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 is a 1997 American horror film based on the short story of the same name[2] which was written by Stephen King.[3] It was directed by Mark Pavia (Fender Bender) and starred Miguel Ferrer and Julie Entwisle.[4]

Plot[edit]

The story follows a reporter named Richard Dees as he follows, attempting to catch up with, a murderer who kills his victims in a vampiristic style. The killer flies to each murder scene in a black Skymaster airplane. At one point, Dees does catch up with the plane and finds dirt inside and the interior covered in blood, heightening the suspense of the film. The plot culminates in Dees' confrontation with 'The Night Flier' and his own loss of sanity.

Dees' secondary conflict involves a young female reporter named Katherine Blair, who joins the staff at the exploitative magazine "Inside View", where Dees ranks as senior reporter. At first he dismisses her as naive and, at best, a "Jimmy" (as in "Jimmy Olsen") and actively abuses her. She ultimately survives him and writes about Dees' death, her article prominently featured on the title page of the magazine "Inside View".

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]

Connections to other Stephen King works[edit]

The Night Flier contains many references to Stephen King's larger mythos, most of which were not present in the original story. In the scene where Katherine looks at some of Richard's previous Inside View articles, we see that most of the bylines relate to other Stephen King stories. 'Springheel Jack Strikes Again!' refers to 'Strawberry Spring', 'Headless Lamaze Leads To Successful Birth!' refers to The Breathing Method, 'Kiddie Cultists in Kansas Worship Creepy Voodoo God!' refers to 'Children of the Corn', 'Satanic Shopkeeper Sells Gory Goodies!' refers to Needful Things, 'Naked Demons Levelled My Lawn!' refers to 'The Lawnmower Man', and 'The Ultimate Killer Diet! Gypsy Curse Flays Fat Lawyer's Flesh' refers to Thinner.

The film also features a scene where the characters discuss a schoolteacher who murdered a group of five-year-olds because she thought they were plotting against her; a reference to the story 'Suffer the Little Children', where this occurs.[6]

Richard Dees, the protagonist of The Night Flier, also appears in The Dead Zone, where he attempts to interview the psychic Johnny Smith for Inside View. In his afterword to Nightmares and Dreamscapes, Stephen King states that he thinks the vampire in the short story Popsy is the same vampire that appeared in 'The Night Flier'.

Reception[edit]

Critical reception for the film has been mostly negative. 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.[7] The film did however, have some positive reviews. Leonard Maltin gave the film a score of 2 1/2 stars out of 4, complimenting the film's "Genuinely creepy mood" and Ferrer's performance, but criticized the final third of the film.[8]

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. ^ IMDB The Night Flier (1997) Did You Know?, retrieved 12 December 2012
  7. ^ Holden, Stephen. "'Stephen King's 'The Night Flier': Draculian Gore, Sound and Fury". New Yotk Times.com. Stephen Holden. Retrieved 18 July 2015. 
  8. ^ Leonard Maltin (3 September 2013). Leonard Maltin's 2014 Movie Guide. Penguin Publishing Group. p. 1002. ISBN 978-1-101-60955-2. 

External links[edit]