Thursday, February 11, 2010

Favorites by the King...Well Stephen King

The main reason I'm writing this is because I recently started reading Under The Dome by Stephen King. Now I usually say King's stuff can be very hit or miss with me but eh, I'll admit it, I'm a bit of a fan for the big lug and I like his stuff, at least his early stuff. Right around the time when he was crapping out a new novel every five minutes was when I lost interest in him. But having now read about 200 pages in on Under The Dome, I got to admit that Mr. King has grasped me once again. Its a damn good book!

Its also over 1200 pages so don't expect a full review of this anytime soon from me. I'm a slow reader.

As I read Under The Dome I sense the impending film adaptation looming on the horizon. But to be honest I really hope they give this one the miniseries treatment on cable. This story needs all the gore and nasty atrocities to make it work otherwise the premise seems a bit silly. So a watered down version on CBS is just not going to cut it. Also, as a feature length film it would have to be pretty long to include the vast tapestry of characters that King has created so far. There is a lot going on with this book that I cannot see being crammed in a scant two hours. But then, if you have a good screenwriter anything is possible.

If any reps of Mr. King are reading this? Yeah, Under the Dome miniseries on HBO, baby! PERFECT!

...God I really hope this book doesn't start sucking.

...God I hope no reps of Stephen King reads my blog diarrhea.

In case any of you haven't noticed, I am not the writer on this team. The eloquence of the written word goes to Stac.

I just like writing the word penis a lot.


I'm digressing.

Anyways, I started thinking back on some Stephen King movies I liked. I was first introduced to his work via film, being the movie whore that I am. From there, I checked out the books when I could. So here's a list of some of my favorite horror films from The King.
Just to note, I have NOT seen The Myst or Salem's Lot yet. They're on the list though..yes, I'm a bad bad horror fan.

10 -Creepshow
This was one of the first horror films I ever saw as a kid. I watched it mostly through my fingers. And I love to revisit it over and over as an adult. And while all the segments in this movie are awesome, my tops are The Crate and They're Creeping Up On You. I think They're Creeping Up On You is the soul reason why I freak out at bugs.

9 - Needful Things
I know a lot of people think this one is kinda lame but the reason its on my list is because Max Von Sydow gives the most awesome scenery chewing performance ever. Actually all the performances were examples of awesome scenery chewing. WAY melodramatic yet it works for this story...well it works for me. LOVE the camp!

8 - Christine

My asshole brother bought her back in September '57. That's when you got your new model year, in September. Brand-new, she was. She had the smell of a brand-new car. That's just about the finest smell in the world... 'cept maybe for pussy.

I do believe that is one of the greatest lines ever written.
Does anyone else think that early Stephen King and John Carpenter is a film match made in Heaven? Just me? Carpenter lends his testosterone (and vaguely homoerotic) tones to this film and it works beautifully. Christine is underrated. There is just something really creepy and sleazy about this movie that I love...the car is pretty sweet too.

7 -The Dead Zone
I really believe this is the most heart breaking and sad horror films in King's resume. A lot of that I'm sure is due to Christopher Walken's amazing performance and David Chronenberg's directing. Also, the scissors scene is really cringe inducing.

6 -Apt Pupil
Is this considered a horror film? I really believe it's a psychological one. This movie really got under my skin. The acting is fantastic, the story is unique and Ian McKellen's performance is brilliantly understated. The marching scene is completely terrifying and will probably be featured in an upcoming 10 Minutes of Terror. Who knew walking in place could be so scary?

5 - Pet Cemetery

Is he going to kill that kid?...Oh yeah he went there. Pet Cemetery is one of those "Oh he TOTALLY WENT THERE!" films what with child killing, pet killing, creepy devil child returning, and especially the heel slicing. OH GOD THE HEEL SLICING! Mary Lambert directed this one and really did a great job balancing the horror with the emotion of the story making this both frightening and touching.

4 -1408
Once again, I drone on and on about 1408. I love this movie. Its an old fashioned haunted house tale. Its the Shining's bitchy little sister who's pissed she didn't get to see Twilight. Its creepy without the gore. And I'll shut up now since I've already waxed poetic about this movie several times in the past.

3 -Misery
Now THIS is Stephen King's work at its absolute purest and at its peak. Its a simple story about two people and the horror of obsession. This is a true actor's horror film. What I love is it's directed by Rob Reiner, a director who usually does more light hearted comedy like Spinal Tap and The Princess Bride. You can spot a little of his tongue in cheek humor in parts of the movie which really kept the film balanced. And Kathy Bates deserved that frigging Oscar, damn it! She ROCKED this film!

2 -Carrie
I believe Carrie was the first official movie adaptation of Stephen King's work. Believe me when I say overlook the serious 70's style of this film because the story and performances overcome that in the first few frames. A-list actors like Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie made this one something special. And Carrie's revenge at the climax of the film makes this one of the most satisfying horror films I've ever seen.

1 -The Shining
Yes, I'm fully aware that Stephen King did not really like this adaptation. But Mr. King? This movie rocked. Sorry to contradict you, your book was great and it did deviate from it but COME ON!! Kubrick's detached direction style, the vast starkness of the setting, and the minimalist score created one of the most frightening films ever made. Its the Citizen Kane of horror films....But I still don't really get the bear suit blow job scene.

So those are my favorites! I have to admit, Under The Dome has made me want to go back and read more Stephen King. Its been years since I've read his work and now I'm renewed in my love for his weird stories.

Any suggestions?


Stac said...

It's funny, I've only seen five of those movies, and I don't remember much of Needful Things. I enjoyed that one because of Max Von Sydow as well- gotta respect a man who played Jesus, then played a priest doing the ultimate battle against Satan, and then just playing Satan.

I still really need to see 1408, and I LOVE the Shining-- totally with you on that being #1.

The blow job scene was actually (I think) supposed to be a guy in a dog suit. It's the ghost, echo, whatever, of a lot of the depravity that the Overlook inspired/endured, and is explained in the book. One of (I think) the guys who owned the hotel during its heyday was basically an amoral slut who would fuck anyone, regardless of gender. He was also very charismatic, which is why he wasn't ostracized for openly sleeping with men and women. He was very good at making a person fall in love with him, and then very casually and cruelly using that love against that person. The guy in the dog suit was openly gay, and very much in love with the asshole, who made him act like a dog to prove his devotion, or something. I *think* part of his abuse was that he would occasionally let Dog Guy blow him, but not actually have sex or make love-- it was about the degradation of the at, if I remember right. It's been a year and a half since I read The Shining, and there is so much minute detail in the book that I tend to forget pieces of it. And I think he wore the dog suit because it was a masquerade party or something.

Cins said...

Yes you DO need to see 1408, damnit! I demand it! ;D

You know, that does explain the bear suit scene. Totally forgot about that. That moment in the film comes completely out of left field and I never made the connection.
...I just figured Kubrick went temporaily insane.

Stac said...

From what I've heard of Kubrick I don't think temporary had anything to do with it. ;)

Stac said...

And I'm SUCH a classy writer I wrote about touching myself. ;) PULITZER, IMA COMIN FER YA!