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Halloween Kingathon – The Tommyknockers (1993)


Director: John Power

Writer: Lawrence D Cohen (teleplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Jimmy Smits, Marg Helgenberger, John Ashton, Allyce Beasley, Robert Carradine, Joanna Cassidy, Annie Corley, Cliff De Young

Plot: A buried UFO slowly turns local inhabitants into gizmo-building alien mutates.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Engaging Mini Series

Story: The Tommyknockers starts in the small town we follow couple Gard (Smits) and Bobbi (Helgenberger). We continue to get introduced to the rest of the town with all their strengths and weaknesses, before Bobbi finds a strange object in the woods. With Gard away, Bobbi deals with what she found in the woods which starts to show a glowing goo. We go through the personal issues between Gard and Bobbi along with meeting a blossoming romance between Trooper Butch (Ashton) & Sheriff Merrill (Cassidy).

We also meet the rest of the town who are all getting their visits from the aliens living in the woods. As the residents of the town start evolving into learn how to invent new ideas to make the work easier.

As one little boy disappears and other residents end up hurting themselves it is up to the Butch and Gard to stop the invasion of the Tommyknockers.

The Tommyknockers is one of the traditional Stephen King adaptation where a small town gets a horror element placed in and they have to deal with the situation, this time is is an alien species buried in the woods. I was amazed that even with the three hour run time this never seemed to get boring which usually is the problem with the lengths. The story keeps you guessing from start to finish about what happens even if the characters end up coming off very generic for a King story. I do think this offers something new on the invasion angle because it plays out the idea that the aliens were here first. (7/10)

Actor Review

Jimmy Smits: Jim Gard Gardner is the alcoholic poet who has been struggling to produce any recent work, he returns home to his partner Bobbi where he helps uncover a mysterious structure on their land, when they finally figure out what is going on he must stop the invasion before it is too late. Jimmy does a good job in the leading role. (7/10)

Marg Helgenberger: Roberta Bobbi Anderson is the lady who first discovers the structure in the woods before digging it up and becoming the leader of the alien community that is slowly taking over the town. Marg does a good job in this role. (7/10)

Support Cast: The Tommyknockers has a very generic small town supporting cast that all either side with Gard or against him.

Director Review: John PowerJohn does a good job directing this mini series that keeps us interested from start to finish. (7/10)

Horror: The Tommyknockers has the alien invasion angle used for the horror idea which also has elements of the Village of the Damned. (7/10)

Sci-Fi: The Tommyknockers uses the aliens for the sci-fi angle along with the taking over the people of the small town. (7/10)

Settings: The Tommyknockers uses the small town setting where the events happen which ends up being perfect for the idea that shows one small town is falling apart. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Tommyknockers is one for all the King fans to watch, it is broken into two parts which also lightens the watching. (King Watch)

Best Part: The alien angle.

Worst Part: Slightly generic supporting characters.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $12 Million

Runtime: 3 Hours

Tagline: Something wonderful is happening in Haven. Pray it doesn’t happen to you.

Trivia: According to author Stephen King The Tommyknockers is an allegory for his own personal battles with substance abuse. The character of Jim Gardener is largely based upon King himself.

Overall: Great mini series that keeps us guessing until the final moments.


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