AKA: Stephen King's The Night Flier
1997, Color, 89 min
O'Donnell & Mark Pavia
on the short story by
Galin , Richard P. Rubinstein
Richard Dees is a cynic former star reporter. He writes for a tabloid
called "The Inside View" that treats themes such as UFO
abductions, serial killers, tales of molestation, mayhem and murder,
one of those publications where the blood is dripping from every
single page. Dees is looking for the very story that will bring
him back on the front page. When is offered to write about the Night
Flier, some bad guy landing on secluded airports in New England
with a black Cessna and slaughtering off the personnel, he first
refuses. Only when the evil-doer attacks again, Dee agrees to write
the story and follows the killer in a sports plane of his own. The
killer soon turns out to be a modern vampire (at least this is how
Stephen King sees him) and for Dee following his track becomes an
obsession that must inevitably lead to his death when it looks more
and more as if the hardened reporter himself is the murderer. When
he finally freaks out, Dee is shot by the police. But the night
flier climbs into his plane and takes off.
Stephen King is not quite as popular as only some years ago anymore,
but still everything the master of horror ever wrote is turned into
a movie. This is done with quite different results. These movies
are rarely really well-done (merely "The Green Mile",
"Misery", "The Shawshank Redemption", "Dead
Zone"), often mediocre and most of the time extremely bad.
And it's mostly the adaptations of King's short stories that lead
to the most devestating results (just thing of "Night Shift"
or Tobe Hoopers "The Mangler". But this can also be different,
just watch "Nigh Flier" and be astonished. It really isn't
is primarily due to the presence of it's lead Miguel Ferrer, who
is generally extremely good when he plays hard-boiled cynics or
crazy lunatics. In this movie he has the chance to do both of it.
But his role as Agent Albert Rosenfeld in "Twin Peaks"
will surely never be surpassed. Why don't we see Ferrer more often?
reason why "Night Flier" in contrast to many other King
movies works is simply that director Mark Pavia knows how to create
atmospheres. There's quite some scenes that are scary in a good
old-fashioned way. A lightning, a thunder, an old graveyard her,
a shadow whisking by the window there ... now that fits together.
The special effects aren't that bad either, even if it can often
be seen that the budget must have been rather low. This is why "Night
Flier" somehow gives us the impression that it was meant to
be a TV production while actually having been made for cinema.
the way- director Pavia and script author Jack O'Donnell have been
favored by Stephen King himself after he had seen their short movie
"Drag" and praised it as "the best horror movie I
have seen in 20 years".
there's some cliches in "Night Flier", for example the
reporter who wants to become unforgotten with his story, fails and
finally becomes a part of it himself. Often Pavia's and O'Donnell's
characters overreact and the dialogues are sometimes quite stupid.
In the middle part the story appears somehow blown-up (well- it's
based on a short story) and sometimes it even lacks logic.
"Night Flyer" one of the better-done adaptations of a
Stephen King short story and well-suited for an evening watching
video or TV.