Sleepwalkers (also known as Stephen King's Sleepwalkers) is a 1992 American horror film written by Stephen King and directed by Mick Garris. The film stars Brian Krause, Mädchen Amick and Alice Krige, who respectively portray Charles Brady, Tanya Robertson, and Mary Brady. The film revolves around the last two survivors of a vampiric shapeshifting species that feed on the life force of human female virgins. It was the first time King wrote a screenplay intended for the screen first, rather than adapting one of his already-existing novels.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Mick Garris|
|Produced by||Michael Grais|
|Written by||Stephen King|
|Music by||Nicholas Pike|
|Edited by||Nicholas Brown|
Victor & Grais Productions
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$30.5 million|
Charles Brady and his mother, Mary, are Sleepwalkers—nomadic, shapeshifting energy vampires, who feed off the lifeforce of virgin women. Though they normally maintain a human form, they can transform into human-sized bipedal werecats, their natural form, at will. They are more resilient than humans and have powers of both telekinesis and illusion. Their one weakness is cats, with whom they have a mutual hostility, which can not only see through their illusions, but can inflict severe to fatal wounds upon them with their claws. Charles can also turn himself and his car invisible.
Charles and Mary live in a small Indiana town, having recently fled Bodega Bay, California after draining and killing a young girl there. Charles attends the local high school, and meets Tanya Robertson in his creative writing class. Charles feigns romantic interest in Tanya in order to take her lifeforce for himself and his mother, who is starving. Their teacher Mr Fallow has his suspicions about Charles and tells him that his older high school certificates were fakes (clever fakes but still fakes); he also tries to sexually assault Charles, but he kills him.
On their first date, at a picnic at a nearby cemetery, Charles attempts to drain Tanya's lifeforce while kissing her. Tanya tries frantically to ward off Charles by bashing his head with her camera, scratching his face, and plunging a corkscrew into his left eye; though nothing she does seems to cause Charles more than temporary discomfort.
Deputy Sheriff Andy Simpson is driving by the cemetery. When Tanya flees to him for help, Charles kills Simpson. When Charles resumes feeding off Tanya, the deputy’s cat, Clovis, violently scratches him in the face and chest. Mortally wounded, Charles staggers back home to his mother, who is able to make both of them invisible, and thus keep Charles from being arrested when the police storm their house. A small number of cats begin to gather outside their house.
Knowing that the only way for her dying son to survive is to feed, Mary attacks the Robertson household, killing several deputies and state troopers and severely wounding Tanya’s parents. She kidnaps Tanya and takes her back to her house. Charles is near death, but Mary revives him, and Charles makes a final attempt to drain Tanya’s life force. However, Tanya plunges her fingers into his eyes, killing him. Tanya escapes with the help of the sheriff who is later impaled by Mary on the picket fence surrounding the house. The cats that have been gathering around their house, led by Clovis, jump on Mary and claw and bite her until she bursts into flames. As she dies, she screams that Tanya "killed her only son". As Mary lies ablaze on her driveway, Tanya hugs Clovis.
- Brian Krause as Charles Brady
- Alice Krige as Mary Brady
- Mädchen Amick as Tanya Robertson
- Lyman Ward as Donald Robertson
- Cindy Pickett as Helen Robertson
- Ron Perlman as Captain Soames
- Jim Haynie as Sheriff Ira Stevens
- Dan Martin as Deputy Andy Simpson
- Lucy Boryer as Jeanette
- Glenn Shadix as Mr. Fallows
- Sparks as Clovis
- Stephen King as Cemetery Caretaker
- John Landis as Lab Technician
- Joe Dante as Lab Assistant
- Clive Barker as Forensic Tech
- Tobe Hooper as Forensic Tech
- Mark Hamill as Sheriff Jenkins (uncredited)
Sleepwalkers was the first film written by King to not be based on one of his preexisting works. Columbia Pictures initially approached Rupert Wainwright to direct, but at King's insistence Columbia offered the film to Mick Garris, who had previously directed the horror films Critters 2: The Main Course and Psycho IV: The Beginning. The film was shot in Franklin Canyon, California.
The original music score was composed by Nicholas Pike.
CD track listing: (Side 2 of the cassette begins at track 9)
- 1: Santo & Johnny – Sleep Walk 2:23
- 2: Nicholas Pike – Main Titles 2:06
- 3: Nicholas Pike – Cop Kabob 2:25
- 4: Nicholas Pike – This Is Homeland 4:06
- 5: Nicholas Pike – Is This What You Had In Mind? 2:49
- 6: Nicholas Pike – Let's Go Upstairs 2:46
- 7: Nicholas Pike – You Didn't Get It 3:05
- 8: Nicholas Pike – Run To That Jungle Beat 2:24
- 9: The Contours – Do You Love Me 3:00
- 10: Nicholas Pike – Am I Beautiful? 1:31
- 11: Nicholas Pike – Let The Cats Run 4:31
- 12: Nicholas Pike – I'm Going To Make Us Dim 2:36
- 13: Nicholas Pike – Fly On The Chicken 2:57
- 14: Nicholas Pike – Impaling Doom 3:44
- 15: Nicholas Pike – Speedster 3:39
- 16: Enya – "Boadicea" 3:30
Sleepwalkers received negative reviews from critics. In Horror Films FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Slashers, Vampires, Zombies, Aliens, and More, John Kenneth Muir praised the first half of the film stating "Sleepwalkers starts out in fine form, as a serious, grim, involving horror film about the last two survivors of a species doing what they must to survive, Krige is incredibly sensual as the half-crazed mother who must be "fed" through the act of sexual intercourse with her son." He then says that the later half of the film "devolves into a campy disaster..." On Rotten Tomatoes the film has a rating of 20% based on 15 reviews, giving it an average rating of 4.2/10.
- Sleepwalkers (DVD Review) Archived September 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- Warren, Bill (April 1992). "Sleepwalkers Awaken". Fangoria (111): 36–40 – via Internet Archive.
- Muir, John (2013). Horror Films FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Slashers, Vampires, Zombies, Aliens, and More. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 1-48036-681-1.
- "Sleepwalkers". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
- "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com.