The Shining (1980)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd
Storyline: A family moves to an ancient hotel with a haunting presence over takes the father who is a writer.
Review: Writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) and his family become care takers for a hotel over the long winter. Slowly haunting presences start to happen such as the son Danny (Danny Lloyd) acting very weird, shaking, talking in little voices, seeing blood flowing in hallways, seeing ghost twin girls and the father is slowly losing his mind. Through all this madness Jack’s annoying wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) tries to hold it all together.
This film is a classic when it comes to haunting films or in horror films in general. There is really nothing wrong with this film at all except that Shelley Duvall is enough to drive any man or family mad but outside of her this picture is a masterpiece. Sure the whole story of being “The Shining” can be a bit confusing and out stretched but then again it is Stephen King. The film is glorious in scenery, acting and some of the writing is eerie and classic such as “Here comes Johnny”, “You’ve had your whole FUCKING LIFE to think things over, what good’s a few minutes more gonna do you now?” and of course “Redrum”.
Rating: The only really fault of this film is it is over played and because of that it rarely hits my much watch during the Halloween season. Classic film but watch out for the wanna be horror fans when you talk about this gem.
Director: Lewis Teague
Main Stars: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro
Storyline: A dog gets infected with rabies and traps a mother and child at a car shop.
Review (Spoils): Donna Trenton (Dee Wallace) is a housewife who gets caught having an affair on her husband. Her husband leaves town to think shit over and she is left alone with her son Tad (Danny Pintauro). While driving with her son she runs into car problems so she takes it to a car shop to fix the car. What she did not know is there is a dog there named Cujo who got infected with from a bat. This leaves the mother and son trapped in the car (which is broken down remember) trapped inside while the mad dog watches. Oh did I mention the owner of the dog has been killed by the dog?
The movie can tense at times but after a while the film does drag as how far can you get with a storyline of a woman and child trapped in a car. You feel bad for the mother as the film goes on as she is a survival game, till the final struggle between mother and dog in the house.
This film does not rely on blood or gore but instead more thriller as the dog does get slowly more and vicious as the disease overtakes him. Dee Wallace does do a great job playing the defending mother of her child over the dog. Danny Pintauro is annoying as always.
Rating: Another Stephen King classic turned to film. The movie can have its slow parts but when you think killer dog, you think Cujo. It’s not the greatest film but it is a animal horror classic.
Director: John Carpenter
Main Stars: Keith Gordon, Alexandra Paul
Storyline: A young man buys a car that has an evil mind of its own.
Review (Spoils): Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) buys a 1958 Plymouth Fury, bright red and it was love at first site. He names the car Christine and spends all his nerdy time restoring it back to beauty. From all the time that Arnie is spending with the car is starts to act out of character and becomes cocky and extremely arrogant. He becomes obsessed with the car, falls out with his parents, pisses off the friends he does have, even his girlfriend Leigh (Alexandra Paul) wants nothing to do with him. He thinks he is becoming a man but unfortunate it is the car that possesses him.
What the film comes down to is Christine found a sucker of an owner and she is a jealous bitch and wants the owner all to herself. Some of the moments in the film are unique such as the car repairing itself, the music used when she is on racing killing rampage. John Carpenter did a great job with this film and it is a classic also this is one of the best from Keith Gordon. Let’s be honest when you think of a killer car you think Christine.
Rating: This is a Stephen King classic, the killer car that wants nothing more than to be the most important thing in the world. Think 1958 Plymouth Fury, think nasty bitch, think of drinking beer, think Christine!
Children of the Corn (1984)
Director: Fritz Kiersch
Main Stars: Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton, John Franklin, Courtney Gains
Storyline: A cult ran by a preacher boy named Isaac has children killing all the adults. The small town Gatlin will never be the same.
Review (Spoils): A young couple (Peter Horton, Linda Hamilton) come across a person who throat was slashed before their car hit them. They go to the nearest town to report it and find out that there are no adults in this town and the children are acting strange. Soon they learn that Isaac (John Franklin) has the children converted to believe that to become an adult is a sin and they need to be sacrificed to an evil god that lives in the cornfields called “He who Walks Behind the Rows”.
We have nasty machetes, sickles, lots of bloodletting and how about some on a cross made of corn stalks? This movie can be a little slow paced but overall it is not bad. Courtney Gains does a great job playing Malachai, giving the film the creepiness and being the pawn for Isaac.
Rating: Not a terrible movie and the better one of the whole series (it’s a large series). This film brings me back to my childhood and the book is very well written. This is one of the better films of the Stephen King collection. So let’s drink and have a toast to the “He who Walks Behind the Rows”.
Director: Brian De Palma
Main Stars: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, John Travolta
Storyline: A young girl after being emotional abused in a religious upbringing finds out that she has telekinesis powers. She wants pay back for all the bullying she has received.
