Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 125: The Horror Movies of Stephen King – Part 2 (1997 – 2017), including The Dark Tower (2017)

HMP Stephen King Horror Part 2

Continuing on through our tour of terror, Horror Movie Podcast Episode 125 is Part 2 of a two-part series about Stephen King Horror Movie Adaptations. Much like our previous episode, in Part 2 we go through a roll call, where we briefly talk about Stephen King horror adaptations from 1997 to 2017. (If you haven’t heard it yet, our previous episode covers from 1976 through 1996.)

Jay of the Dead, Wolfman Josh, Dr. Shock and special guest Gillman Joel Robertson of Universal Monsters Cast and Retro Movie Geek bring you Feature Reviews of “The Night Flier” (1997) and “Secret Window” (2004) and “Riding the Bullet” (2004) and “1408” (2007) and “The Dark Tower” (2017), which doesn’t have a lot of Horror but we discuss it, anyway. Near the end of this show, your HMP hosts also bring you their Top 5 Favorite Stephen King Horror Adaptations. But without a doubt, the two highlights of this episode are Gillman Joel’s passionate rant about the end of “The Mist” (2007) and a great interview with screenwriter Matt Greenberg (“1408,” “Mercy,” “Halloween H2O: 20 Years Later,” et al.). 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!


I. Introduction
— Welcome guest “Gillman Joel” Robertson
— Subscribe to the MPN Patreon feed to get access to our Top 10 Favorite Horror Movie (and All Genre) Posters episode
— Here’s how you attend the MPN MeetUp in SLC on Oct. 14, 2017
— Agenda for this episode

[ 0:04:56 ] II. Feature Review: THE NIGHT FLIER (1997)
(based on the short story from 1988)
Wolfman Josh = 7.5 (Buy it!)
Gillman Joel = 8.5 (Buy it! If you can get it for less than $20)

[ 0:30:34 ] III. Stephen King Horror Movies from 1997 – 2003

1997 The Shining (mini series)

1997 Trucks (TV movie)

1997 Quicksilver Highway

1998 Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror (sequel to the 1996 film)

— 1998 Apt Pupil (based on the novella from 1982) -not horror

— 1998 Sometimes They Come Back… for More
(sequel to the 1996 film)

— 1999 Storm of the Century (TV

— 1999 The Rage: Carrie 2
(sequel to the 1976 film)

— 1999 Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return
(sequel to the 1998 film)

— 1999 The Green Mile
(based on the 1996 novel)

— 2001 Hearts in Atlantis
(based on the 1999 novella Low Men In Yellow Coats) -not horror

— 2001 Children of the Corn: Revelation
(sequel to the 1999 film)

— 2002 The Mangler 2
(sequel to the 1995 film)

— 2002 Carrie

— 2002 Firestarter: Rekindled
(sequel to the 1984 film)

— 2003 Diary of Ellen Rimbauer

— 2003 Dreamcatcher
(based on the 2001)

— 2003 Salem’s Lot

[ 0:47:44 ] IV. Feature Review: SECRET WINDOW (2004)
(based on the novella Secret Window, Secret Garden from 1990)
Jay of the Dead = 6 ( Rental )
Wolfman Josh = 7.5 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 7 ( Rental )

[ 1:08:27 ] V. Feature Review: RIDING THE BULLET (2004)
(based on the novella from 2000)
Jay of the Dead = 4 ( Avoid )

[ 1:18:24 ] VI. Stephen King Horror Movies from 2005 – 2007

— 2005 The Mangler Reborn (sequel to the 2002 film)

— 2006 Desperation 

— 2006 Nightmares and Dreamscapes

2007 Creepshow III (unofficial sequel to the 1987 film; consists of five short films, none of which were written by King)

[ 1:21:17 ] VII. Feature Review: 1408 (2007)
(based on the short story from 1999)
Jay of the Dead = 7 ( Rental )
Wolfman Josh = 8 ( Buy it! )
Dr. Shock = 7 ( Rental )

[ 1:30:19 ] VIII. Stephen King Horror Movies from 2007 – 2016

— 2007 The Mist (based on the novella from 1980)
Reviewed on HMP 19 as part of our “Siege Narrative” themed episode.

— 2007 No Smoking (based on the short story Quitters Inc.)

