The Tommyknockers – TV miniseries, USA, 1993

tommyknockers-dvd

The Tommyknockers is a 1993 American television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. It was directed by John Power, from a screenplay by Lawrence D. Cohen. The movie stars Marg Helgenberger and Jimmy Smits.

Bobbi Anderson (Helgenberger), a fiction writer, and her boyfriend, Jim Gardner (Smits), a poet, live on the outskirts of Haven, Maine. Anderson suffers from writer’s block and Gardner is a recovering alcoholic. One day, they stumble over a manmade stone object protruding from the ground. They begin excavating the object and discover a series of connected cubes that are made of an unknown alloy.

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As Anderson and Gardner unearth more of the object, the local townspeople begin to undergo subtle changes. Insomnia becomes common along with rudimentary telepathy. Some individuals begin inventing wild gadgets using kitchen tools, batteries, small appliances and other odds and ends. Some of the inventions include an automatic letter sorter, a telepathic typewriter and a BLT sandwich maker that creates the sandwiches from the raw ingredients. These inventions have a green glow when active…

Tommyknockers

Reviews:

‘Here, everything isn’t translated well at all and instead of being scared or creeped out you have to laugh or groan at such ham-fisted delivery of over the top execution and pathetic horror elements. Everything is so typical and literal. The characters are barely sketched or believable, despite having a very talented cast who have all done much better, before and ever after.’ Vince Fontaine, Slasher Studios

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‘Some details of the production design work well: the aliens themselves are creepy, and the effect still look pretty good for ’93 TV; also, the effects on the gadgets, particularly the hands-free typewriter, are quite good. The ship itself, though? Awful. Looks like a bunch of those things Olympian medal-winners stand on when receiving their medals, just with some dirt thrown over them.’ The Truth Inside the Lie

‘A number of weird plot twists are tossed in (the townspeople are inventing crazy new devices, including a novel-writing machine) before the satisfying climax in the haunted woods involving a buried spaceship and some great looking aliens.’ John Stanley, Creature Features

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Cast and characters:

  • Jimmy Smits as Jim “Gard” Gardner
  • Marg Helgenberger as Roberta “Bobbi” Anderson
  • John Ashton as Trooper Butch Dugan
  • Allyce Beasley as Deputy Becka Paulson
  • Robert Carradine as Bryant Brown
  • Joanna Cassidy as Sheriff Ruth Merrill
  • Annie Corley as Marie Brown
  • Cliff DeYoung as Joe Paulson
  • Traci Lords as Nancy Voss – Not of This Earth
  • E.G. Marshall as Ev Hillman
  • Chuck Henry as Chaz Stewart
  • Leon Woods as Hilly Brown
  • Paul McIver as Davey Brown
  • Yvonne Lawley as Mabel Noyes
  • Bill Johnson as Elt Barker

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