Stephen King's 'Graveyard Shift' (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

Stephen King's 'Graveyard Shift'1990

Stephen King's 'Graveyard Shift' (1990)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Stephen King's 'Graveyard Shift' Photos

Movie Info

Loosely based on the Stephen King novel, this thriller is about a man working the graveyard shift in a rat-infested textile mill. He begins to find remnants of the bodies of missing workers and discovers that a murderous monster lurks beneath the building.

Watch it now


David Andrews
as John Hall
Kelly Wolf
as Jane Wisconsky
Brad Dourif
as The Exterminator
Kelly L. Goodman
as Warwick's Secretary
Jimmy Woodard
as Carmichael
Jonathan Emerson
as Jason Reed
Richard France
as Millworker
Anne Rooney
as Millworker
View All

Critic Reviews for Stephen King's 'Graveyard Shift'

All Critics (7)

I honestly believe that I'm the only person in the world that didn't hate this movie.

February 18, 2003 | Rating: 2/5

One of the worst of Stephen King movies. Don't punch in for this mess.

August 22, 2002 | Rating: 1/5

I can easily recommend Graveyard Shift...but only to adolescent boys who are just now discovering the joys of gooey, sloppy, gore flicks.

July 25, 2002 | Rating: 45/100

Audience Reviews for Stephen King's 'Graveyard Shift'

Subterranean horror doesn't get much more Augean or sordid than Graveyard Shift which endeavors to make the audience feel like they need a tetanus shot after the last frame. In that respect of sweatshop atmosphere, the film is a humdinger. The mill is a rat-infested, diseased den of pestilence and the creature responsible for the multiple mutilations is a gooey, repulsive bat out of hell. Ralph S. Singleton hints at a 'Willard'-esque rodent revolution when a textile worker is punished after grinding a rat in a cotton picker to "make an example" of it. However, the nocturnal beast is a much larger opponent. Since it is based on a short story from Stephen King, the material is sometimes threadbare but the creepy aura fortifies the film greatly. Every shot is bedraggled and damp. Also underlining the wafer-thin plot are rabid supporting roles from the glassy-eyed Brad Dourif as a gleefully sadistic, tobacco-chewing exterminator and Stephen Macht as the megalomaniacal foreman. As per the cliché, Macht is foreshadowed as the secondary villain when he gnashes on an apple. It's also evergreen to see character actor David Andrews as the drifter lead of the mood piece. Dourif delivers an entertainingly cockeyed monologue about the origins of his prejudice and how the Vietcong utilized vermin for extreme rendition. I do wish his interplay was less smoldering antihero ("You get no guarantees with any man. It's only instinct."). In the subsequent years since the film's debut in 1990, writers have neglected the care to populate B-movies with multilayered characters such as John Hall, Warwick and Tucker Cleveland. As with most horror films, the middle drags its feet before Tucker is killed in a swampy burial. Frankly this is an anticlimactic ending for such a memorably loopy sidekick. Naturally, the turning-point into the grimy conclusion is Warwick and Hall's fisticuffs in the skeletal lair and it's executed with grossly unpalatable panache. Unfortunately, the critter-centric ending is frequently underwhelming since the animatronic is only briefly glimpsed and the pell-mell behavior from Warwick is overamped past believability. As far as King adaptations go, this is a superlatively yucky example of one of his lesser works.

Cory Taylor
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer


Another excellent movie based on a Stephen King story. I really liked this one, it's creepy, but simple. I know it usually gets low ratings, but I liked it anyway.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

I don't understand the flack this film has gotten. I mean yes, it's low budget, and yes the acting and script are mediocre, but the film does have it's moments. Graveyard Shift is obviously not the best of Stephen Kings adaptations. If you want the worst, check out Firestarter. Now that was a terrible film. Graveyard Shift however is a simple, fun horror film. People seem to be turned off by the fact that its low budget, and doesn't respect King's original. Well many of book to screen adaptations of Stephen King's books have never been truly faithful to the source material. In fact the only only one that can adapt a Stephen King work successfully to the screen is Frank Darabont, director of The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and The Mist. I can't put my finger on what I like about this film. Maybe its because its simple in its concept and story, I found appealing. Graveyard Shift is a fairly good horror film that doesn't deserve all the flack it has been given. I understand as to why it has, but theres something pretty enjoyable in this film. The film is far from the worst ever made. Graveyard Shift has a decent enough cast to support the film. One performance in particular was terrific, Brad Douriff as The Exterminator. The film is worth watching due to his performance alone. Graveyard Shift for all its imperfections is still a film worth seeing, and it is a film thats fairly entertaining as well. It's good cheesy fun, yes it cheap, yes, the acting is sloppy; but who cares?

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

Stephen King's 'Graveyard Shift' Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features