The Night Flier (film)

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The Night Flier
Cover of The Night Flier.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Mark Pavia
Produced by Mitchell Galin
Richard P. Rubinstein
Written by Stephen King (story)
Mark Pavia
Jack O'Donnell
Based on The Night Flier (short story) by Stephen King
Starring
Music by Brian Keane
Cinematography David Connell
Edited by Elizabeth Schwartz
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date
  • May 2, 1997 (1997-05-02) (Italy)
  • February 6, 1998 (1998-02-06) (U.S.)
Running time
93 minutes
Country United States
Italy
Language English
Box office $125,397 (United States only)[1]

The Night Flier (also known as Stephen King's The Night Flier) is a 1997 American horror film based on the short story of the same name[2] by Stephen King.[3] It was directed by Mark Pavia and starred Miguel Ferrer and Julie Entwisle.[4]

Plot[edit]

Richard Dees is a cynical tabloid reporter whose motto is "Never believe what you publish and never publish what you believe". Merton Morrison, its editor-in-chief at the tabloid "Inside View", confides a case to him about a bloody murder in a rural airfield, committed by a passing aviator who thinks he is a vampire and registered under the name of Dwight Renfield. Dees refuses but reverses his decision when two more murders are committed in another airfield, the victims drained of their blood. He recovers the case from Morrison, who in the meantime had entrusted it to the novice reporter Katherine Blair, and leaves in the footsteps of the killer aboard his own light aircraft.

Dees gathers accounts, pays bribes and even profanes a grave for the purposes of his investigation. He senses that the case is stranger than it seems and receives messages telling him to stop his investigation. Dissatisfied with Dees' attitude, Morrison sends Katherine Blair to conduct her own parallel investigation. Dees offers the young woman to join forces to hunt down the killer.

They find his trail at the Wilmington airfield and, as he no longer needs her, Dees abandons Katherine to continue alone. He lands at Wilmington and finds the Renfield's Cessna Skymaster with dirt inside and the interior covered in blood. The airfield seems deserted but Dees finds several massacred people. After taking photographs, he goes to the bathroom to vomit and is surprised by Renfield, who reveals his face and turns out to be a vampire. Renfield destroys his photographic film and forces him to drink a little of his blood, which gives Dees visions of all the victims coming back as zombies. In a trance, he attacks the bodies with an axe and is shot by the police officers who arrived on the scene with Katherine. She sees Renfield get on his plane and take off but, adopting Dees' motto, she publishes an article that portrays Dees as the killer.

Cast[edit]

  • Miguel Ferrer as Richard Dees
  • Julie Entwisle as Katherine Blair
  • Dan Monahan as Merton Morrison
  • Michael H. Moss as Dwight Renfield
  • John Bennes as Ezran Hannone
  • Beverly Skinner as Selida McCamon
  • Rob Wilds as Buck Kendall
  • Richard K. Olsen as Clarke Bowie
  • Elizabeth McCormick as Ellen Sarch
  • J.R. Rodriguez as Terminal Cop #1
  • Robert Leon Casey as Terminal Cop #2
  • Ashton Stewart as Nate Wilson
  • William Neely as Ray Sarch
  • Windy Wenderlich as Henry Gates
  • General Fermon Judd Jr. as Policeman

Release[edit]

The film was first released on DVD by HBO Home Video on May 27, 1998. Since then the film has been released multiple times by HBO and Warner Home Video, and once distributed by Mosaic Movies in 2000.[5]

Reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 33% based on 6 reviews, with a weighted average rating of 4.1/10.[6] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 36 out of 100, based on 7 critics, indicating "Generally unfavorable reviews".[7] Stephen Holden of The New York Times gave the film a negative review, criticizing the film's poor adaptation, and lack of thrills, citing Ferrer's performance as the film's sole strength.[8] Lisa Schwarzbaum from Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Once the easy joke about the fellowship of bloodsuckers has sunk in and the versatility of latex in the creation of gore has been demonstrated, there’s not much else going on — not creepiness, not scariness, not Twilight Zone nostalgia. What personality there is comes from Ferrer, who, with a belligerent glower, throws himself into the role of the soul-dead reporter with a full-blooded intensity that’s almost more than this undead caper can handle."[9]

However, not all reviews of the film were negative. Leonard Maltin gave the film a score of 2.5/4 stars, complimenting the film's "Genuinely creepy mood" and Ferrer's performance, but criticized the final third of the film.[10] Lael Loewenstein from Variety gave the film a positive review, writing, "Stephen King's The Night Flier is a creepy vampire tale that also offers some clever commentary on bloodthirsty tabloid journalists."[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Night Flier (1998)". Box Office Mojo. 1998-02-20. Retrieved 2012-12-12. 
  2. ^ "Night Flier Director Mark Pavia Explores Sick Nick!". 
  3. ^ "Santa Slays in 'Sick Nick'". 
  4. ^ "The Santa Claus from Hell in 'Sick Nick'". 
  5. ^ "The Night Flier (1998) - Mark Pavia". Allmovie.com. AllMovie. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "Stephen King's 'The Night Flier' - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes.com. Flixer. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  7. ^ "The Night Flier Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic.com. Metacritic. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  8. ^ Holden, Stephen. "'Stephen King's 'The Night Flier': Draculian Gore, Sound and Fury". New Yotk Times.com. Stephen Holden. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  9. ^ Schwarzbaum, Lisa. "Stephen King's The Nite Flier". Entertainment Weekly.com. Lisa Schwarzbaum. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 
  10. ^ Leonard Maltin (3 September 2013). Leonard Maltin's 2014 Movie Guide. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 1002. ISBN 978-1-101-60955-2. 
  11. ^ Loewenstein, Lael. "Stephen King's The Night Flier – Variety". Variety.com. Lael Loewenstein. Retrieved 18 June 2018. 

External links[edit]