The Night Flier

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Hi, my name’s Dwight. I enjoy flying my private plane, reading the tabloids, seducing old women, and then ripping their husband’s throats out and drinking their blood.

I think most would agree that Stephen King big screen adaptations are hit or miss. Some work great like The Shining some are good like Pet Sematary, and some just plain blow donkey like Thinner. Based on the short story, Stephen King’s The Night Flier falls somewhere between Shining and Sematary.

The great Miguel Ferrer plays Richard Dees, a pissed off, hard drinking reporter for a Weekly World News type paper called Inside View. Well Richard’s work has been “a little lacking” lately and he needs a big story to put him back on top. Enter Dwight Renfield, a psycho pilot who has been flying around in a private plane, landing at small airports, and tearing apart anyone who crosses his path. Dwight’s no ordinary pilot though. When bodies are found drained of every last drop of blood, we start to suspect Dwight might just be a vampire. At first Richard sees the story as a waste of time, thinking the killer pilot will be caught soon because the FAA has the make and tail number from the plane. But after Dwight gets his dinner and gets away scot-free a second time, Richard signs on for the duration.

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Where this flick gets it right is its interpretation of the vampire mythos. This is not the effeminate vampire type from “Interview With the Vampire”, or the cocky rich guy vampires from “Blade”. Dwight is a nasty, ugly, blood-pissing carnivore who doesn’t just nibble on your neck, but bites it clean off. Old Rick Dees stays one step behind Dwight most of the movie, seeing the aftermath of where he’s been. When Richard finally comes face to face with our caped crusader he doesn’t get sucked, but he definitely gets fucked in a final act that any living dead fan should enjoy.

This flick has solid production values, decent special effects, shots of whiskey, and Miguel Ferrer saying lines like “Just because you have no balls doesn’t mean you can cut mine off” and “I should really drink more of that shit.” Seek it out if you like your vampires nasty and bloody and your protagonists drunk and pissy.

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**This review is of the laserdisc edition of Stephen King’s The Night Flier.
Laserdiscs have record album sized covers. This one has a picture of a vampire that kind of looks like a mutant killer woodchuck.

**Night Flier Trivia: On the walls of the Inside View office, there are previous covers of the tabloid that reference other Stephen King movies like Cujo and Christine.

Hiding in your basement,

DeadMike

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~ by exploitnation on March 19, 2008.

2 Responses to “The Night Flier”

  1. oh man i totally remember watching this. my dad saw it on HBO and was like “now that was a violent vampire movie…and plus he flies a fucking plane.” so he recorded it on VHS and i used to watch it all the time.

    plus the bad guy from Blank Check is in it.

    oh and i still dig the urinal scene.

    -andrewsus

  2. This movie is so underrated. It´s definitely my favorite Stephen King-adaptation and Miguel Ferrer delivers the role of a lifetime. My favorite line is when Dees enters a bar, orders a scotch and asks the bartender to make it a double. “Rough day?”, the bartender politely asks and Dees then answers: “Rough life…” I´ve been waiting ever since i first saw the film for the opportunity to use that line but none of the god damn bartenders in this town ever asks me that question. I guess I will never be as cool as Miguel Ferrer…
    I think this movie was way ahead of its time. Horror was pretty dead when this one came out. There were a lot of self-referential, ironic horror films along the lines of “Scream” but people weren´t interested in serious, hardcore horror when this was released. I remember reading an interview with director Mark Pavia where he mentioned that there is a script for a sequel that would center on the Katherine Blair character. I would love to see that and I think it´s sad that Pavia haven´t gotten the chance to direct anything since this one. He obviously has the talent…

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