slasher

Shaun vs. Sleepstalker (1995)

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Directed by Turi Meyer

Starring Jay Underwood, Michael Harris and Ken Foree

A serial killer known as the “Sandman” kills every member of a family other than the youngest son before he’s caught.  Years later, in prison, a voodoo priest visits him and places a spell over the killer and after he’s executed for his crimes he comes back as a creature who controls….sand.  Well that’s convenient.  Armed with his new powers the Sandman hunts down the now grown up boy that he couldn’t get to before.

Review

Griffin (Underwood) has grown up to be rather well adjusted considering the Sandman killed his family.  He’s become a writer and has nailed an exclusive interview with the head of a notorious gang that’s his ticket to the big time.  It’s a dangerous gig but it’s about to get worse when the Sandman comes back from the dead to exact revenge on him and dispatches anyone who gets in his way as most supernatural serial killers tend to do.

The movie is a pretty dull affair.  The only hook is the unique killer with supernatural abilities, although he’s hardly the most charismatic looking killer around.  After being resurrected as a sand creature, Sandman’s make up and clothes are all light brown to emulate being made of sand.  He talks like a beatnik reciting poetry only using nursery rhymes and repeating the lines from a song used over and over in the film.  The show how dull he really is, he doesn’t even kill his first victim with his powers, just pushing the guy through an open window.  He gets better at it as the movie goes along though you’ll get to enjoy some early 90’s CGI which at times looks like, well, early 90’s CGI.

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Ahhh, a sandman…or a turd?

The story is basic fare sprinkled with silly moments that really accentuate the awful acting at times.  Griffin believes he needs help he seeks out the retired cop who put the Sandman away in the first place then they go on a voodoo hunt finding out info while Griffin also gets help from the gang he’s been writing about.  Even Ken Foree shows up to lend some cred to the movie as an active detective caught up in this mess believing Griffin to be a copycat killer.

There are a few little things in the film that I liked, particularly how the filmmakers used camera tricks to portray how the Sandman gets around, going through locks or under doors.  Sand doesn’t mix well with water and there was a cool scene where he accidentally dips his fingers into a sink and loses a few fingers before bringing them back.  Little touches like that show that someone cared at least a little bit about the movie, but it’s certainly not enough to make the whole movie watchable.

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Itchiest costume ever.

It doesn’t even sound that great on paper but the movie got made.  Despite brief moments of creativity, the rest of the film is fairly boring and even ridiculous at times with questionable acting, story plot and effects.  The Sandman does his job too well and puts the viewer to sleep before the film is even over.

Story: 3 – Average at the best of times, but the story takes some silly turns all throughout the film.  There is very little tension brought on by a substandard supernatural killer. 

Blood: 3 – Fairly light on the blood. A few stabbings, a head crushed off screen, though one guy gets his skin scraped off by a sandstorm. 

Nudity: 0 – A shower scene that provides nothing.

Overall: 2 – What might start off as a decent slasher flick never gets off the ground, it’s a stupid boring flick that certainly deserves to be stuck on the bottom shelf.

Trivia

-Jay Underwood played the Human Torch in Roger Corman’s 1994 adaptation of “Fantastic Four” which has never seen a proper release and probably never will.

-Not long after the Sandman is resurrected, there is clearly a knock off of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” playing in the background.

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