• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Sometimes They Come Back

TITLE: Sometimes They Come Back

YEAR: 1991

GENRE: Horror

AKA: Stephen King’s Sometimes They Come Back

Back in the mid-1980’s when the Stephen King anthology film Cat’s Eye was being created there were four stories being considered for inclusion in the finished product. King’s short stories “Quitters Inc.”, “The General”, and “The Ledge” were included in the finished film as they were enough to complete a compilation movie, and the fourth proposed short story was saved by producer Dino De Laurentiis for a future release as he believed that the story was better equipped for a full-length treatment. This story of the same name was adopted a few years later in the made for television ghost story Sometimes They Come Back, a much better atmospheric spook fest than one would expect from a movie made for network TV.

Jim Norton (played by Tim Matheson) is a high school teacher that moves back to his hometown to work at his alma mater. Jim moved from the town shortly after watching his brother Wayne (Chris Demetrel) murdered by some street thugs who were killed shortly after in a train accident. Jim has nightmares about the greaser gangbangers until three of his students either are murdered or commit suicide and are replace din class by the ghosts of the hoodlums. Greaser ghosts Vinnie Vincent (Nick Sadler), Richard Lawson (Robert Rusler), and David North (Bentley Mitchum) take the seats of the deceased students one by one and start tormenting Jim’s wife Sally (Brooke Adams) and son Scott (Robert Hy Gorman). Jim knows that must confront the bullies of his past, as they wish to recreate the night that Jim’s brother and the greasers died in order to change the hoods’ fate in the afterlife. However, Jim knows that he must finish the cycle so that the gang members can be sent to hell where they belong.

Sometimes They Come Back is a pleasant surprise in the fact the most made for TV horror movies just are not very good, but this one is a great exception. One aspect that makes the movie work so well is the actors as there are some very memorable performances especially Matheson as the truly frightened instructor reliving his worst childhood nightmares and Rusler as the demented greaser who cherishes being the bully. The special effects are minimal but bloody when necessary and the sets are mostly small town America, but the greasers’ black 1950’s car complete with flaming duo exhausts and custom hellfire paint job is fantastic and memorable. Unlike most horror films Sometimes They Come Back relies on atmosphere and natural story development instead of bloodshed and boobage, and the final result is a well produced product that engaged the watcher to the very end. The last couple minutes is a bit sappy and almost feels like a Lifetime Channel production, but that is forgivable as the overall production is a surprisingly good and well made film that is one of the better adaptations of King’s work.

Two sequels in name only, Sometimes They Come Back Again and Sometimes They Come Back…For More, were made in the late 90’s but were not written nor endorsed by King, have nothing to do with the original story, and are not worth seeing. That should not deter viewers from seeing the original, as Sometimes They Come Back is a very good film adaptation of the original short story and is one of the better King adaptations ever made. This film has sadly not been seen by many horror fans but should be as Sometimes They Come Back is a great atmospheric ghost story that relies on a quality storyline and great acting chops. Very worthy of streaming on Netflix.

* * * 1/2

–Mark

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