Sleepwalkers ★★★

There are so many interesting people in this movie that it’s almost more fun to talk about them than the actual film. It opens with an uncredited cameo from Mark Hamill, who I almost didn’t recognize behind his mustache. Ron Perlman is here and so is Glenn Shadix (Otho from Beetlejuice). Stephen King makes his usual cameo, but this time he is joined by other horror luminaries like Joe Dante, John Landis, Clive Barker, and Tobe Hooper for one blink-and-you-miss-it scene.

The story is about a mother and son who are shapeshifting cats and also energy vampires who are deathly afraid of actual cats. Also they’re in an incestuous relationship and they have the power to turn people and objects invisible and change a car into a different kind of car. Their plan is for the son to date a girl and bring her home so that they can feed on her energy or something. I would have thought that they would have some experience hunting and staying undetected, but they’re so bad at everything. Within the first couple days, the son has revealed his shapeshifting ability to one of the local cops and gotten into a high speed chase with him. And he got mauled by that cop’s pet cat, Clovis. Way to keep a low profile, Charles! After many deaths, a few strangled cats, some unfortunate one liners, and a deputy impaled on a corn cob, the two sleepwalkers are defeated. It’s not a great film, but it is pretty entertaining.

Points for casting Mädchen Amick, also known as the Double-R Diner’s own Shelly Johnson from Twin Peaks. This film has not only a Twin Peaks connection but an X-Files connection as well. Stuart Charno appears in the background of the scene with Dante, Landis, et al. He played the killer in the absolutely fantastic third-season episode, “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose.”

Viewed as part of the Podcast Macabre 2021 Horror Challenge and History of Horror 2021.

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