Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Masters Of Horror! (Stephen King, Part 2)

Okay, last batch had most of the famous stuff I grew up on; this next batch, gotta admit at the outset, haven't fully kept on top of.
My bad.

Dolores Claiborne (1995)

I remember my mother devouring the book in one day, and raving that it was a masterpiece, and proceeding to tell me the whole plot over the next 45 minutes.

So, I kinda felt like I'd already seen it.

But, I'll be damned, the flick still delivered.
It's up there with the really good ones, like "Stand By Me", and "Shawshank", and "Misery".

Now, I forgot to mention in the "Misery", review, given that I'm such a staunch atheist and skeptic, there isn't a speck of superstition left in me, I don't even get that boogeymen in the corner feeling in pitch blackness anymore, no, what really creeps me out is irrational crazy human behavior.

That's why "Misery", really works for me.
Shit like that could happen, and probably has somewhere.

And, it's why, overall, at my age, I much prefer King's "real people stories", listed above.

Although, "The Shining", and "Pet Semetary", still spook me.
And the novel of "IT", would probably still give me the terror-shits.
Well...those work because they dig into deeper psychological stuff than the surface supernatural trappings.
None of the shallow found-footage ghost crap coming out nowadays tackles any of that.

Anyway, off, right "Misery", "Dolores", both Kathy Bates.
Good actress, haven't seen her in awhile.

Thinner (1996)

Another Stephen King & Tom Holland collaboration.

Geez, the novel came out back in the days of fuckin' "Cujo", "Christine", "Pet Sematary", all of that.
What took so long?
It's not like Hollywood didn't beat down his door in the 80's.

Anyway, this bombed.
Ah, well.

The Shining (1997)

Yhep, the Mick Garris one.

It's interesting.
I didn't think it was scary though.

But, okay, we got to see Unca Stevie's vision.
He can't wash his hands, he practically co-directed it.
He can stop slagging the Kubrick one now.

Y'know what, just read the book, that's the best version.

The Night Flier (1997)

There was a movie of this?
How did it slip by me?
Must have been straight to video, and must have sucked.
If it were any good, I would have heard word of mouth by now.

I vaguely remember the short story, and it was just about a vampire killing people, and the narrator of the story seeing him pee blood into the urinal, and taking off.

How did they squeeze a whole movie out of that?
I shudder to think.

Quicksilver Highway (1997)

A double feature of a Stephen King story, and a Clive Barker story.

I...faintly remember this being on TV.
I can't even remember if I watched it.

Sorry, said at the beginning, I didn't keep up so well in this period.

Trucks (1997)

No way, they fucking remade "Maximum Overdrive", too?

Sheer blasphemy.

Apt Pupil (1998)

Hey, remember when I said I'd be Magneto in the King-verse?

Why, there's Magneto in the King-verse!
I guess when you put actual-Magneto in the King-verse, he becomes a Nazi.

Anyhoo, this was generally well received critically, but...haven't got around to seeing it.

I wasn't a fan of the short story, I mean, it was very well done, but very grim.
I was glad when it was over.
But, I read it when I was a teenager, it's been awhile.

The Green Mile (1999)

The other "Frank Darabont jail movie".

There needs to be a third.

Overall, I dig it, but it's a little bit Capra-corn around the edges.
Just a smidge.

Storm Of The Century (1999)

Oh, yeah, yeah, this is the one!

From here.

Aww, shit, I shoulda got one of the Smiling Church up at the corner!

A film crew some years ago took pictures, and made measurements, and made an exact replica for Stephen King's "The Storm Of The Century".

The movie sucked, I fucking hated it, but...that's still pretty cool, y'know?

Also, there's a memorial cross thingy for some guy who splatted himself on his motorcycle at that corner., that's some morbid medieval shit.

Memorializing the splat spot?

Eh, I'll get a picture of that next time.

So much I missed.

But, that's what other blog entries are for.

And here is where I finally snapped those pics.

So, yeah, kinda shitty they didn't film in the real church.
But, knowing our greedy crooked town council, they probably asked for the fucking sky to film there.

Anyway, it's a Hindu temple now.
All painted up red, orange, and yellow.

Hahaaaa! *points*
Lost your church, greedy Christians!

And yeah, the flick, not a fan.
But again, still neat that a local landmark is in a movie.
How often does that happen?
I mean, when you're not from New York, or Chicago?

Hearts In Atlantis (2001)

This was the first one to come out after his car accident.
Pretty sure.
Can't quite place the timeline of whether the book came out before or after, but the movie for sure.

There's a gap in ANY King activity in 2000, and that's why.

Anyway, this was *wavey hand* eh....
It's Hopkins being Hopkins, so it's hard not to enjoy that.
But it's nothing spectacular.
One of those "watch it, and forget it", rentals.

It's one of Anton Yelchin's first films.
Who the hell could have predicted his career, eh?

