vegetables, no dessert!“). Also, how have the two of them have survived this long if one cat scratch can almost fatally wound them?
There is so much stupid in this thing, but I’ve still watched it SO many times, especially when I’ve beed a good laugh. And it definitely does not take itself too seriously either. The cat-thing makeup alone is just so … I mean, there’s two states of it: the first looks much like the vampires on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the second state is. It’s um. Well, look:
But still! My final recommendation is that yes, you gotta see this one. By all means, load up on drinks first, and invite some friends over, because it’s WAYYYYY more fun with a lot of people than it is watching it alone. I can’t exactly say it’s a “good” movie, but it’s sure as hell entertaining if you love cheese. I promise you will laugh the whole way through.
And if you’re not convinced, this scene with Mädchen might change your mind: