Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 124: The Horror Movies of Stephen King – Part 1 (1976 – 1996)

HMP Stephen King Horror Part 1

You may know him as Richard Bachman. Or you might know him as John Swithen. But most people know him as horror novelist Stephen King, a master literary chiller who is perhaps the most prolific and influential writer of modern horror fiction. Episode 124 of HORROR MOVIE PODCAST is Part 1 of a two-part series about Stephen King Horror Movie Adaptations.

In Part 1 we briefly discuss horror movies and horror mini series that were adapted from the written works of Stephen King, covering releases from 1976 through 1996. (In our next episode we’ll cover from 1997 through 2017, culminating with our Feature Review of “The Dark Tower.”) But in this show, we bring you four Feature Reviews of Christine (1983) and Graveyard Shift (1990) and Needful Things (1993) and Thinner (1996). Jay of the Dead, Wolfman Josh and Dr. Shock are joined by special guest Gillman Joel Robertson of Universal Monsters Cast and Retro Movie Geek podcasts. This episode is a must-listen if you’re Dead Serious About Horror Movies… Join us!

Horror Movie Podcast is a bi-weekly show that’s released every other Friday. If you’d like to support our show, please subscribe to our podcast free in iTunes, and leave us a review! And remember, we love getting your voicemails, so call in with more recommendations and comments at this number: (801) 382-8789 Thanks for listening to Horror Movie Podcast!

SHOW NOTES:

I. Introduction
— Welcome guest Gillman Joel Robertson
— Agenda


[ 0:05:08 ] II. Our Relationship With Stephen King’s Works


[ 0:33:58 ] III. Stephen King Horror Movies from 1976 – 1983

—1976 Carrie (based on the 1974 novel)
-Jay and Josh review the remake and talk the original on Movie Podcast Weekly Ep. 56

—1979 Salem’s Lot (based on the 1975 novel)
-Reviewed in our “Feral Vampires” discussion from Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 11
-Dave and Joel review the film on Spooky Flix Fest 2016

—1980 The Shining (based on the 1977 novel)
Jay and Josh reviewed The Shining + Room 237 on a bonus Ep. of Movie Podcast Weekly

—1982 Creepshow (consists of five short films; two based on the short stories Weeds from 1976 and The Crate from 1979, the rest King wrote specifically for the film)
Reviewed in our “Old School Anthologies” discussion from Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 99

—1983 Cujo (based on the novel from 1981)
-Reviewed in our “Horror Pets” discussion from Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 119

—1983 The Dead Zone (based on the novel from 1979)


[ 0:57:51 ] IV. Feature Review: CHRISTINE (1983)
Jay of the Dead = 7.5 ( Buy it! )
Wolfman Josh = 7.5 ( Must-see )
Dr. Shock = 8 ( Buy it! )
Gillman Joel Robertson = 8 ( Strong Rental )


V. Stephen King Horror Movies from 1984 – 1990

—1984 Children of the Corn (based on the short story from 1977)

—1984 Firestarter (based on the 1980 novel)

—1985 Cat’s Eye (consists of three short films; two based on the short stories “Quitters, Inc” from 1978 and “The Ledge” from 1976, the other written specifically for the film)
Reviewed in a “Frankensteinian” discussion from Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 39

—1985 Silver Bullet (based on the novella Cycle of the Werewolf from 1983)

—1986 Maximum Overdrive (Original screenplay by King, based on the short story “Trucks” from 1973) –Reviewed in our “Siege Narrative” discussion from Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 19

—1986 Stand by Me (based on the The Body from 1982) – Not horror, but a must-see!

—1987 Creepshow 2 (sequel to the 1982 film, consists of three short films; one based on the short story “The Raft” from 1982, the other two were written specifically for the film)
Discussed in our “Old School Anthologies” review from Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 99

—1987 A Return to Salem’s Lot (sequel to the 1979 mini-series)

—1987 The Running Man (based on the 1982 novel) – Not horror, but a must see!

—1989 Pet Sematary (based on the 1983 novel)
-Jay and Joel review the film on Spooky Flix Fest 2012
Jay and Joel review the film on Spooky Flix Fest 2014
-Jay and Terror Tovey review the film in a classic episode from The Weekly Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 13

—1990 Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (consists of three shorts; one based on the short story “The Cat from Hell” from 1977, the other two have no connection to King)
Discussed in our “Old School Anthologies” review from Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 99

— 1990 It (mini-series based on the 1986 novel)


[ 2:03:24 ] VI. Feature Review: GRAVEYARD SHIFT (1990) (based on the short story from 1970)
Gillman Joel = 6.5 ( Strong Rental )


— Movie Podcast Network Meetup – Oct. 14, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah
— JAWS socks winner


[ 2:31:10 ] VII. Stephen King Horror Movies from 1990 – 1993

—1990 Misery (based on the 1987 novel)

—Sometimes They Come Back (based on the 1974 short story)

—1992 The Lawnmower Man
(An adaptation in title only. King eventually sued New Line Cinema in order to have his name removed from the film’s title)

—1992 Sleepwalkers (original screenplay)

—1992 Pet Sematary Two (sequel to the 1989 film)

—1992 Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (sequel to the 1984 film; only sequel to be released theatrically)

—1993 The Dark Half (based on the 1989 novel)


[ 2:54:58 ] VIII. Feature Review: NEEDFUL THINGS (1993)
(based on the 1990 novel)
Jay of the Dead = 7 ( Rental )
Wolfman Josh = 5.5 ( Strong Rental )
Gillman Joel = 7 ( Rental )


IX. Stephen King Horror Movies from 1993 – 1996

—1993 The Tommyknockers (based on the 1987 novel)

—1994 The Stand (based on the 1978 novel)

—1994 The Shawshank Redemption
(based on the novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption from 1982) – Not horror, but a must see!

—1995 The Langoliers (based on the short story from 1990)

—1995 The Mangler (based on the short story from 1972)

—1995 Dolores Claiborne (based on the 1992 novel) – Not horror, but a must see!

