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JulyDiaz

Episode 159 - Sleepwalkers

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I don't get their shape-shifting abilities...like can they shape-shift into anything they want? Someone pointed out that scene where he first sees Clovis and is "scared" it looks like his face turns into a little boy for a split-second. So can they shape-shift into anything? Cause we generally only see them turn into the were-cat looking demons.

And then Charles could change and disguise his car. Does that mean they can change anything into something else---or is it just limited to cars? And if it's just cars--why? It's a strangely specific power to have.

 

Especially since Sleepwalkers have been around for centuries. So were they able to change Ford model Ts into something else when they were sleepwalkin' through the early 1900s? Were they around in ancient Egyptian times and changing their drab chariots into fancier chariot models?

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there are 2 dance scenes at the start of this movie adding up to a total of 182 seconds .. that means 25.27% of the first 12 minutes of this stephen king horror movie was made up of people dancing. but to be fair they packed alot of other stuff into that time aswell.

 

this thing was on screen for over 30 seconds

 

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you also had the mark hamill scene with the hanging cats and the girl from lifeforce, the title card, some self mutilation, cats ... and more cats. the more i think about it the more i like this film. it's proper nuts

 

 

oh yeah, the chillicoathe encyclopedia of arcane knowledge ... it's not a real thing .. i was kinda hoping it was

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Do you suppose that in King's coke-addled mind, he mixed up the Navajo tradition of the skinwalkers?

 

I mean, I figured he'd hit Peak Cocaine a few years prior, but maybe not.

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Maybe the Sleepwalkers chose that particular "Sleep Walk" song because they themselves composed it! They've been around for millennia and, finally, after lifetimes of not having a theme song, they decided it was time to have a tune of their own to dance and then fuck to, like only closely related immortal shapeshifting cat-beings can! Plus, the original performers of "Sleep Walk," Santo and Johnny, were brothers, so maybe they were the Sleepwalkers themselves, just shape-shifted as siblings instead of a mother and son. At least temporarily. In between all the gross fucking.

 

Oh, and yes, Beasts of Burden is a fantastic piece of horror literature. Don't let the talking animals fool you, this comic is dark and deep and the animals deal with some legitimately wicked supernatural forces. Good lord, I love Jill Thompson's art...

 

beasts-of-burden.jpg

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Okay, now that I'm done fucking around with stupid gifs, I want to dive into this because I had some initial thoughts along the same lines. Why does he need to make her fall in love with him when he can just sneak up on her and either kill her right there or kidnap her and take her back home for his mom to feast?

 

But then I started thinking about it in terms of the vampire narrative. I wrote a kind of lengthy post about the history of the vampire narrative and how it correlates to the hagiographical accounts of virgin saints' lives in the Vampire's Kiss thread. I won't repeat it all here, but basically, the bite is a metaphor for sex. The way women became saints back in the day was basically this:

  • A woman is devoutly religious
  • A wealthy or powerful man tries to make her have sex with him
  • She resists
  • He tortures and/or kills her
  • She maintains her "purity"
  • She is canonized.

The vampire narrative adopted this formula, and as I mentioned in the previous thread, Dracula is a great example. Lucy Westenra gives in to the bite, and is thus a fallen woman. Mina Harker resists and is eventually redeemed (she does give in at first, but she basically repents later and then helps them kill Dracula....SPOILER ALERT FOR A 120-YEAR-OLD NOVEL).

 

So, the bite is a physical penetration that is a metaphor for the act of penetrative sex. The acts leading up to the bite are traditionally consensual (remember, it's a test of purity!), even if the bite itself is not.

 

Now, I don't think King was thinking about this tradition or the history of the vampire narrative when he wrote this. More likely, he was following the pattern set out by a hundred plus years of western vampire tradition.

This. All of this. As I said in the Vampire's Kiss thread, I am all in on your vampire thoughts. I've written similarly in depth examinations of the Carpathian Creatures in the past, so your eloquent thoughts make me feel like my usually dumb opinions are worth while.

 

And Cameron H., damn, you're always on point on these boards but you are on FIRE for Sleepwalkers. You both are just...

 

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this thing was on screen for over 30 seconds

 

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Damn it. This is dated 1884. So they couldn't have gone centuries without a name until the song came out. I'm bummed my theory is shot.

