Sometimes They Come Back (film)
|Sometimes They Come Back|
|Directed by||Tom McLoughlin|
|Produced by||Dino De Laurentiis,
Michael S. Murphey
|Written by||Stephen King (short story),
|Music by||Terry Plumeri|
|Editing by||Charles Bornstein|
|Running time||97 minutes|
Jim Norman, 36, a high school history teacher, moves back to his old hometown to teach after being offered a job there. He moved from the town after he witnessed his brother, Wayne, murdered by a gang of greasers in 1963. The murderers themselves were killed shortly afterward by an oncoming train, having parked on the tracks. Jim has nightmares about his brother's murder as he starts teaching in the town. Students that are close to him start to be involved in various accidents that look like suicides. One by one, students are slain so the greasers, disguised as living teens, can return to class.
The greasers plan to kill Jim the same way they murdered Wayne to keep themselves out of Hell. They intend to have a child witness the event, leading them to try to kidnap Jim's son Scott. Jim finds out that there is a way to let his own brother return. The gang also needs the remaining living member of their gang, Carl Mueller, who left before the train struck. Jim finds Carl, who panics, thinking Jim wants revenge. He runs back to town, fulfilling the gang's plan for a reunion.
The gang harasses Jim's family to ensure Jim's compliance in reenacting the murder. After the gang releases the family, Jim hides them inside a church, which the demonic gang cannot enter. Jim tries to bring his brother back in the church's graveyard as the gang lures his wife and son outside and hold them hostage. Jim finds that something is blocking Wayne's return, and must cooperate with the thugs in reenacting the murder. It also reveals that when Jim was a boy, Jim took the murders' car keys that lead to their deaths. Jim recovered the keys. He returns to the train tunnel in which the first murder took place, though both he and Carl change their dialogue and actions from those taken 27 years before. Frustrated, the gang leader stabs Carl, which allows Wayne to come back. Wayne distracts the gang while Jim gets his family out of the gang's car. Jim gave the gang back their car keys. The gang tries to escape in their car, only to have it struck by a ghost train that resembles much like the one that killed them years ago, which sends them back to Hell.
Wayne offers to have Jim come with him to the afterlife, which Jim refuses. Wayne says he can move on to heaven and see his parents because the greasers are no longer a threat. Wayne goes back to the afterlife as Jim's family heads home.
- Tim Matheson as Jim Norman
- Brooke Adams as Sally Norman
- Chris Demetral as Wayne Norman
- Robert Rusler as Richard Lawson
- Robert Hy Gorman as Scott Norman
The original short story, "Sometimes They Come Back," is set in Stratford High School in Stratford, Connecticut. The movie adaptation was filmed close to Rosedale Park in Kansas City, Kansas near 43rd Avenue and Mission Road and at Liberty Junior High School in Liberty, Missouri, which used to be the old Liberty High School. The football players are wearing Liberty Bluejay jackets. Scenes were also filmed in and around Rocheport, Missouri, and Liberty, Missouri. The parade scene was shot in old historic Liberty, Missouri Square.
The red sneakers worn by Wayne, which the greasers in 1963 throw onto a metal anchor are from a later time period. Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers of the time period used a dark blue rubber heel logo with white lettering and three stars (one large and two small). The sneakers shown in 1963 flash back have a white rubber heel log with black letter, which is from a later time period and thus would not yet exist.
The train that kills the three greasers in 1963 (and the ghost train that sends them back to Hell) is portrayed by the Southern Pacific Railroad No. 5021, a large 1926 ALCO built 4-10-2 steam locomotive. But by 1963, all the railroads in the United States have discontinued steam service and replaced all their steam engines with more modern and less labor-intensive diesel locomotives, so it could not have been possible for the locomotive of the train that killed the greasers to be a steam engine.
- Sometimes They Come Back at the Internet Movie Database
- Sometimes They Come Back at AllMovie
- Sometimes They Come Back at Rotten Tomatoes
- Vintage Chucks at http://chucksconnection.com/vintage.html