Servants of Twilight
Directed by Jeffrey Obrow. Starring Bruce Greenwood, Belinda Bauer, Grace Zabriskie. (1991)
REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., June 7, 1991
While not as awful as the last film adaptation of a Dean Koontz novel (the evil Corey Haim vehicle Watchers), Servants is a far cry from what it could have been. It's hard to imagine an easier contemporary author to raid plot from, actually: Koontz's thrillers are fast paced little books easier to diagram than a three-word sentence. Nevertheless, this weak-kneed attempt just goes to show that if you really want to screw it up, you can. The film follows the flight of a single mother (Bauer) and her young son (Jarrett Lennon), who has been targeted by a group of religious fanatics -- the Church of the Twilight -- as the Antichrist reborn. Along the way, the young family hooks up with a Don Johnson-esque private investigator (Greenwood) and the chase is on. Surprisingly, director Obrow and company have stuck more or less to the basics of Koontz's book without throwing too much of their own extraneous material (i.e. Kubrick's botched take on Stephen King's The Shining). Unfortunately, though, they've also managed to delete almost all of the necessary background stories that kept the original story moving along at its frenetic (if sometimes unbelievable) pace. Where did these psycho holy rollers come from, and how come it's so easy for them to pinpoint the mother and child's location at any given moment? I don't know, and neither does anyone else, I suspect. Obrow has substituted headlong action and chase sequences in favor of plot logistics, and the resulting film is about as satisfying as a nine-day-old Hostess Ho Ho. Not to mention the fact that the beleaguered mom's accent repeatedly switches from Austrailian to southern Californian in various scenes. Servants of Mediocrity, more like.