—1995 Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest (sequel to the 1993 film; first sequel to be released straight to video)

—1996 The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace (sequel to the 1992 film)

—1996 Sometimes They Come Back… Again (sequel to the 1991 TV film)

—1996 Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (sequel to the 1995 film)


[ 3:15:43 ] X. Feature Review: THINNER (1996) (based on the novel from 1984)
Jay of the Dead = 5.5 ( Rental )


[ 3:34:43 ] XI. Listener Feedback and Shout-Outs
— Voicemail from Peter of Retro Movie Geek


XII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending


JOIN US AUGUST 11, 2017 ON HMP: Episode 125: The Horror Movies of Stephen King – Part 2 (1997 – 2017), including The Dark Tower (2017).


NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, you can find all of our previous episode here on the website, with direct links to themed episodes on the sidebar on the right. There are also 36 episodes of two other great podcasts that precede this one. Just scroll back through our archives, or use the links in the sidebar.


LINKS FOR THIS EPISODE:

— The MPN Meetup Event on October 14th, 2017 in SLC, Utah – Buy tickets!
— Our Patreon supporters can get discounted MPN Meetup Tickets: Here!

Special thanks goes out to singer-songwriter Frederick Ingram for the use of his music for the original Horror Movie Podcast theme and composer Kagan Breitenbach for the use of his arrangement of Fred’s song for our updated theme.

Gillman Joel’s links:
Joel covers retro movies at Retro Movie Geek
Follow @RetroMovieGeek on Twitter
Join the RMG Facebook Group
Joel covers the Universal Monsters, new and classic, on UniversalMonstersCast.com
Follow @MonstersCast on Twitter
Joel used to cover forgotten flix at Forgotten Flix Remembers

Jay of the Dead’s links:
Follow Jay of the Dead and Horror Movie Podcast Official Twitter
Horror Movie Podcast Official Facebook
Jay of the Dead covers new releases in theaters on Movie Podcast Weekly
And if you’d like to e-mail Jay of the Dead with a good Beastly Freaks recommendation: BeastlyFreaks@gmail.com

Wolfman Josh’s links:
Follow Josh on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @IcarusArts
Horror Movie Podcast Official Instagram @HorrorMovieCast
Josh covers the Universal Monsters, new and classic, on UniversalMonstersCast.com
Follow @MonstersCast on Twitter
Josh covers streaming online movies on MovieStreamCast.com
Follow @MovieStreamCast on Twitter 
Like MSC on Facebook

Dr. Shock’s links:
Dave writes daily movie review on DVDinfatuation.com
Follow Dave on Twitter @DVDinfatuation
Like Dave’s DVD Infatuation, now on Facebook
Dave covers the Universal Monsters, new and classic, on UniversalMonstersCast.com
Follow @MonstersCast on Twitter
Dave covers Western movies on the We Deal in Lead podcast
Dave appears on another horror podcast: Land of the Creeps

Dr. Walking Dead’s links:
Order Kyle’s new book! The Written Dead: Essays on the Literary Zombie
Order Kyle’s previous books American Zombie GothicHow Zombies Conquered Popular Culture, and Triumph of The Walking Dead
Follow Kyle on Twitter @DrWalkingDead

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100 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 124: The Horror Movies of Stephen King – Part 1 (1976 – 1996)

  1. I have to weigh in on the scariness of Salem’s Lot with a story. In my early teens, I attended a sleepover party with friends. I said that I would bring a scary movie, so I went to the library and found Salem’s lot. My dad, who I would always watch horror movies with, recommended it, so I brought it to the party.

    As the movie played, my friends and I were thoroughly terrified of moments like the boy at the window and closed the curtains because even the sight of her neighbor’s silhouette as he walked his dogs for the night was putting us on edge. Then, the jump scare happened. I remember there being a collective shriek of terror at that very moment as one of us dove forward and turned the TV off.

    After that moment, we gathered all of the religious items in her house — crucifixes, bibles, 7-day candles, and rosaries and used them to form a protective circle around our sleeping area.

    Since that day, I’ve never tried to return to Salem’s Lot and give it another chance. And even as I’m typing this, I’m thinking, “maybe it’s time to finally watch the whole movie,” but I know that it’s never going to happen.

  2. Make sure you guys do a Clive Barker episode at some point.
    Underworld
    Rawhead Rex
    Hellraiser
    Lord of Illusions
    Midnight Meat Train
    Dread
    Book of Blood
    Candyman
    Nightbreed
    Gods and Monsters

  3. Enjoyed the discussion! I look forward to the second part. It made me think of how much King has influenced horror and pop culture in my lifetime. It seems the best adaptations came from directors with a specific vision of their own for the material (De Palma, Kubrick, Darabont, Cronenberg).

  4. To try and entice others to take a chance and check out a Mormon film, the movie that Josh talks about, Brigham City, actually reminded me a good deal of Scream when I saw it in 2016. It’s been years since I’ve seen Silver Bullet, so it wasn’t going to be fresh on my mind to try and compare with Brigham City, but looking over my thoughts on the film, I found several similarities between Scream and BC.

    Looks like I gave Brigham City a 6/10.

    As a non-Mormon, I’d say one of the benefits of Brigham City is that it’s not too-Mormonish. You’re fully aware that the characters are Mormons, but the main focus is on the murder mystery.

    • Scream is an interesting comparison. I have never thought of that, but it kind go makes me want to re-watch Brigham City, right now.

      One of these days I’ll get these guys to do a Mormon MPN Special. I don’t know why the topic intrigues me so much, but it does.

      • Yeah, I’d agree with Sal that it would be in the 6 range, for most people. For me, it’s closer to an 8. It’s a small film with a small budget and it starts out pretty rough with the sometimes amateur actors, but it completely sucked me in by the end of the film and has stuck with me. I’ve watched it several times, now (though it has been about 10 years since the last time I saw it) and it has grown on me over-time.

  5. The Shining.
    The first time I saw this was around the age of 14. Going to hangout with my friend Bill, but first a stop at the video store. His dad picked the recent release Backdraft for himself and What About Bob? for the family, Bill and I needed to pick something. We of course go to the horror section, after the usual slasher selections, he asks about The Shining. I said, heard of it, but it’s never crossed my path. Well it’s about to, he stated.
    I wasn’t too freaked or nothing, but as we ate dinner. Bill and his dad start building the spookiness of the film. “It’s the psychology that’s scary….. it’s what you don’t see that’s freaky.” “Redrum. Redrum.”
    I play it off, yeah whatever, I can handle it.
    So of course, per the norm, we utilize the basement for our horror indulgence, while they’re going to watch Bob on the main floor.
    Bill knew this was going to be an epic experience, saying he’s seen it on Premium cable and that I’ll love it.
    Before we go down, they ask us about dessert orders from the local ice cream shop.
    We then begin our venture to the Overlook. I’m immediately immersed and creeped out by the Kubrickian world. Nicholson is brilliant, Duvall is great and Little Danny/Tony is eerie. As we continue to watch, we indulge on ice cream. Perfect for the snowy landscape, but then the scene. Only briefly mentioned by my friend… there’s nudity. I was shocked. His parents are letting us watch this. Knowing that there’s nudity. Yes! There was no trickery needed to convince them for renting and now we’re watching it. As Jack slowly enters the green room of 237… I edge upon the seat. Bill telling me, here comes the nude scene. I edge even further on my seat with my pubescent mind, with even the flash of skin fills my head.
    As the scene unfolds, I’m mixed with hormones from the change and the uneasiness of the films horrific psychological undertones… then… that witchy… haggled… laughter/cackle….
    I choke on my ice cream… screaming from fright. I run as fast as humanly possible. All I can hear is that witchy cackle. Bill is on the floor laughing, calling me a wimp.
    So alas. I watch What About Bob? with the family. Bill comes up, laughing, slightly angry that I ran away and won’t go back down. When his mom said. It’s okay, Bill had to sleep on our floor the first time he watched the Shining. I then laugh and call him the wimp. After about a half hour of Bob, I say, okay. Let’s finish the film.
    As Jay stated in the episode, it’s a masterpiece. I watch it multiple times a year. It even came to the big screen last year. Such a tremendous film. I love it.

      • Those cinematic experiences stick with you for sure. The Shining is as stated a masterpiece.
        But, I’m also a huge Bill Murray fan. What About Bob? is not his best, but definitely entertaining to the max. Caddyshack was the film that made me a Murray fan. Stripes, solidified it.

  6. I’m in the middle of listening to your Stephen King podcast and I’m loving it. I just wanted to say that I agree completely with Josh about the movie Brigham City. I think it’s by far Richard Dutcher’s best movie and I also think people that are turned off buy Mormon movies should still check this movie out because it’s so much more it’s really a great film. love your podcast I haven’t got my tickets yet but I plan on meeting you guys at the meet up in October

  7. Thinner is a film that still haunts me today for many reasons. Mostly humorous. I had a huge love for cinema and all things cinematic. Devoured as many films as I could, as often as I could. Now I come from a family that enjoyed movies, but didn’t go to the theater that often. Typically my Aunt Jane would take the kids in my family, 5 of the 6 kids.
    With this love of cinema, I enjoy the experience. So up to this film, I never went to the theater alone. It was weird for me and I thought socially awkward to go to movies alone. So when Thinner was released, I begged my aunt to go. Horror was slim pickings and no one I knew wanted to see Thinner. She said, she’d go.
    Of course the theater was full and I was ready, set for full Stephen King madness.
    And then that scene… in the car… you know… * cough cough * “road hummer” *cough cough*
    Well as it unfolded, I chuckled and then looked at my aunt and she was shooting daggers at me. With a WTF did you beg me to see. So, it made the remainder of the film very awkward. The ride home was even more. She broke the tension by simply just saying, yeah, it wasn’t that good and that’s what will tell your parents. Now I was 17 at the time and clearly of age, but I felt so little from this cinematic experience. So ultimately I started my obsession to go no matter what. And I love seeing films with or without.
    I love the line “I curse you…Thinner” and emulate constantly. I agree with Jay. 5/10. When I feel nostalgic I could say 6.

  8. I just watched “Salem’s Lot”for the first time after listening to this episode. Jay is absolutely right: the scene with the window has gotten under my skin to the point where I could not sleep last night. We have a street light behind our bedroom window and the shadow of a large tree dances through the night in our Oklahoma wind. Oh my goodness did that get under my skin! This one definitely still holds up in my opinion. Thanks for the show!

    • Tina! Love it! Thank you for sharing that experience. I love when our discussion drives someone to watch a film and even better when it really freaks them out.

      And you can’t just give Jay credit! We all loved that scene. You might enjoy our deeper discussion of that film on our Feral Vampires Episode 11: http://bit.ly/2vzhlXr

  9. Loved this episode, guys. Definitely made my Monday go so quickly! Lots of these I haven’t seen, but my reading of Stephen King has been mostly from the works mentioned on this episode. I tend to be wary of Stephen King adaptations just because most of them really don’t hold up and, while I don’t think it would diminish my enjoyment of the novel or short story, I hate being disappointed by anything that has King’s name attached to it. He was my introduction to horror literature (I read Cujo when I was about 10 or 12 and it was all downhill from there :D).

    As a young girl who was somewhat picked on and grew up in an unquestioningly religious household, Carrie (both book and movie) just spoke to me in a way that very few works have since. I’m so glad the movie was nearly as brilliant as the novel and that it’s held up so well. I did quite like the remake, but I agree that Sissy Spacek just made that performance.

    I have so many thoughts about this episode, but I’ll just end with the fact that you guys made me want to restart my Stephen King challenge that I somewhat abandoned about a year ago. I have an enormous collection (less so the releases from 2012 and up) of Stephen King books that I bought from my brother for $60 (not bad for about 20 or 30 first edition hardcovers as well as quite a few paper backs), so I’m going to be digging into these as soon as I finish my currently-reading list. :)

    P.S. Stoked to hear you read my comment, but Keist is pronounced with a long I. I married into quite a German family. :)

    Loved the show and can’t wait for part 2!

    • Glad you liked the episode.

      That Stephen King book collection sounds incredible and your experience with Carrie is very interesting.

      Sorry about mispronouncing the name. That was actually my first guess, because I’m familiar with Germanic language pronunciation, but I blew it. Remember to email Jay, if you haven’t.

      • Not a problem! He warned me when we got married that it would happen and it didn’t take long! The lady at the social security office mispronounced it two days after the wedding.

        And yes, I’m quite proud of my Stephen King collection. I have a few pieces that I really love to show off, including the first couple of Dark Tower graphic novels, the cassette audiobooks of Blood and Smoke and The Gunslinger narrated by King, and (my personal favorite) a popup book of The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. The artwork in that is so creepy and amazing and I’ve never seen anything like it.

  10. So glad you guys are doing the Stephen King-themed episodes, and am psyched to hear Part II. It struck me that after Romero died, as much as we should memorialize those who have passed on, we should also celebrate the work of those still living. King of course has gotten plenty of recognition and accolades, but he still has many detractors, so I think it’s still important to discuss his work and influence while he’s still kickin’.

    I grew up reading King novels since the tender age of 8 or 9. From a craft perspective, his writing isn’t always great, but I think he’s excellent and creating interesting characters, evocative settings, and storylines that (if a bit bloated sometimes) pull you in, and keep you on edge about what’s going to happen next. I also love the way he weaves in references between novels, with towns and characters that recur.

    I’m glad to hear that you all enjoy Christine, as that’s always been a favorite of mine. I love the use of the 50s music, as well as Carpenter’s score. The film is much different than the book, but I’m not convinced that a more faithful adaptation would be as compelling. I agree that the best adaptations work because the directors have their own visions of the story, not necessarily because they are faithful or not.

    I’m surprised that you didn’t like Firestarter more. It’s not a great movie, but I do find it entertaining. Seeing Drew Barrymore light those evil Shop men up is fun. George C. Scott is great as the treacherous Rainbird, To Jay’s point about not needing this because of Carrie: the only similarity between the two is that they are about young girls with psychic powers. Otherwise, the stories and films are very different. Carrie is tortured by her peers and mother, and only slowly emerges from her passivity to lash out against those who have wronged her. Charlie, on the other hand, is loved by her parents, and hunted by the government for the power she holds. But she is more tortured by her own power and her tendency to lash out, and must overcome her guilt about that to save herself. De Palma’s Carrie has a stylized, fairy-tale feel, whereas Lester’s Firestarter is more suspense/action-oriented. While both deal with struggling to control a dark force within oneself – something King seems to focus on in many of his works – Carrie explores how this relates to being one’s own person rather than being beaten down by parents and peers, whereas Firestarter uses this inner darkness to think about social and government corruption.

    Graveyard Shift is a poorly made movie, but it is entertaining. Joel pretty much laid out the reasons well. And I love that song that plays over the end credits.

    I’ve seen most of the movies discussed except The Running Man, The Mangler, and some of the sequels. I think each of them is enjoyable in its own way, if not always that well-made. The only ones I thought were painfully bad were The Lawnmower Man, Thinner, and The Langoliers.

    • Good pull. All I knew was that it wasn’t a Blondie record. That Vargas loved his nekkid lounging ladies. When we did our Top 10 movie posters discussion for MPN, I had intended to mention his poster for The Sin of Nora Moran when we were discussing Zita Johann and The Mummy poster, but I didn’t get it out.

  11. I have to weigh in on one of my favorite King novels, Needful Things and the movie.

    One important aspect that is overlooked is the otherworldly knowledge that is used by Gaunt in his dealings. The “favors” he asks for seem to the perpetrators as trivial and and mostly harmless pranks and rarely have a direct impact or meaning. The rule of unintended consequences then takes over as the victims make assumptions on the how and why. This sparks a downward spiral into chaos for the town.

    This is handled much more effectively in the book, mostly due to the limitations of cinema in displaying stream of consciousness and King’s genius.

    If you read the book, the movie has some additional meaning and is an 8/10. Otherwise I would say 7/10.

  12. If you end up doing a Killing in the Name Of episode you should make your feature review Larry Cohen’s God Told Me To.

  13. I have only seen a few Steven King horror movies as I was born right in the middle of his heyday. But I just bought Misery & Salem’s Lot on Amazon and I can’t wait to watch them.

    • You’re in for a treat, Tex-Max. Both of those movies are great!

      Be sure to stop back and let us know what you think of them.

      Thanks for listening, and for leaving a comment

  14. Okay, I have to share a Bernie Wrightson story real quick, since you guys mentioned his work from Cycle of the Werewolf.

    Back in 2010, I was about to be employed through Dark Horse comics, but the gig fell through due to major personal circumstance. A month later, still crushed from that career loss, I was at Anaheim Comic Con (now Wondercon) because I knew a few of my fav artists would be there – one of which was Bernie Wrightson. I ended up meeting him, and eventually divulged what happened with DK, and had to fight back the tears. (Embarrassing!) Bernie being the amazingly awesome man he was, spent a good 20-30 minutes giving me one of the most impactful pep talks in my life, and also literally told me to tell DK “that they’re full of shit”. Bernie Wrightson is reason why I’m still pursuing my illustration career. He literally saved me from giving up at what turned out to be a really, really tough crossroad in my life.

    Fast forward to 2016 – and I’m accepted into a Bernie Wrightson tribute show that’s curated by his uber talented son John Wrightson (FX makeup legend). I sold both of my pieces opening night, and later found out that part of the proceeds went to Bernie’s medical bills before he passed away. (A group of major artists in the industry are now judging and compiling pieces for a tribute art book to Bernie, but I can’t make the deadline in time for that one since I’m working on a huge project right now).

    Anyway, Bernie was the best, most professional industry artists I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting…I owe him A LOT. (Rest in peace, Bernie!).

    ANYWAY – Great episode so far guys!! I am looking forward to hearing the second chapter of this episode too!!

    • This is such an excellent story! Thank you for sharing it here. Bernie Wrightson was such an amazing illustrator, and it’s nice to hear that he was so kind and supportive to other artists. Also, your work is really gorgeous, so Dark Horse lost out big time.
      I first learned of Bernie Wrightson after looking up information on the Masters of Horror production of Jenifer. I found the incredibly disturbing and beautiful comic he did with Bruce Jones for Creepy and was instantly hooked on his work.

    • Wow, that is a truly incredible story, Bonnie. Thanks for sharing that. I love (those rare moments) when our idols turn out to be wonderful people that inspire us in person as much as through their work.