 

I guess I'll have to go with a more realistic theory that Stephen King liked the song and wanted to use it in the movie and thus called them "Sleepwalkers" in his head, never realizing he didn't explain it at all.

 

Because of cocaine.

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I want an episode of 'I Was There Too' where Matt Gourley interviews the production assistant whose job it was to throw cats at actors during action scenes.

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So after Charles attacks Tanya in the cemetery, she tells the officers his name and address-- and then tells them that she took pictures of him and to develop the film.

Why do they need a photo of Charles if they already have a description, his name, and address??

 

Also, about her taking pictures... shouldn't have Tanya seen Charles in his "true" Sleepwalker form when she was taking his picture?

I think she should have been able to see him as the cat-like vampire demon in the viewfinder since many cameras operate with a mirror-system.

 

And we know from when Tanya was visiting their house that we saw "the mom" in Sleepwalker form in the mirror.

So she should have been able to get a look of him as the vamp-cat demon through her camera's eyepiece/viewfinder, when trying to snap a photo, and dip out earlier?

 

Idk, I know there are mirror-less cameras, and I do not know much about cameras to know what kind she was using. Can anyone confirm?

 

I figured the whole set-up about getting the pictures developed was that the pic would show him as the cat-demon. But I guess Sleepwalkers' faces are just blurry in photos?

 

And after looking up to confirm how cameras work, I figure she'd at least be able to have seen him in that "form" thru the viewfinder on her camera.

 

Maybe you have to look directly at a mirror to see the true sleepwalker form and it won't work if it's indirect like the camera viewfinder. Or a submarine periscope. Kind of like how vampires can't be in the sun, yet they walk around at night perfectly fine even though moonlight is basically a reflection of sunlight.

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Maybe you have to look directly at a mirror to see the true sleepwalker form and it won't work if it's indirect like the camera viewfinder. Or a submarine periscope. Kind of like how vampires can't be in the sun, yet they walk around at night perfectly fine even though moonlight is basically a reflection of sunlight.

Good point!

 

 

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So I don't know how many of you folks watch the show New Girl, but my wife and I came up with a theory while watching the movie.

 

The show features a young African-American character named Winston. He works as a police officer and has a pet cat who he is obsessed with and occasionally sings silly, made-up songs to. Sound familiar?

 

Most-stable-New-Girl-relationship.gif

 

Recent New Girl episodes have also focused on Winston's lack of a father figure growing up, and his unwillingness to inform his mother about being hired as a police officer. It was also recently revealed why Winston's mother didn't want her son becoming a cop: because Winston's absent father was also a cop! Why did his father never return? Perhaps because he was murdered by an incestuous cat demon?

 

sleepwalkers04.jpg

 

All the pieces fit: the father of Winston from New Girl was Officer Andy from Sleepwalkers. They are part of a shared universe.

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Maybe we're all over-thinking this.

 

My theory is that Stephen King was on some sort of epic bender one weekend around 1990 and somehow came across the Natassja Kinski/Malcolm McDowell "erotic horror" film Cat People. So, he watched the film in a semi-blackout state, retaining only the loose knowledge that the film involved human beings transforming into beasts, the consumption of people for food, heavy themes of incest, and -- you know -- cats.

 

Later on, he forgot all about having seen Cat People, believing the burgeoning ideas in his mind to be solely of his own design. He then tossed the aforementioned elements into some sort of mental blender and churned out what he believed to be an original screenplay, but was actually the product of a loosely tied-together fever dream derived from half-remembered elements of another movie.

 

And there we have it: Sleepwalkers was born.

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So I don't know how many of you folks watch the show New Girl, but my wife and I came up with a theory while watching the movie.

 

The show features a young African-American character named Winston. He works as a police officer and has a pet cat who he is obsessed with and occasionally sings silly, made-up songs to. Sound familiar?

 

Most-stable-New-Girl-relationship.gif

 

Recent New Girl episodes have also focused on Winston's lack of a father figure growing up, and his unwillingness to inform his mother about being hired as a police officer. It was also recently revealed why Winston's mother didn't want her son becoming a cop: because Winston's absent father was also a cop! Why did his father never return? Perhaps because he was murdered by an incestuous cat demon?

 

sleepwalkers04.jpg

 

All the pieces fit: the father of Winston from New Girl was Officer Andy from Sleepwalkers. They are part of a shared universe.

Normally, I'm not a fan of crossover/shared universe theories...

