Graveyard Shift is an interesting film that doesnt always work. There are good individual images in it the vampire woman locked in a jail cell reduced to drinking from her own veins; the world-weary vampire who begs to be killed, even baring and offering his chest to the vampire hunters; and the relationship between the two principals, which briefly suggests a careworn sincerity. On the other hand, the plot roams everywhere, throwing in a record-number of underdeveloped subplots Sugar Bouche is introduced as a vampire stripper but is forgotten about halfway through; we never find out the fate of first victim Kim Cayer; and there is vampire cop Lesley Kelly about whom nothing is ever explained. There is even one sequence with a blonde slashing the throat of a victim in a pool has no connection to anything else whatsoever. There are also a great many gratuitous sex scenes. There is a good idea at the core of the film but the central narrative needed to be strengthened far more so than it is.
Gerard Ciccorittis visual style is more in liking with the Italian giallo film, particularly with the zoom-happy, ostentatiously lit style of Mario Bava (something Ciccoritti happily acknowledges in having a crooked film producer character named Mario Bava). The results get fairly pseudo at times with the luridly lit closeups of blood-dripping faces and breasts and the far-too-obvious linking of bloodletting and sex. There is a monotonous, stridently pulsing electro-beat score that feels like it belongs more in a porn film.
Director Gerard Ciccoritti and star Silvio Oliviero returned with a sequel The Understudy: Graveyard Shift II (1988), which featured a vampire haunting the set of a vampire movie.
Gerard Ciccoritti seemed to briefly develop a minor reputation as a genre director. He previously made the spoofy Psycho Girls (1986). His most well-known (non-genre) film was the erotic thriller Paris, France (1993). His work subsequently has all been directing episodes of Canadian television series such as Forever Knight, Highlander, Due South, Poltergeist: The Legacy and La Femme Nikita.