110. The Sleepwalker Killing (1997)

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*The Warlock opens the door to his lair. He’s wearing a black wifebeater, gargoyle shades, white sneakers, blue jeans and an NCIS hat. He’s holding a stein of Pepsi*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair…..welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*The Warlock levitates into the lair*

Warlock: NCIS Appreciation Month continues with The Sleepwalker Killing, a 1997 made for TV movie based…

*Neyzor Blades is in the recliner wearing a black and white striped dress*

Neyz: Oh no you don’t. You know I don’t like horror movies.

Warlock: Will you shaddup and let me finish?

Neyz: Fine.

Warlock: As I was saying, a 1997 made for TV movie based on the real life court case of the sleep-walker murder.

Neyz: Wait, this actually happened?

Warlock: WILL YOU LET ME FINISH!!!

*Warlock shakes the building*

Neyz: Yeesh, no need to cause an earthquake.

*Warlock takes his seat in the middle of the couch*

Warlock: Let’s get this started before I get interrupted again. The Sleepwalker Killing.

 

*The Warlock reads the tagline*

Warlock: “Mark Schall kills his mother-in-law and wounds his father-in-law in the middle of the night, then turns himself in. He claims, however, that he cannot remember the crime itself.”

Neyz: A likely story.

 

*Movie opens with Lauren Schall (Hilary Swank) on Unsolved Mysteries talking about how her life was shattered*

Warlock: Already?

 

*Mark Schall (Charles Esten) kills Lauren’s mother Anne Lane (Marykate Harris) and wounds her father Roth Lane (Sam Anderson) before driving off. He wakes and turns himself in.”I think I killed someone”

Neyz: You think?

 

*Detective Boyko (Jeffrey Nordling) shows up to the crime scene. Officer tells him Roth is wounded and Anne is dead. The kids Christopher (Sean Murray) and Tanya (Marisa Coughlan) look on sad. Warlock stands and shouts*

Warlock: NCIS SPECIAL AGENT TIMOTHY MCGEE IN THE HOUSEEEEE!!

Neyz: Don’t you mean Zachary Binks?

 

*Police comb through the crime scene*

Warlock:McGee fits right in.

 

*Officer tells Boyko that the murderer is the son in law*

Warlock: Must have been some really bad food in the house.

 

*Lauren is confronted by the cops. They tell her that her mom is dead and father is hurt.She’s confused*

Warlock: Wonderful news to wake up to.

 

*Boyko “So he walks in and attacks them in their sleep. Just the kind of son in law you want”

Warlock and Neyz: Hahahhaha

 

*Back at the hospital Mark is getting patched up. Detective Ike Nolan (Victor Love) is with him. Boyko walks in. Mark asks if the parents are okay. Boyko tells them Anne is dead, Mark breaks down and cries. Ike looks concerned but Boyko doesn’t buy it*

Neyz: He needs to undergo psychiatric help immediately.

 

*Boyko grills Roth and Roth says someone attacked him in the dark. He didn’t see who did it.*

Warlock: Well that sucks for Mark.

 

*Lauren, Christopher and Tanya hug in the waiting room*

Warlock: One big happy family.

 

*Ike and Boyko ponder why Mark did it. They say could be insurance, could be inheritence*

Warlock: Or she was a pain in the ass.

 

*Boyko sees Chris, Tanya and Lauren. Tanya says she heard Anne screaming and someone ran up the stairs. She didn’t see who it was. Lauren says everyone loved her parents and nobody would want them dead*

Warlock: Nice set up Boyko.

 

*The kids visit Roth. Lauren has to tell Roth that Anne died. Roth cries*

Neyz: That sucks.

 

*Ike says there was no money to be had in their death. Ike and Boyko visit Mark. At first they’re cordial. Ike starts a tape recorder. Mark says he was falling asleep on his couch then he was in the in-laws house. He ran upstairs and he blacked out until he woke up in his car with the knife, covered in blood. Ike then yells at him*

Warlock: I gotta go with the cops on this one.