 

But I am 100% on board for this.

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Can it be a coincidence that Brian Krause went from playing a cat person to his next big role which was a character named Leo?

 

Also easily my favorite part of the movie was the mother arriving at Tanya's house. Her assault on the parents and the lazy way she shoved that cop unconscious was fucking hilarious.

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Long time listener, first time poster.

 

I've come up with a way to skirt the incest issue for June, using her theory that these are demonic creatures whose biology is too different from our own to have a true Mother/Son relationship.

 

Sleepwalkers are like Gremlins. Consider Stripe from first Gremlins film. When he falls into the fountain at the end he begins to create more Gremlins from his back. Now, can Stripe really be considered the "mother" of those Gremlins in a traditional sense? And if they had the ability to bone (besides being horrifying) could it be considered incest as we understand it?

 

So, I propose that whenever they feed off on enough virginal energy the Sleepwalkers spontaneously create newer Sleepwalkers. Only problem? Not enough virgins left who are old enough to harvest (I'm making up this rule to explain why there aren't billions of them everywhere). Why would they refer to each other as mother and son? Because it's hilarious that humans don't understand how special they are. Just like June said.

 

Unfortunately for June I have almost no proof for this scenario, except this: Sleepwalkers are know to be "Loving to feed, feeding to breed." Feeding to breed? Almost like... A mother fucking Gremlin.

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this movie has one of the worst post death one liners ever. when the mother kills the cop with the corn on the cob. she stabs him in the back, he falls to the the ground dead and she says "no vegetables, no dessert. those are the rules". it makes no sense. maybe if he had been reaching for piece of cake or something but he was on the phone calling for help. maybe it was because the back up with be a good thing but that's stretching it. plus the corn had been eaten. so someone had eaten their vegetables. going by the rules they earned the dessert ... in saying all that ... i'd love to hear Schwarzenegger say it

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Admittedly I didn't watch this movie, but why are they called "Sleepwalkers"

I think it starts with the (sorry, June) dance and incest scene at the opening of the movie. Charles and his mom are dancing to "Sleepwalk" and therefore you have the title of the movie. King reportedly writes by putting his characters in a situation and going from there, so that explanation makes as much sense as any. After all, shoehorning concepts into stories is familiar territory for the author of "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon". (For those unfamiliar, this story uses the Red Sox closer's streak of 54 consecutive saves as a plot device).

 

To sprinkle a little more rain on June's parade, King often incorporates child abuse in his stories, although typically in the history of a protagonist to explain some kind of underlying fear or insecurity in the character. I think in this case, the relationship between Charles and his mom is just being used to (successfully!) inspire some sort of general creepiness but that's up for anyone's interpretation.

 

Another reason for "Sleepwalk" is to root the story in some kind of nostalgia. Anyone who has read a few King books (or seen movies) knows that boomer nostalgia is a common thread in a lot of his stories. This explains why Tanya was listening to "Do You Love Me". This also explains why Charles drives a pair of conspicuously vintage automobiles (1970s edition Firebird and 1960s edition Mustang), objectively terrible choices for a werecat/vampire trying to blend in rural Indiana.

 

If you're looking for them, you'll see all sorts of King tropes in this movie. King often injects a proxy for himself in his stories, typically an author or high school teacher. Well, this would be Mr. Fallows (played by Glenn Shadix). In a different imagining of the story, you could see Fallows as some kind of secondary protagonist, or the origin of a plot device through which the secret of the Sleepwalkers is revealed.

 

King often references Lovecraft, and I think that's the sole motivation for the "Chillicoathe Encyclopaedia of Arcane Knowledge" in the title card. King likes to set his stories in small towns, typically in Maine, but Indiana will do. King often makes cameos (noted in the podcast), etc. I'm sure I'm missing a few.

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I think it starts with the (sorry, June) dance and incest scene at the opening of the movie. Charles and his mom are dancing to "Sleepwalk" and therefore you have the title of the movie. King reportedly writes by putting his characters in a situation and going from there, so that explanation makes as much sense as any. After all, shoehorning concepts into stories is familiar territory for the author of "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon". (For those unfamiliar, this story uses the Red Sox closer's streak of 54 consecutive saves as a plot device).

