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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 15.15%
Average: 21.21%
Pretty Bad: 24.24%
Total Crap: 9.09%

1 review, 27 user ratings

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Sometimes They Come Back
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by Scott Weinberg

"Sometimes Movies Suck."
2 stars

Here's further proof that absolutely ANYTHING written by Stephen King will eventually become a feature film. Based on a cool little story from the book "Night Shift", this movie just sucks in every conceivable fashion. Shit, you could base a movie on Stephen King's grocery list and it would make for a more exciting movie than this tired little nugget from 1991.

Many people always wonder (aloud, usually) about how many pathetic movies there have been based on Stephen King stories or novels. I mean, surely the author wouldn't knowingly put his seal of approval on such an unending crapfest. But if you know a little of the back story, then Mr. King doesn't seem like such an idiot after all.

Interesting Factual Stuff

Back when he was still a struggling young author (he had Carrie under his belt at this point), Stephen King wrote a collection of short stories entitled Night Shift, which did pretty well. As it was still pretty early in his career, Steve needed to make the green wherever he could, so he sold off the rights to several of the Night Shift stories. Over the years, these rights have changed hands maybe two dozen times. So when some wanna-be B movie producer got his hands on the title, he slapped the words Stephen King above the title, hoping to make a quick lazy payday. The following is a list of truly awful movies, all of which can be attributed to the original stories being in the Night Shift book.

Sometimes They Come Back (1991)

Sometimes They Come Back...Again (1996)

Sometimes They Come Back...For More (1998)

Children of the Corn (1984)

Children of the Corn 2: The Final Sacrifice (1993)

Children of the Corn 3: Urban Harvest (1994)

Children of the Corn 4: The Gathering (1996)

Children of the Corn 5: Fields of Terror (1998)

Children of the Corn 6: Isaac's Return (1999)

The Mangler (1995)
- Giant Killer Laundry Equipment!

Graveyard Shift (1990) - Giant Killer Rats!

The Lawnmower Man (1992) - This one is a particularly interesting case, in that the TITLE is the only thing reminiscient of the King story. Nothing of the plot resembles King's original idea.

The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (1996) - See above, only once removed, as it's a sequel.

Maximum Overdrive (1986) - Based on the short story Trucks and directed by King himself!

Trucks (1997) - Apparently someone thought that Maximum Overdrive was just begging for a remake.

Cat's Eye (1985) - Two stories from Night Shift were used in this movie: Quitters, Inc. and The Ledge

Actual Review

This movie sucks.

It's about a teacher named Jim (a very tired looking Tim Matheson) who moves back to his home town to be a teacher. He carts his family into West Ass-Giblet and tries to settle down and forget the fact that his young brother was brutally murdered not a block away 27 years earlier. In very maudlin and tired fashion, the movie jumps back and forth into flashbacks of the sixties, when our hero and his big brother pal around and smile and stuff. We learn that Wayne was killed by four nasty thugs during a confrontation inside a train tunnel, and also that the four delinquents were smashed by the train, leaving young Jim as the only survivor

<Deep Breath>

So now Jim's back as a high school teacher, and wouldn't you know it...his students start dying all over the place. And with each new death, a new transfer (Danny Zuko/Fonz-lookalike) student shows up...and guess what? They're the four thugs from in the flashbacks!

I'll give you a second to stifle your yawn.

Directed by Tom McLaughlin (Friday the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives), this movie is ten times cornier and stupider than it needs to be. The plot-heavy screenplay gives him more than enough to work with, so why are there so many scenes that are simply pointless and inane? The flashback thing grows weary awful quick, and that sucks for you the viewer, since the flashbacks basically never stop.

As Jim's wife, Brooke Adams gives a performance that easily displays why she never became a star. And what would any juvenile delinquents from beyond the grave movie be without an appearance from that B-movie king William Sanderson? As usual, Sanderson injects some fun into every scene he's in. Unfortunately, that's about two.

And let's take a little side sojourn into the issue of this movie's title. Sometimes They Come Back? That's the title? Would you really want to be the one to recommend this title to your friends at the video store? Maybe it works for a short literary piece, but sheesh...Surely ONE studio exec could have suggested something clever like Zombie Juvies from Beyond Hell or something!

This one's not even worth a look for my fellow horror freaks, as the body count is awful low. (Less deaths = More time for flashbacks!) One kid rides his Schwinn into a quarry, while another girl gets hung. The finale comes off a lot like those teacher in distress movies such as Class of 1984 or The Principal, and if you think that's a compliment, then you need to see those two movies.

Never MIND that the original story is a tight and exciting little trifle. Back then, anything with King's name on it was somehow perceived as cinematic platinum, despite the fact that the movies usually stunk like butt. This one is no exception, of interest only to true King-o-philes or just people who enjoy stupid, stupid movies.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 03/06/01 14:14:56
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User Comments

4/20/14 alex Meh 3 stars
2/04/12 Poe wtf????!!!! 1 stars
11/01/09 JR crap 1 stars
3/23/07 bastard55 story is alright, but hell i would vote 5 stars on the fact of them driving a 55 5 stars
12/24/06 guitar_girl918 This has been my favorite movie for as long as I can remember! It's awesome. 5 stars
10/31/06 Daniel Great story!!!!! 5 stars
8/18/06 john maroney it is the BEST MOVIE EVER I GIVE IT 9/10 4 stars
4/11/06 Sugarfoot Sadly one of the better King adaptions.. 2 stars
4/07/06 stacey case i loved this movie. It is one of my favorite movies. 5 stars
11/26/05 cr a good movie with good story, not scary but who cares it delivers 3 stars
9/07/05 harbornights26 i liked this movie, i guess maybe some of me enjoyed the fact that it was filmed in my home 5 stars
8/12/04 Needle I actually really liked that movie...I was only six when it came out, though. 5 stars
7/05/04 Average Joe I happen to think this was a VERY good movie. Critic was too harsh. I 5 stars
4/17/04 American Slasher Goddess Very good for a Made-for-TV movie. 4 stars
4/17/04 katie this movies awesome dude 5 stars
4/06/04 matthew one of the better king films made 4 stars
2/13/04 Samuel A good movie, not all that scary tho.. 3 stars
10/28/03 Mike Jones Well...maybe not quite "Total Crap"...but close. 2 stars
10/08/03 Heather Shuler I love the movie Some times they come back its good 5 stars
9/15/03 Amy I for one loved the movie...One of my faves. 5 stars
8/02/03 Darryl Reviewer too hard on it! The cast IS rather tired, but the story itself is cool. 3 stars
5/15/03 Tom Fleeman Great story, but no terror in this movie. Could have been much better. 3 stars
5/11/03 Charles Tatum Average, hindered by made-for-TV trappings 3 stars
11/23/02 Kyle Very original. Gave me gooseflesh at times, then made me cry at the end. 4 stars
1/04/02 Penda Ack, my cat coughed up more interesting crap 1 stars
10/16/01 Andrew Carden Very Scary Movie and Well Done Plot. Matheson Gives A Fine Performance. 4 stars
6/08/01 *~Danielle*Ophelia~* (formerly KyLe*BrOfLoVsKi) Decent flick, but the damn thing hardly warranted TWO sequels... 3 stars
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  07-May-1991 (R)



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