 

*Boyko yells too and Mark continues to proclaim innocence. Meanwhile outside Chris and Lauren talk more.Tanya says they arrested someone and he’s there. Lauren wants to know who did it and storms inside*

Neyz: She’s about to find out now.

 

*Lauren figures out that Mark did it. Lauren makes it to the stairwell and has a panic attacked*

Neyz: She just lost the baby.

Warlock: The baby was already born.

Neyz: Oh, my bad.

 

*Lauren walks back to Tanya and Christopher. She tells them Mark did it. Tanya is totally confused because they loved each other. Chris is unsure as well until Boyko and Ike walk in. They grill the trio and they all say that Mark and them got along*

Warlock: Wonderful…just wonderful.

 

*Lauren tells Boyko that Mark was sleeping on the couch because he couldn’t sleep. She says that she has the keys to her parents place then pulls out Mark’s. Apparently Mark took her keys*

Warlock: More incriminating evidence.

 

*Chris volunteers to identify the body, Lauren says she’ll do it. At the coroner’s, Lauren pulls back the sheet and of course its her mother. She cries*

Neyz: Nope…nope…fuck that.

 

*Eileen Hunter (Julianna McCarthy) is on Unsolved Mysteries saying she couldn’t believe that her grandson Mark could kill Anne*

Warlock: Well ya better believe it.

 

*Eileen says she’ll get a lawyer for Mark. He initially refuses because he doesn’t want her to spend money on him. She says “What else am I gonna spend it on, bingo?”

Warlock: Ha.

 

*Eileen asks the officer if she can hug Mark. He nods*

Warlock: What’s he gonna say no?

Neyz: Oh how kind of him.

 

*Eileen’s lawyer is Brooke McAdam (Natalija Nogulich) and she tells Brooke what happens. Marks’s mother died 12 years before and he came to live with her. Brooke’s assistant Jimmy (Joel Polis) is with her. They say they’ll let Eileen know if she’ll take the case*

Warlock: They’re better running far away.

 

*An angry Lauren returns home. Tanya and Chris have been taking care of Kimberly, Mark’s baby. Eileen calls and asks for Lauren. Chris asks if Mark was acting strangely and Lauren goes berserk, smashing a picture and saying if she never met him, mom would still be alive*

Warlock: That’s powerful.

 

*Brooke grills Mark and he’s convinced he was drugged and framed. He realizes that’s not gonna fly and sits down*

Warlock: Yeah he’s screwed.

 

*The psychiatrist tells Brooke that he doesn’t know why Mark would do this. Meanwhile Lauren visits Roth and tells her Bridget (Sarah Bibb) is watching the baby. Lauren tells Roth that it was Mark that attacked. Roth doesn’t believe it and wants to know why. Lauren says he can’t remember*

Warlock: Nobody remembers a thing.

 

*Ike and Boyko go over details on how Mark committed the murder. Some random officer asks Ike for his pickle. Ike “No you can’t have my pickle. What are you a seagull? Get outta here*

Warlock and Neyz: Hahahahahaha

 

*Boyko reveals Mark was arrested 3 months ago for fraud. Boyko tells Ike to get on the horn with the prosecutor’s office and find out what happened. Next scene Boyko shows up to Lauren’s house with a warrant for a routine search. Boyko grills her and reveals he siphoned her savings account to defraud his employer. Boyko rationalizes that Mark went to Anne’s place to tell them about the fraud, Anne freaks out and Mark killed her*

Warlock: That would make perfect sense.

 

*Boyko hits up the D.A. Mary Ellen Matulus (Lisa Darr) and asks if she’ll be the prosecuting attorney. Boyko asks for her credentials and they’re impressive*

Warlock: Yeah, shut up Boyko.

 

*Jimmy asks why Mark was not wearing underwear when he was arrested. Mark says he never travels going commando*

Warlock: Heh, he’s a briefs guy.

 

*Lauren and Kimberly are outside the door and Mark pops up like Popeye and wants to see the kid. Jimmy asks Boyko what they’re doing here and she’s here to see Mark. Jimmy doesn’t want Boyko in the room but he pushes. Lauren enters by herself. Mark “If you want a divorce, I won’t fight it.”