 

That's all really great information, and I get that I'm arguing a bit of semantics here, but I feel like you're answering "how come" and not "why." Of course they're called Sleepwalkers because that's what Stephen King called them and it sounds somewhat evocative, but, in universe, why are they called Sleepwalkers? What about their abilities has anything to do with "Sleepwalking?"

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That's all really great information, and I get that I'm arguing a bit of semantics here, but I feel like you're answering "how come" and not "why." Of course they're called Sleepwalkers because that's what Stephen King called them and it sounds somewhat evocative, but, in universe, why are they called Sleepwalkers? What about their abilities has anything to do with "Sleepwalking?"

 

Maybe on top of all their powers and whatnot they're also afflicted with harmless episodes of sleepwalking, and they just choose to identify with that rather than the cat stuff.

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It's been noted earlier that "The Rodeo Song" is a real song, but I'll add that while the actor sounds like he's making it up on the spot and embellishing it with f-bombs, it is a faithful rendition. He doesn't add any profanity to it -- that is what that song is. What a weird choice, and also very King. Something that always takes me out of his writing is how all of his characters live in the same musical taste bubble as he does, so it's not uncommon to have one quote obscure verse lyrics at the other and for the other to respond "ayuh" like he'd been thinking the same thing, like Darmok for lyrics.

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Maybe on top of all their powers and whatnot they're also afflicted with harmless episodes of sleepwalking, and they just choose to identify with that rather than the cat stuff.

 

At this point, that's as likely as anything. I can't find anything in folklore or mythology that even mentions sleepwalking.*

 

If mesmerism were a part of their power set, at least you could say "Sleepwalker" was describing the effect their power has over their victims, but alas, that doesn't appear to be one of their "amazing" abilities.

 

My guess is that, like cats, they like to sleep and...walk?

 

 

*The extent of my "research" is that I've Googled "sleepwalking in folklore" and "sleepwalking in mythology." I feel like that's enough for me ;)

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They should have been called sleepeaters. My cat sleeps all day long and is only awake to eat or poop.

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They should have been called sleepeaters. My cat sleeps all day long and is only awake to eat or poop.

 

Sleepeaters, Awakepoopers.

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this movie has one of the worst post death one liners ever. when the mother kills the cop with the corn on the cob. she stabs him in the back, he falls to the the ground dead and she says "no vegetables, no dessert. those are the rules". it makes no sense. maybe if he had been reaching for piece of cake or something but he was on the phone calling for help. maybe it was because the back up with be a good thing but that's stretching it. plus the corn had been eaten. so someone had eaten their vegetables. going by the rules they earned the dessert ... in saying all that ... i'd love to hear Schwarzenegger say it

Also, the cop had two empty corn cobs on his plate, and the mom asked him if he wanted the last one. He was straight up eating corn, like, 20 seconds before Alice Krige came in! She stabbed him with a corn cob that was only empty because he had eaten it.

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Also, the cop had two empty corn cobs on his plate, and the mom asked him if he wanted the last one. He was straight up eating corn, like, 20 seconds before Alice Krige came in! She stabbed him with a corn cob that was only empty because he had eaten it.

 

And what a motherfucker! Their daughter was assaulted that day! He's there to protect her! But instead, he's having her mother serve him fucking dinner. That can't be official procedure, can it?

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Long time Earwolf fan. I feel compelled to chime in on this amazing film. What to say?

 

I think with the mum and son banging thing - I think Stephen King was alluding to how the modern vampire stories involve the OG vampire 'masters' who decide 'turn' their victim to become like one of them, and usually its gets all weird and sexylike due to their blood/physic bond. So maybe the Mom is his vampire mom rather than really mom who decided to turn her prey hundreds of years ago and now its all weird and incestuous - but not actually? I think this is a theory that June would prefer though! Of course, as said in the podcast, they say again and again 'son' and 'mother'. As with other King projects, I think the train of thought on that score was lost during cocaine happytimes, and perhaps it was more fun to just have them be straight up incesty poundtowns.

 

Stabbed in the back with a corn cob.

 

Also, the guy, in nice guy mode - tells his intended victim's mom his real address. Which evidently that very next day, leads the police to simply know to go directly to his house. They didn't even need the car chasey info! (which btw didnt show any license plate checking and whatnot but hey, old mate was focused on Clovis' getting pats and whatnot.

 

His behaviour in the woods betrayed any notion that he had second thoughts about the shit they were up to, obviously. Omg. OK. I'll sleep now.

 

5/5

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