  15. Bummed that nobody had seen The Langoliers! I would say that this mini-series lives in that Graveyard Shift space that Joel was describing. That is to say, it’s not great, but it’s fun and the nostalgia factor is strong. Definitely worth your time on a lazy Saturday. This also falls under the “Library Horror Movie” category for me. Picked it up at the horror section of the library many years ago, and found it to be so worth my tax dollars.

    Great episode, and I will have to check out the original Salem’s Lot. For my money, Salem’s Lot and It are his two scariest novels. It’s no surprise that the mini-series is just as terrifying. Thanks guys!

    • Had to laugh at “worth my tax dollars.” Never thought of it like that.

      Sorry we couldn’t comment on Langoliers, King Ghidorah, but we appreciate you doing that for us here. That’s one of my favorite things about the comments are hearing what we missed.

  16. Hey, guys, this thing went by like a breeze.

    A couple thoughts on the idea that Josh mentioned “Hey, how come I thought Stephen King films were all so bad?” In retrospect, the first 10 or so are, as he says, actually not bad. I think a saturation point happened around 1984 with Firestarter, Children of the Corn and Cat’s Eye. First, Corn and Firestarter are *bad*. Seeing 2 of these in a row would make a regular film-goer go “Why are they still making these?” Silver Bullet and Max Overdrive the following years didn’t help.

    Also note they’re starting to go into the unknown short stories and the vast majority of us were going “Where did this come from?”

    Tie that in with the apparent glut of King books on every rack spinner and shelf at the local 7-Eleven and Walmart. I worked at a movie theatre and there was an increasing sense of too much back King too much of the time.

    And I was one of those guys yelling at my ipod: “Candy-O, Jay, It’s Candy-O!”

    Keep up the good work,

    Roger

  17. What a great episode, guys! I love the spliced-in clips of Stephen King being interviewed! (Especially loved that one towards the end where he talks about having clippings of a serial killer in his room and his mom found them, and asked him why he was interested! Hilarious!)

    Definitely agree with Jay that Pet Sematary is the one of the scariest horror movies, ever. Whenever someone asks me what horror movie still / currently scares me – I cite that one every. damn. time. I’m actually thinking about doing an art piece of this movie, just so I cathartically release Zelda from my subconscious. Hah!

    Speaking of, thanks for the shout-out! (Not sure if you guys will see this in the comment boards, as a lot of comments get lost on here I know) – but thanks!!! More gifts to come down the road! :)

    I cannot WAIT to hear your guys’ review on Storm of the Century! Saw that one when it premiered on TV, and it became a favorite of mine and my mom’s. (She was an enormous King fan).

    My favorite Stephen King film adaptations are below:

    1. Salem’s Lot
    2. Pet Sematary
    3. The Mist
    4. Silver Bullet
    5. Dead Zone

    Also, my top 5 choices of King’s books/shorts for a potential film adaptation:

    1. Doctor Sleep
    2. The Man in the Black Suit
    3. Gerald’s Game
    4. Duma Key
    5. Black House

    • Oooh, I love that you included your list of books and stories that should be adapted!

      I saw that Gerald’s Game was just turned into a movie by Mike Flanagan! Comes out next month, according to IMDb. I wonder if it is another Netflix original from him.

      Storm of the Century is getting special treatment this winter for another little Stephen King episode. You should join us!

      • I’m totally going to look into Gerald’s Game adaptation right now, because I love Mike Flanagan’s work! Hot dog! Don’t know how I let that news slip by!

        What stories of King’s would you want to see adapted for the screen, Josh?

        Also, I would love to join all for that upcoming King episode, for sure! I could talk until I’m read in the face about King- especially Storm of the Century.

        Also, I left a hilariously awkward VM for Jay a couple of days ago concerning The Duplass Bros new HBO show, “Room 104”. Have you seen any of it? It has a seriousTwilight Zone/ Outer Limits/ Stephen King feel to it.

        • Yes! An acquaintance of mine, Xan Aranda, was a producer on Room 104. I’m a huge Duplass Brothers fan.

          I’m not well-verse enough in King’s work to pull an obscure title for adaptation. I may talk about this in the upcoming Part 2, but I think it would be cool to see King’s Sherlock Holmes story into a film. I would myself like to try to turn the basics (because it is very basic) of Night Surf into a zombie movie, were it not already connected to The Stand. I’d love to see remakes of some of these lesser adaptations. Storm of the Century, although I love it, is actually one that could be improved. Silver Bullet, as well.

  18. Some thoughts on Stephen King: Pre-1992, one of my favorite authors of all time. And then his work started become cyclical with the same series of tropes brought back time and again. So he quickly wore down on me as a “great” mind in horror. But this is not to say that there weren’t some real gems out there and that there’s some great work.

    I’m going to go out on a few limbs here and may be a bit scattered in my thoughts- because my very first experience in horror happened when they aired the original miniseries for “Salem’s Lot” way back in 1974, which put me at the ripe age of 4 and peeking through the crack of my bedroom door to watch as my parents watched on television. I vividly had nightmares where young Ralph would knock on Mark’s window, “Let me in, Mark!” And you already know that’s my real first name, so I was left with some huge impressions on that film.

    And I’m going to say that the film is brutally terrifying- and balanced with moments of boring town drama, that intense scene when the husband comes back to find his wife is having an affair, the friendship between Ben Mears and Susan’s family. The small town suspicions and it’s sudden plunge as the vampirism spreads- It’s absolutely terrifying. Without all of those moments to cool down, we wouldn’t have the intense moments that really stood out.

    RETURN TO SALEMS LOT

    Michael Moriarty plays a documentary film maker and amoral anthropologist. He returns to the town of Salem’s Lot to visit his aunt, I believe… and discovers the town is now home to vampires. A few living people are kept around to provide blood and keep the towns front from being blown. Because of Moriarty’s reputation for amoral examination of cultures, he’s asked to write their story and introduce them to the world. There’s a Nazi Hunter who is tracking a fugitive to the town, and the two become allies when Moriarty’s son is seduced into the world vampirism.