Neyz: Ohhhh noooooo

 

*Lauren grills him and he gives the same story. Mark is completely distraught and Lauren realizes he’s not lying. Lauren brings Kimberly to see him. She wants to know what really happened and he insists he doesn’t know*

Warlock: Not looking good.

 

*Brooke grills the head doctor and the doc says his cat scan is normal*

Warlock: Great, just great.

 

*Lauren is grilled by a news reporter and she tells her to buzz off. Chris says if he had a gun, he’d kill Mark himself. Lauren and Roth get rid of the reporters. Tanya and Chris are stunned she went to see Mark. Chris is mad*

Warlock: Hard to get mad at him.

 

*Mark is arrested and taken into custody complete with jumpsuit and chains*

Neyz: Barf

 

*Jimmy and Brooke discuss if he’s innocent. Jimmy says his story never changed. Brooke and Jimmy figured he was sleep walking*

Warlock: There’s the name of the movie.

 

*Brooke visits Lauren. Lauren doesn’t want to talk but Brooke is insistent. Lauren gets a phone call from Mark. He needs medication for his hands. Lauren says she’ll only talk in front of Mark. Next day in prison, Lauren is with Mark and Brooke. Brooke says he could be sleep walking. Lauren gets mad and storms out*

Neyz: That was a little over dramatic

 

*Eileen says she used to find her husband cooking breakfast in his sleep. Brooke visits Dr.Frank Corrigan (John Rubenstein) and Frank says he couldn’t be sleepwalking because it took too long to commit the murder. Brooke says Mark wasn’t sleeping the past few days and that could trigger sleepwalking. Frank says that sleepwalking occurs between 2-3 hours after falling asleep. Brooke says he passed out at 1 and the murder happened between 3-4 AM*

Warlock: A clue!

 

*Eileen visits Lauren at the diner*

Warlock: I’ll have an awkward sandwich, hold the mayo.

 

*Lauren is still in denial about Mark sleepwalking. Lauren stonefaces Eileen when Eileen says Mark sleepwalked when he was a kid. Meanwhile at Tanya’s birthday Roth and Chris want Mark dead while Lauren says that he’s still her husband. Mark writes a letter to Lauren saying to go get a divorce and find a new man so Kimberly could have a father*

Warlock: Wow what an asshole.

 

*At the diner, Brooke tells Lauren that a sleep expert is flying in to examine him and wants Lauren to observe. She angrily dismisses Brooke but Brooke slowly starts to get through.  Next frame Dr. Corrigan explains Mark’s family is genetically prone to sleepwalking. He doesn’t believe Mark was sleep-walking but it is in his genetics. The next frame shows Mark sleeping while monitored to see if he’s does sleepwalk.*

Neyz: I had to do that once.

 

*They go over the test results and he does have the trigger to sleepwalk. Corrigan is now convinced he was sleep-walking. Next frame Mark says it doesn’t make a difference because he killed her. Jimmy tells him that’s not the point. Mark refuses to have Lauren testify*

Warlock: Come on…..

 

*Boyko on Unsolved Mysteries says someone in Florida killed his ex-wife and claimed it was due to his hyper-active thyroid*

Warlock and Neyz: Hahahahaha

 

*Matulus, Ike and Boyko go over the crime scene evidence to bag him for first degree murder. Dr. O’Brien (Norman Merrill) shows up and he just got back from the sleep-walking study. He says their defense is for real. He says he believes the sleepwalking testimony but the jury may not buy it. He leaves and Matulus asks if he really did sleepwalk. Boyko doesn’t buy it and says there’s no way he did all that without knowing*

Warlock: He’s got a point there.

 

*The Lane family is with the D.A. Lauren shows up and Matulus says Mark’s defense is sleep-walking. Christopher scoffs and Roth grills Lauren if she knew about that*

Neyz: Binks doesn’t buy it.

 

*Matulus wants Lauren to testify against him and she can’t. Tanya wants her to do it for mom. Lauren says mom was her best friend. She says she can’t testify because she doesn’t know if he’s guilty*

Neyz: Grrrrrrr

 

*Brooke tells the jury of Mark’s history. The judge (J. Patrick McCormack) looks ready to pass out*

Warlock: Wake up judge!

