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And Now for My Next Trick … November 11, 2009

Posted by monty in authors, books.
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Stephen

Stephen King, as I’ve documented on here before, is the first writer I was ever fanatical about.  It started with Cujo in 7th grade (roughly 1985), and it didn’t take long for me to devour everything by him I could find, which wasn’t as difficult in the mid 80’s as it would be now.  I’ve followed him faithfully ever since, and even when his books haven’t scaled the heights of something like, say, The Shining or The Stand, he’s never anything less than a solid storyteller, and I refuse to toe the popular English teacher line that says his works aren’t “real literature.”

That said, King’s books have been responsible for some of the shittiest movies in cinema history, as well as some of the best (or at least some of the most watchable).  It’s a really perplexing grab bag, where David Cronenberg’s The Dead Zone, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, and Rob Reiner’s Misery and Stand by Me rub shoulders with Paul Michael Glaser’s (who?) The Running Man, Mark L. Lester’s (what?) Firestarter, and Fritz Kiersch’s (huh?) Children of the  Corn.  Even when good directors tackle King’s material, the results aren’t guaranteed.  Witness George Romero’s The Dark Half or Tobe Hooper’s The Mangler. And then you get little-known directors who just knock it right the fuck out of the park, like Frank Darabont did with The Shawshank Redemption.

But I haven’t seen all of the movies based on King’s work, so I’m going to embark on something that will either prove to be fabulously entertaining or stupidly foolhardy.  Starting this week I’m going to watch at least one movie a week that is either based on a Stephen King text or written specifically by him for film or television, until I’ve exhausted everything Netflix (and my own personal video library) has to offer.  I’ll watch them chronologically, from 1976’s Carrie through 2007’s The Mist, and I’ll watch all of them available, including the ones I’ve already seen.  It’ll be an interesting experiment, if nothing else, and I’ll post the results of each film here.

Here’s the complete list of movies I’ll be watching, based on Netflix’ inventory and what I personally have on my shelves:

  • Carrie (1976)
  • The Shining (1980)
  • Creepshow (1982)
  • Cujo (1983)
  • The Dead Zone (1983)
  • Christine (1983)
  • Children of the Corn (1984)
  • Firestarter (1984)
  • Cat’s Eye (1985)
  • Silver Bullet (1985)
  • Stand by Me (1986)
  • Creepshow 2 (1987)
  • The Running Man (1987)
  • Pet Sematary (1989)
  • Graveyard Shift (1990)
  • It (1990)
  • Misery (1990)
  • Sleepwalkers (1992)
  • The Dark Half (1993)
  • The Tommyknockers (1993)
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • The Mangler (1995)
  • Dolores Claiborne (1995)
  • Thinner (1996)
  • The Shining (1997)
  • Apt Pupil (1998)
  • The Green Mile (1999)
  • Storm of the Century (1999)
  • Hearts in Atlantis (2001)
  • Rose Red (2002)
  • Dreamcatcher (2003)
  • The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer (2003)
  • Secret Window (2004)
  • Kingdom Hospital (2004)
  • Salem’s Lot (2004)
  • Riding the Bullet (2004)
  • Desperation (2006)
  • 1408 (2007)
  • The Mist (2007)

There are a few that I don’t own and Netflix doesn’t have.  If anyone has a line on where I can find these, I’d be most appreciative.

  • Salem’s Lot (1979)
  • Maximum Overdrive (1986)
  • Golden Years (1991)
  • Sometimes They Come Back (1991)
  • Needful Things (1993)
  • The Stand (1994)
  • The Langoliers (1995)

I don’t know why I do these things.

*****

Current listening:

24-7 Gumbo

24-7 Spyz – Gumbo Millennium (1990)

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Comments»

1. thoreauly77 - November 11, 2009

were you inspired by avclubs lists this week? there was one about king this week, and the threads that sprouted (or fiendishly crawled?) from the piece were ridiculous fun to nerd-out to.

king and koontz were my intro to really devouring literature, and this week i am going to finally finish the dark tower.

rcm - November 12, 2009

I check AV Club infrequently, so I didn’t see the list. I forget what made me think about doing this, but I’m sure I’ll regret it.

2. Brian - November 13, 2009

I have The Stand and… I think… Needful Things along with a number of the ones you were able to find. If you’d like, I could loan the ones I have to you.

If you were planning on watching with a group to spread the joy/pain, I’d be in for that, too. A good Kingfest, even when it’s bad, is at least entertaining. I mean, Maximum Overdrive is a hell of a lot of fun in it’s God-awfulness.

rcm - November 13, 2009

Thanks for the offer, Brian. It’ll be weeks before I need any of the ones I don’t have, so when I get there I’ll definitely hit you up for a loaner.


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