The stories and novels of Stephen King have been adapted into films for decades. Though many directors have been attached to helmet the adaptations, Mick Garris could be called The Frequent Director. Sleepwalkers was his first of six King stories he has directed. Aside from the emergence of Mike Flanagan, Mick Garris just seems to get King's work. I have seen this as well as Riding the Bullet and the TV miniseries of The Shining and The Stand. I have yet to see Desperation or Bag of Bones, the completionist in me is dying to finish it out.
The story follows Charles Brady (Krause) and his mother, Mary (Krige), two shapeshifting were-cats that feed on the life force of virgins for survival. We've seen this before but have we seen it with an uncomfortable, and somehow tragic, incestuous relationship with mother/son magical critters whose only weakness are house cats? I think not. The Bradys have been at this for a while. We're not sure how long but it's been a while, because they have their routine down to a science: move to a small town, find beautiful virgin, drain life force of said virgin, leave town. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. That cycle hits a snag when Charles gets sweet for their latest virgin victim, Tanya (Amick). Their existence is a lonely one as we are led to believe that the Bradys are the last of their kind which, I guess, makes their West Virginia love affair okay because their species has to continue somehow, right?
This movie will make you cringe because of the incestuous relationship of Charles and Mary. That's the very thing that kept Julia Roberts from talking the role of Mary Brady! Once the cat's out of the bag, this flick digs its claws into the camp and doesn't let go. There are some good gore effects and the creature design is unsettling in its moistness, you'll see what I'm talking about. Pay attention for cameos from the man himself, King, as the caretaker of the cemetery who "ain't taking the rap for this". Tobe Hooper and Clive Barker as forensic techs, and finally, Joe Dante and John Landis also make an appearance as lab technicians. All in all, I have seen way worse adaptations of King's writing. This is campy and fun while trying not to be too serious.