    Josh may find something special in this film as the movie begins with the lead character on a documentary shoot. There are aspects of the film that show him preparing to make the vampires a subject of his next work, interviewing, researching, and preparing for the project. It adds a bit of flavor to what is largely a standard “stranger in a strange land” motif, but take those recommendations with a grain of salt.

    On its own, the film is a decent “Vampire Film”. But there are few connections to the original Hooper film and fewer to the novel itself, only sharing in the name of the town with no mention of Barlow, Straker, or the Marsten House, which all played central roles to the original story and previous film.

    It’s probably a 5, and a mild rental.

    The Mangler

    I saw this movie in the theater and it has a couple of really good memories for me. I also really enjoy the source material, the short story upon which it is based. And the truth of the matter is that the story itself is LESS about the possessed Mangler, and much more about the exorcism and ritual to try to rid the machine of its demonic presence. But it is utterly ridiculous and kind of has a similar “feel” to the previously reviewed “Graveyard Shift”. That is to say, there’s a certain tone being covered here and the film is wrapped in this aura of grime and saltiness. It kind of embraces the ridiculousness of the concept and knows that it’s not really going to be taken seriously, but it’s never played FOR laughs.

    The film stars Ted Levine as the main protagonist, a police officer who teams with his demonologist brother-in-law to investigate a series of deaths connected with the local industrial laundry service. The service is owned by Bill Gartley (Robert Englund), whose niece is central to the story as the mysterious and cruel owner takes pains to protect his machine.

    6 out of 10, and a mild rental.

    • Thanks, RCJ. You’re “Let me in, Mark!” story trumps them all.

      You’re completely sold me on watching Return to Salem’s Lot and I’ve been meaning to check out The Mangler. Thanks for the reviews. Great, as always.

  19. I know that you are movie guys . . . but please, please read the short story “Sometimes They Come Back.” Just thinking about it gives a shiver. One of the creepiest short stories that I have ever read. Besides, pretty much every story in “Night Shift” is a gem.

    • So true, Ron! Sometimes They Come Back is incredibly creepy! Night Shift is really a fantastic compliation, as is Skeleton Crew…did you like Everything’s Eventual and Nightmares and Dreamscapes as well?

      The last book my mom ever gave me before she passed away was “Just After Sunset”…still can’t bring myself to read it for personal reasons, but have you read it, and did you like it?

      • Bonnie,
        Been busy but wanted to respond.
        I read everything by King until I started college (1984–eek). Then studies, wine and women were more important than horror (I actually have Fangoria issues 1-20 but no other ones). I’ve come back to horror recently because I teach Sociology and I’m going to use horror films to illustrate every concept in Introduction to sociology. I’ve been binge watching for the last 6 months and trying to catch up. I’ve have been filling in the gaps in my King knowledge with audiobooks (great for multitasking.) I should do “Just After Sunset” and I can certainly understand that how if must be hard for to read it at this point. I bet it will take on extra meaning when you do read it.

        • Great idea to catch up with some King in audiobook form, Ron.

          And thanks for the recommendations on Sometimes They Come Back, Ron and Bonnie.

          I just got Night Shift because I wanted ti read Night Surf, due to the connection to The Stand. The connection ended up not being all that interesting, but I’m looking forward to reading the rest of Night Shift.

          ‘It’ was probably my first King book, I think. But Skeleton Crew would have been a close second.

          • Night Surf isn’t all that great. I think the most interesting aspect of “Night Shift” is that the stories are very early King. They are more experimental. Make sure to read Battleground and Quitters Inc. they are short but really nifty.

        • Ron, can I take your class?? Hahaha! That’s awesome that you’re going to use King’s works to illustrate sociological concepts!

          Look forward to hearing your opinions on Just After Sunset.

  20. The first horror novel I had ever read was The Shining. I read it on vacation and could not read it at night. The part with the topiary just came alive. I moved onto It and Pet Cemetery. Both also incredibly scary. The thing I like about King’s novels are he makes them come alive. I think the best film adaptations also do the same. I forgot which one of your guys mentioned it but the movies that fail don’t capture the essence of the book and I agree completely.

    I did really enjoy The Shining mini series as well as Rose Red. They weren’t incredible but entertaining throughout.

    In college I was lucky enough to take a Stephen King film class and was able to hear him lecture. He is an incredible speaker and draws you in just like his novels.

    My Top 5 Adaptations:
    1. The Shining
    2. Pet Cemetery
    3. The Dead Zone (which I just watched for the first time this year….don’t know how that one snuck by me!)
    4. Carrie
    5. It

    • Wow! A Stephen King film class?! That’s so incredibly cool. I’m very jealous.

      I love that you couldn’t read The Shining at night. Haha. That’s a simple testament to the power of that piece.

      And I like what you’re saying about bringing these worlds to life. I think that’s just good storytelling.

  21. I just found your podcast and loved the George Romero ep and just listened to this ep . Great work and I’m going to binge listen to the other episodes you have. I hope there will be a second part to the George R retrospective as well as a soon to come second King ep.

    • Welcome, Royday the 13th! Haha. Now, that’s a screen name.

      Thanks for giving us a listen and for reaching out! Hope you’ll stick around. Check out the sidebar here at horrormoviepodcast.com for a list of links to our themed episodes. For more Romero talk, check out the Siege Narrative episode, where we review Night of the Living Dead. We’ll defintely be getting to a full Romero retrospective, but it might be a little while. It’s hard to pin down Dr. Walking Dead for a recording. You can hear him talk zombies on both our ‘Infected’ episode and ‘State of the Zombie’ episode, however. Both right there on the side bar of the front page on this website.

  22. Nothing to do with Stephen king you horror snobs , but I just saw Annabelle creation and it’s the best horror so far this year. Why you ask ? Because unlike that average film get out which you all seemed to cream your pants about, this is scary and it does what horror is meant to do, scare people, not worry about the car was white. Think about that when you do top tens.

  23. Does anyone remember that show American Gothic from the late 1990s? I am rewatching it. WOW, blast from the past. My next endeavour is Carnivale.