Rose Red (2002)

III didn't keep up on this.
I may have watched the first episode, and for whatever reason, let it slip away.

His post-accident stuff wasn't doing it for me, and I'm sad to say, I think I just gave up.

The Dead Zone (2002-2007)

Completely missed out on this.

Couldn't tell you why.
It was nothing rational, I can reconstruct that much.
I got in a lot of weird little snits like that in my 20's.
Who the hell knows what my logic train was.

Anyway, critics and viewers loved this thing, so I really did miss out.
I'm an ass.

Carrie (2002)

See? They just did a "Carrie", remake 10 years ago!
It had CGI and everything!
And the crappy sequel from 1999 was effectively a remake too.

I dunno....I just don't get how suits think....

The Diary Of Ellen Rimbauer (2003)

Um...yeah, hadn't seen "Rose Red", so, I avoided it.

I dunno, it's like, I was punishing King, then I was punishing myself, and...I dunno, I was all kinds of fucked up.
I can't explain nor excuse it.

Dreamcatcher (2003)

A critical and box-office flop, haven't bothered to see it.

Kingdom Hospital (2004)

I actually tried to keep up with this one, but I missed a couple, and I was still in my weird funk, and missing a couple "ruined it", whatever it was, and I bailed on it.

Thank goodness for the internet, you can keep up on shit, I got no excuse for that kind of tantrum anymore.

Wasn't in a good head space in my 20's.

Salem's Lot (2004)

No, really, they did this too?

I have faint trace memories of watching the first one....

Riding The Bullet (2004)

Didn't watch it.

Secret Window (2004)

Does not ring a bell....

I had this confused with "The 9th Gate", which was atrocious.

Critics seem to give it a "meh".

Desperation (2006)

SyFy reran this not long ago, like, last year or something.
And, it's frustrating, because it actually had me hooked for the first half.

(Spoilers ahead)

So, while it's about a crazy Ron Perlman, it's great.
It's that "human scary", I talked about in the "Dolores Claiborne", review.
But then, he becomes this Chinese body-swapping ghost, and there's no more Ron Perlman, and it goes to shit, and becomes about ghostbusting.

It felt like King hit the ejection seat on a genuine thriller.

If this was the caliber of the stuff I was sitting out on, maybe my snit was justified.

Nightmares and Dreamscapes (2006)

Yeah, TNT had just assraped "Salem's Lot", so I wasn't in a mood to give them a chance.

Hmm, my mother watched all this stuff.
I wonder what she thought of me tuning it all out.
I wonder what my excuse was.
I'm wracked with guilt.
This depresses me.

1408 (2007)

Critics went ga-ga for this, and noted that King was finally back.

...even though this was from a story from his pre-accident days.

Haven't seen it.
Meant to, didn't get to it, got sidelined by other things.

The Mist (2007)

Loved the short story back in the day, the film is excellent, good King movies were finally back.

After an almost decade absence.
("Green Mile", being the last one I gave a shit about up until this point)

But, this was from an old story, could he crank out a good NEW one?
Did the detox and the accident really kill the old King?

Loyal fans like my mother were hanging in there, I utterly failed the fidelity test.

No Smoking (2007)

An Indian film adapted from "Quitters Inc", which was also in "Cat's Eye".

A stinkbomb, even in India.
Fared even worse over here.

I include it, only so the film count will be an even 30.

Dolan's Cadillac (2009)

Straight to video.
Doesn't ring a bell.

Children Of The Corn (2009)

Fuggin' remakes, I'm tellin' ya....

Haven (2010-present)

I always forget this is King related.

I don't watch it, I'm way behind.

Bag Of Bones (2011)

Okay, this breaks my fucking heart.
I actually started watching this with Ma, and finally decided to get over my King-snit, and share this one with her, and then she got sick, and the fucking year of hell happened.

The flurry of crap that year totally erased my memory of this show until I dug it up again for this post, and it all came flooding back.


I'll never know if it was any good, was showing promise....

Under The Dome (2013)

Yeah, I think old King is finally back, and so's old me.
Synced up just right.

I see bits and pieces of past classics Frankenstein-ed in there as I watch, but, it doesn't take me out of it.
I'm digging it.
Can't wait until it comes back.
And, I get to watch it with Ma this time.
So, happy resolution.

Carrie (2013)

Out in theaters now.

See my rants in the prior Carries.
Above, and here.

And, that's Stephen King.

Up next, oh, how about John Carpener?


Diacanu said...

Okay, I can't leave this on a glum note.

Even though King's film adapted material languished in mediocrity through the 00's, the same decade did see him regain his novelist mojo, as he cranked out well received sequels to both The Talisman, and his Dark Tower saga.

The short story collection version of "Hearts In Atlantis", was also praised.

As was the novel version of "Under The Dome".

And, I've heard good things about "Doctor Sleep".

Diacanu said...

Oh, geez, I thought that name sounded familiar!

Hit-Girl is the new Carrie!

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