Review (Spoils): This is one of the.. if not the best of the Stephen King novels made to film. We have young innocent Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) who has been isolated her whole life from society and the temptation that exists in life due to her mother’s (Piper Laurie) over religious upbringing. She soon learns from school and other students that she sticks out like a sore thumb and all she wants in life is to fit in. She is tired of being the strange outsider. Through the movie she finds out she has telekinesis powers and she cuts loose when she loses her temper.
We have some classic scenes in this movie from the shower opening sequence, the battle with her mother and of course the prom night blood bucket. This movie screams classic when it comes to witch type movies and over religious believes.
Rating: You cannot get any better for a Stephen King novel horror film than this. Bring out a bucket of pints for the bucket of blood, if you have not seen this do it now!
Director: Rob Reiner
Main Stars: James Caan, Kathy Bates
Storyline: A writer travels to the woods to write a new book, he is abducted by his favorite fan after an accident.
Review(Spoils): Pretty much everyone has seen this movie or at least heard of it. We have writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan) who travels into no man’s land and drives his car off the road. Taken by crazed fan of his Misery novels Annie Wilkies (Kathy Bates) she tries her hardest to make him better. When she finds out that he wrote a novel to plan to kill off her favorite character all hell breaks loose and we find out about her darken past.
Both James Caan and Kathy Bates play their characters to a tee.Paul Sheldon character gets built up when he tries many times to escape and Annie Wilkies has many moments of on the edge of crazy.
Rating: So maybe it really is not a horror film but it is from a Stephen King novel that sits on the edge of horror so be it. Misery is a pretty darn good movie and who cannot feel the pain of the sledge. Cheers to Annie Wilkies for being a true die hard fan!
Salem’s Lot (1979)
Director: Tobe Hooper
Main Stars: David Soul, James Mason, Bonnie Bedelia
Storyline: Vampires invaded a small town as a small antique shop.
Review: I’m going to be honest I’m not a big made for TV fan but this one was not that horrible. The book was amazing (read this when I was younger) so I was hoping this would be an ok rendition. It was not great but it was watchable. The character Ben (David Soul) who was an author was played well as a man who came back to a dead end town to find that there is some terrible secret in the town. Bonnie Bedelia stole the show playing the Susan character you could feel that she wanted to get out of this vacant town and was very much in love with the Ben character.
Downfall of the film is the Mark (Lance Kerwin) character is extremely annoying and super childish for his age. The cool parts about him were the horror collector but outside of that stop your girl crying and fight like a man. Also it was too bad that the vampire in the film was a Count Orlock rip off. He looked great but they really could have come up with something more original.
Rating: Once again another low ball on a Stephen King novel film. Too bad as the book was very good, Bonnie Bedelia is worth watching but other than that it’s pretty slow and boring.
Cat’s Eye (1984)
Director: Lewis Teague
Main Stars: Drew Barrymore, James Woods
Storyline: Three short stories of horror originally written by Stephen King based around a cat and his journeys.
Review (Spoils): So this movie is nailed down by three short films, The Quiters, The Ledge, The General.
The first film is The Quiters which is the best of the whole bunch. The background of this is the cat gets picked up by a NY doctor who helps people quit smoking by drastic means. Dick Morison (James Woods) wants to quit smoking so he joins up. He finds out it involves torturing a cat and his wife and some serious stalking to see successful. This is very interesting short story and it was well done.Plus it has James Woods.
The Ledge, the second story of the film is leaning more towards the poor man (Robert Hayes) who owes money to a Gamble Lord (Kenneth McMillan). The cat makes its way to the hotel room after being part of a bet. Basically the story revolves around the Gamble lord watching the poor man walking the ledge around the hotel for a bet on his debt.
The last and final story is The General which the cat makes its way into the arms of a little girl named Amanda (Drew Barrymore). The storyline is simple the little girl is afraid at night in her room and feels there is something in there trying to kill her. It turns out she is right.
Rating: This film was just ok not the greatest and very slim on plot. The first storyline was the best of the whole lot. There are way better Stephen King movies out there than this mix match thing.
Director: Mark. L. Lester
Main Stars: Drew Barrymore, David Keith, Heather Locklear, Martin Sheen
Storyline: Young couple sign up to be part of experiment to make money. They gain psychic abilities from the testing. They have a child who is born with pyrotechnic abilities due to chemical nature of her parents. The government want to get hold of the child!
Review(Spoils): Stephen King can write books unfortunate in most cases he cannot get good directors to make them into films. This movie was like watching a made for TV film. The whole movie was basically Andy McGee (David Keith) and his daughter Charlie (Drew Barrymore) running.Sure we had some explosions and people burning in fire but it seemed the whole film could of been done in one hour. Just not enough substance and not enough Heather Locklear! It all just seemed cheesy.
Rating: I low rate this as there are way better Stephen King movies out there and this one was lacking. Like I said it felt like a made for TV movie. More Heather Locklear next time!