  24. hey all. I really enjoyed the episode. I have been a King fan since my early teens. My first movie of his that I saw was probably Carrie. The opening scene in the locker room has stuck with me all these years (even though I have seen it a few times since). That scene is an example of a real life horrific situation and how people can/do react in the circumstances. I also love seeing Travolta with that surly smile he has in this film. I know it will be talked about in the next episode but I enjoyed Chloe Moretz as Carrie (I have to admit I have not seen the version of Carrie in between). As far as his writings, the book I remember enjoying the most was Needful Things, which was one of the longer books I had read up to that point. I love the character of Leland Gaunt and think he is one of his better characters of his. I also remember watching the mini series The Langoliers when it first was on tv, but I have not seen it since then and I need to revisit it. When looking it up I came across a tv series/mini series from 1991 that was not mentioned called Golden Years. Has anyone seen it? It has a decent cast, including Felicity Huffman but I must admit I have never herd of it? Perhaps someone here has seen it or it could be mentioned on the next podcast? I look forward to it greatly.

    • Wow, you totally schooled us, Bill. How did we miss Golden Years? I haven’t seen it, but I clearly remember the VHS cover. Good catch.

      I used to consider myself a Chloë Grace Moretz fan (based on Let Me In, Hugo and Kick Ass), but Carrie was the beginning of my decline in appreciation. I like her, but it just felt unintentionally awkward. Maybe it was supposed to …

    • Hey Bill, I remember seeing Golden Years back in the 90s on SyFy (I think), after its original airing. It had the David Bowie song as the theme. It was more of a sci-fi show than horror. It was about an old janitor who worked at a government facility, and during an explosion, was hit with something that made him reverse in age. He goes on the run as the government either wants to experiment on him or kill him to get rid of the “evidence.” So it’s kind of like Firestarter but without as much violence. As the guy reverses in age, he causes other weird things to happen like minor earthquakes and such. It becomes clear that the government scientists don’t even understand the full extent of what’s happening. The show ended kind of abruptly, in a way that I guess was meant to be final but not really fully explained. It wasn’t a great show, but like Firestarter, was great cheesy government-run-amok fun.

      • thanks for the input. It sounds a little like Benjamin Button with a bit more sci fi involved. I would be interested to see it if it were available anywhere.

  25. To our female, gay, and trans listeners:

    This podcast has recently been accused, for a third time, of being sexist and transphobic by one of our listeners, grayspider. Gray has written to us three times and expressed more displeasure with us each time. The most recent time, asking that we remove an old episode of Horror Metroplois.

    Before we go further, what I am defintely no looking for is for you all to either come to our defense or pile on grayspider.

    Gray makes some important points and I am well aware that this show can (very occasionally) fall in line with the horror trope of objectifying women. What I haven’t felt is that the podcast has been knowingly homophobic or transphobic.

    If you are a woman, a homosexual person, or a trans person, I’d love to know how you experience and approach sexism, homophobia, or transphobia in horror cinema. Do you think it had an impact on you as a child? Does it impact you now? Do you avoid horror films with that offensive content or does it not bother you?

    You don’t need to answer here–although feel free to answer here–but what I am wondering is whether people would be interested in a show, or series of shows, tackling these complicated, evolving topics. I, for one, think it could be interesting.

    Also, if we have offended you as a woman or LGBT person I would like to know about it so that I can correct my behavior. I certainly can’t speak for Jay or Dave–and we’re never going to censor our guests–but I’m all for progress.

    • Hey Josh,

      Thank for putting this comment up, I just now saw it before commenting about King. I know we talked quite a bit yesterday and I am grateful for that.

      I only wanted to comment here to let other listeners know that I don’t feel like there has ever been any intentional -phobias or -isms.

      I think it could be great to talk about progress and history in the genre and how the genre takes on the ever changing need for growth. Horror (especially after the Slasher Eighties), had picked up a bit of a reputation for being …not so politically correct.

      I don’t believe in censorship. But, I do think having a conversation about how horror tackles these subjects is important.

      I know that doing a show about horror movies with characters who have disabilities was mentioned a couple times and I think that’s great.

      I, also, don’t want this to be…a thing? As in, a confrontation. But, I do think exploring it would be beneficial.

      Apologies for the inflammatory comments yesterday, as mentioned in emails, I didn’t know that my previous comments were being addressed.

      Best!

      • Yes and to further clarify, I posted this comment before we had a chance to speak, yesterday. I really appreciated your email and, as we discussed, I’d like to share a couple of the points you made on our next Frankensteinian episode.

        Anyway, you had valid criticisms and I thought it would be a good idea to confront those criticisms, head-on, and to put it out there to the rest of the audience, with the hope of correcting course, where necessary.

        I agree with your comment that “Horror (especially after the Slasher Eighties), had picked up a bit of a reputation.” I stumbled through trying to briefly address this during my Avalanche Sharks review, a few weeks back. I think it could be very interesting to explore how a genre rooted in a history of outdated modes has evolved (or needs to evolve) with the times.

  26. I haven’t had a chance to say how much I truly loved this episode…could be up there with your best. I really like the franchise episodes and giving us notice allows us to prepare beforehand.

    I’ve been reading a lot of Stephen. King this year. Currently making my way through ‘Stephen King on Writing’ and can’t recommend it enough as it’s also biographical (I believe Jay mentioned this).

    For this reason, along with you guys the heads up, I have visited and revisited a lot of the movie adaptations. It wasn’t the best idea watching Salem’s Lot directly after reading the novel. The book is so rich with detail and characterisation that was ultimately lost, even in the three hour movie. I know this is an unfair comparison, but it didn’t stop me shaking my fist in anger at the condensed characters. I did prefer the nosferatu type vampire. I’d love to see a faithful adaptation created for Netflix.

    Perhaps my favourite I have watched recently was ‘Christine’, such a fun little film and the soundtrack is fantastic. Hope it still stands up after the book, which I plan on reading next. Shout out to ‘Sometimes They Come Back’, which I enjoyed.

    Keep up the excellent works guys.

    • Thanks, Colin. Great comments.

      I still need to pick up copies of Stephen King On Writing and Danse Macabre. Like Dave, I’m more of a non-fition guy and the thought of those really gets me going.

      I’m curious what you’d think of the Rob Lowe Salem’s Lot. I’ve heard some claim it is a better adaptation. I just don’t know how you improve on Barlow.