 

*The trial commences and both parties spill out all the evidence. Brooke rips apart the phone argument by saying the phone could have been knocked off before. Tanya says that she’s never seen Mark act violently. Tanya says he was making loud grunts, which Lauren realizes was the sign of sleep-walking. Lauren runs into Eileen and says she’s sorry and that she’s convinced that Mark was telling the truth*

Warlock: Yay, group hug.

 

*Mark throws a prisoner around*

Neyz: That’s not gonna help his case.

Warlock: It would take too long to submit for evidence

 

*Mark tells the story of his gambling debts. He thought it was skill, not luck. He claims she yelled at him but never fought back. The D.A. brings up how he threw Judd (Steve Santosusso) around and says he DOES have violent tendancies*

Warlock: Okay you were right.

 

*Lauren visits Mark in jail and she’s convinced he didn’t know what was going on. They share character development scenes and then Mark asks if he can come home if he gets off. She doesn’t know*

Warlock: Take him back.

Neyz: No, because he’s still violent. He could choke their kid.

 

*Back in court, we go over the sleep-walking premise. The D.A. is vicious*

Neyz: What a bitch.

Warlock: That’s her job.

 

*Matulus buries Dr. Corrigan’s testimony. Christopher and Tanya say that if Lauren doesn’t testify against Mark, she’s disowned*

Warlock: Fuck off.

 

*Lauren visits Brooke and Jimmy. Brooke says it doesn’t look good. Lauren says not to worry about her testifying*

Neyz: That was creepy.

 

*Lauren spills her guts to Roth and she’s going to testify FOR Mark, and she may lose family but Mark would die if she don’t. Roth walks away disgusted. Now its time for Lauren to testify*

Warlock: Here we go.

 

*Lauren testifies for Mark. The D.A. verbally attacks. Lauren holds her ground. Matulus gives her closing arguments. She claims Mark deliberately killed Anne Lane*

Neyz: That’s bullshit.

 

*Brooke makes her closing arguments. We’re shown what REALLY happened. He sleptwalk to Anne’s house and tried to fix the heater with a tire iron like he had done before and he got scared when Anne stopped him. He grabbed the knife she was holding by the blade, which no man in his right mind would do, and killed her in a frenzied state*

Warlock: That explains the messed up hands.

 

*Roth says he doesn’t know what to believe. He says if he’s guilty there’s a thought in the back of his mind that he’s innocent. If he’s innocent, there’s a thought in the back that he’s guilty. He says he misses his grand-daughter and he and Lauren hug*

Warlock: That’s powerful.

 

*The verdict is in, even Warlock rises*

Neyz: Sit down.

 

*1st degree murder – Not guilty. Mark is free*

Warlock: Yayyyyyyyy.

 

*Eileen, Lauren and Mark celebrate*

Warlock: And then he kills her.

Neyz: He does not!

 

*Reporter (Marc Summers) grills Boyko and he’s pissed. He says a killer was set free*

Neyz: Holy shit its Marc Summers! Double Dare!

Warlock: What Would You Do?

 

*Mark is grilled by reporters and he says he’s on medication to prevent further outbursts. Brooke shows up and they drive away*

Warlock: Better run for your life.

 

*End graphic says Lauren reconciled with Roth but Chris and Tanya never spoke to her again. Lauren divorced Mark 3 years later and both remarried. Lauren still believes he killed Anne by accident*

Warlock: Oh sure, BOTH remarried. Cleared of murder, still an asshole.

 

Neyzor Blades Assessment: 6 out of 10, not a movie you can watch again, but interesting to see how it plays out.

The Warlock’s Assessment: I’ll give it a 6….same thing

Final Grade: 6 out of 10 – Good.

 

*Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: Since it was a made for TV movie, I won’t blast it for the lack of true Hollywood production, but then again, you really didn’t need it since it was primarily a court case movie. As Neyz said, its one of those where if you know the ending, its not worth watching again. That about wraps up another goodtastic adventure, have a pleasant evening.

 

 

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