Cat Scratch Fever (Sleepwalkers, 1992)

Mary and Charles are the mysterious mother and son that have arrived in a local small town.Charles is handsome and charming, while his mother is ethereal and elegant. Quickly, Charles seems interested in local Tanya.

While she thinks his interest in her is romantic, it turns out that his real purpose is far more sinister. Charles and his mother are actually supernatural creatures…shapeshifters known as Sleepwalkers who go back centuries. They survive by feasting on the life force of young virginal women.

Sleepwalkers is an original idea from Stephen King’s mind. It is an interesting general concept. But the mystery quickly is sideline by comedy and gore. Featuring some decent digital morphing, the shapeshifting in the film is an okay effect. The film is never scary, but there are also some good practical effects.

This is more comedy than horror, with the Sleepwalkers having the weakness of being killable by cat scratches. There is a scene where a guy is killed by a corncob. There is a scene with cameos from Tobe Hooper, Clive Barker, John Landis, Joe Dante and Stephen King that is largely a comedy bit (but lacking…ahem, Wes Craven). The Sleepwalkers are given to hackey one liners, especially Charles.

I enjoy the film as a goofy horror film. And it has a really good cast. But my favorite thing is honestly the music. The soundtrack is punctuated by a really haunted theme that features a sad and ominous hum. It also features a terrific use of an older song called Sleepwalk.

Sleepwalkers is not a classic horror film…it is, however, a lot of schlocky fun to gather wisth some friends around the Halloween season for some laughs and fun jumps.

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