      Further heads-up: It looks like we’ll be reviewing either the Child’s Play franchise or the Saw franchise for our October coverage, this year. Both have new installments in their respective franchises which will come out this October. Dave and I are leaning toward Child’s Play. Jay is suggesting we maybe do both. Would love to hear what the audience prefers.

      • I guess if I had to pick, I’d go with Child’s Play over Saw, but honestly, I am really unenthusiastic about either option. Just my two cents worth. I am holding out for coverage of the Psycho films. I really loved the 80’s slasher episodes last year – have you guys considered a 90’s horror retrospective?

        • Yeah, I am unenthusiastic about both as well. Sorry. We usually do franchises in October and both franchises have new films coming out, so it just seems like the time to do it.

          We were planning on doing a Romero retrospective, but it looks like Dr. Walking Dead won’t be available and he really wants to join us. Of course, he’d bring a lot to the table.

          And Dave and I had an idea to do three episodes on “incidental trilogies” with The Three Mothers Trilogy, the Gates of Hell Trilogy, and the Cornetto Trilogy. Jay pointed out (and I agree) that it might be a little bit too obscure for October, when we have far more mainstream listeners join us for the month. But we will defintely be returning to that once we get through all of the year end movies and awards season.

          In terms of 90s movies, the thing that has held us back from doing that episode is that Jay already produced a show on the Best 90s Horror (back in the Horror Metropolis days) that had me and Jay and Dave, plus Gregamortis and Bill Chete and Dr. Walking Dead. That would be hard to top, but maybe it is time to give it another go… If you’ve never heard it, here is the Horror Palace Network “Best of the 80s and 90s” episode:

          https://ia902501.us.archive.org/0/items/hotghpsp006/hpsp006.mp3

          • Thanks for the link! Somehow I missed this HM episode and I will check it out today.

            I get the reasoning behind the franchise choices this year, and while the “incidental trilogies” idea sounds amazing, it probably doesn’t scream Halloween like a big horror franchise does. I told my husband, Drew, about the two choices and he reminded me that John Waters makes an appearance in one of the Child’s Play Movies. He thought the franchise coverage would be pretty fun. Drew is down for us to watch all of the Chucky shenanigans if that is what you guys go with.

            Would a screening of Cult of Chucky be part of the HMP meet up? Drew and I are pretty sure were coming – we will know for sure by the end of next week, and then I’ll pick up our tickets and book our flights.

      • I’m in agreement with Allyson: I’d rather see a Psycho retrospective than either of those franchises (just re-watched Psycho II, and it’s as fantastic as I remembered), but with new installments for each, I’d go with Child’s Play/Chucky. They are more fun, and while I enjoyed the first two Saw movies, the third was a bit of a let-down, and I haven’t seen any after that. I think the idea behind the first Saw movie is brilliant, and is a more solid movie than the original Child’s Play. But they should have let it play out in the original trilogy.

        As silly as some of the Child’s Play sequels are, Brad Dourif gives them a charm. He has such a great presence, both for his rage and dark comedy. Tobin Bell just doesn’t have that. It seemed that each Saw sequel was more of the same, which is why I stopped watching at part III (and it seemed a more logical place to end the story). Whatever other criticisms you want to make of the Child’s Play franchise, at least each one does something a little different.

        The trailer for Cult of Chucky is more entertaining than for Jigsaw. Chucky’s still wise-cracking, and now he’s got a cult behind him?! Jigsaw looks like it will be just more people killing in his name. How many times do we need to see that?

      • I will definitely check out Rob Lowe’s Salem’s lot, hopefully before the second part of HMP drops. I have my reservations though, based on the awful movie poster alone ha.

        Thanks for that. Interesting, that would certainly be a challenge. I revisited all of the Child’s Play franchise last month. I very much enjoyed the original trilogy. Child’s Play might be somewhat underrated, the pace is brilliant. The Saw franchise would be a nightmare, some of them are really unwatchable! Although I’m sure if anyone could make them appealing, it’s the HMP crew.

        On the subject of franchises, I’m currently making my way through the Critter series. Two down, two to go… I have seen worse.

  27. Hey Josh, I do think you would get a lot out of On Writing. I remember reading it when it first came out and it still resonates with me all these years later. I am not a writer by any means but am an elementary school teacher and one aspect of his book that I still remember to this day is when first starting to write and as you continue on your writing journey, choose subjects you know best and you are familiar with. I think one of King’s strengths as a writer (and I think comes across in the better interpretations on film) is that his stories are rooted in real human emotion and concepts that the audience can relate to on some level, and he chooses places and subject matter he is familiar with. It is this concept alone that I emphasize with my students, be they beginning or emerging writers. Insights into his thought process along make this worth a read.
    Secondly, all the talk on the episode and on these boards about his Bachman stories and stories that have not been adapted yet that could be got me thinking about his novel Rage. I wonder if in the past had anyone ever considered adapting that story in to a movie or mini series? I know that after a string of student class killings from the late 80’s to the late 90’s, in which the student killers acknowledged reading Rage or having it in their locker etc., King went to his publisher and asked it stop being published. Especially after Columbine and the more recent Port Arthur killing in Australia, would there even be an appetite for such a film. I’m not saying I want to see such a film but it makes me wonder if it had ever been considered or if such a film would be attempted given our current world climate?

  28. Hi everyone!! This is my first post but just wanted to ask about the Stephen King miniseries Nightmares and Dreamscapes??!! It’s cheesy fun that is based on the short stories from the book! Has anyone ever seen it? It wasn’t mentioned in the episode.

    • Hi, Karis! Welcome. Glad to have you. This episode only covered King’s films from 1976 – 1996. On the next episode (releasing today or tomorrow at the time of my comment) we will be covering 1997 – 2017. Nightmares and Dreamscapes (the book) is from 1993, but Nightmares and Dreamscapes (the miniseries) is from 2006. I own it and like it and do mention it on the upcoming show, but we didn’t discuss it for very long, as I recall. Please tell us more about your thoughts on it, or wait for the next episode to post. As an aside, the Stephen King interview that we excerpted audio clips from for Part 1 actually comes from his press tour for the Nightmares and Dreamscapes book. Anyway, thanks again for listening and thanks for the comment. Hope you enjoy Part 2.

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