— The Dark Tower Wizard and Glass

— 2009 Dolan’s Cadillac (based on the short story from 1985)

— 2011 Children of the Corn: Genesis (sequel to the 2001 film)

— 2013 Carrie (third adaptation of the 1974 novel)
Reviewed on MPW 56 along with Carrie (1976)

— 2014 A Good Marriage (based on the 2010 novella, Screenplay by Stephen King)

— Big Driver -not horror

— 2014 Mercy (based on the short story “Gramma” from the 1985’s Skeleton Crew)

— 2016 Cell (based on the 2006 novel, Screenplay by Stephen King)

[ 2:02:17 ] IX. Feature Review: THE DARK TOWER (2017)
(based on The Dark Tower III: The Wastelands from 1991, first movie in a planned series, post-production)
Jay of the Dead = 7.5 ( Rental )
Wolfman Josh = 6 ( Rental )

[ 2:28:03 ] X. Stephen King Horror Films from 2017 and beyond …

— 2017 It Part 1: The Loser’s Club (based on the 1986 novel, in post-production)

— 2017 Children of the Corn: Runaway (sequel to the 2011 film)

— 2017 Gerald’s Game (based on the 1992 novel, in post-production)

— 2017 1922 (based on the 2010 novella, in post-production)

— 2018 It Part 2: Pennywise (based on the 1986 novel, in development)

[ 2:30:16 ] XI. Top 5 Favorite Stephen King Horror Adaptations
– Email from Amy in Dublin, Ireland

[ 2:52:56 ] XII. Matt Greenberg Interview

XIII. Wrap-Up / Plugs / Ending

JOIN US FRIDAY AFTER NEXT ON HMP: Episode 126: Annabelle: Creation, et al. And coming in September: VERSUS: IT vs. IT

NOTE FOR NEWCOMERS: If you love this podcast, you can find all of our previous episode here on the website, with direct links to our themed episodes and franchise reviews on the sidebar. 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.


Matt Greenberg (Horror Writer/Producer)
Stream Matt’s movie 1408 (2007) on GooglePlay or YouTube for $2.99
Stream Matt’s movie Reign of Fire (2002) on GooglePlay or YouTube for $2.99
Stream Matt’s movie Halloween H2O (1998) on GooglePlay or YouTube for $2.99
Stream Matt’s episode of Masters of Horror (2006) on Amazon for $1.99

Catch up with Gillman Joel on: Universal Monsters Cast and Retro Movie Geek

— Subscribe to the MPN Patreon feed to get access to our Top 10 Favorite Horror Movie (and All Genre) Posters episode
— Here’s how you attend the MPN MeetUp in SLC on Oct. 14, 2017

Hear Geek Cast Live take down “The Dark Tower”

Jay recommends MPW reviews the IMDb Top 250

Check out our new MPN show: We Deal in Lead western podcast (featuring our very own Dave Becker)!

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.

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 TwitterInstagram 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

You can always contact us by e-mailing HorrorMoviePodcast@gmail.com. Or you can call and leave us a voice mail at: (801) 382-8789. And you can leave us a comment in the show notes for this episode.

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Thanks for listening, and join us again Friday after next for HORROR MOVIE PODCAST!

81 thoughts on “Horror Movie Podcast Ep. 125: The Horror Movies of Stephen King – Part 2 (1997 – 2017), including The Dark Tower (2017)

  1. Great shout-out to Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol. It had Sharon Stone, David Spade and skateboarding done by Tony Hawk. Plus, a classic horror-esque scene where Tackleberry wears a hockey mask with Chainsaw as Hightower is a Voodoo priest. Classic.

  2. I’d like to thank Matt Greenberg for joining us on the podcast. I hope you guys enjoyed his interview.

    I found in reading about King–AFTER my interview with Matt–that 1408 is actually the highest grossing Stephen King horror movie of all time. And it’s not close for second place.


    Even more interesting is this Film School Rejects article’s assertion that the film’s success was due to a back-to-basics approach to horror during the height of the torture film.

    I wish I had seen this article before my interview with Matt. I’d have loved to ask him about it. Hoping he will comment here.

    • Great interview with Matt Greenberg, Josh. He’s an obviously great personality with some really great stories/experiences to match, but you also asked the right questions.

      I’m a shamed to say I still haven’t seen 1408. I think the reason is purely because of this mental block I had regarding King adaptations, and the thought that they were typically not very good. Thankfully, your coverage over these last two episodes has broken that silly mental block, and I’ll be binging on King film adaptations soon.

      Great coverage, fellas. Thanks for doing this!

      • I think 1408 can feel a little ‘basic’ on first watch, but my appreciation has grown and grown the more I watch it. It’s become a film I really love and retains that warmth that King talks about The Shining lacking.

  3. I completely agree with Joel regarding the end if the Mist. That is an example of a movie where, for me, it COMPLETELY ruined the rest of the movie. I was broken and miserable for days on end afterward. Joel is absolutely correct… And I HATE HATE HATE the movie now.

    • I want to third this. And… I want to point out that I feel similarly about Storm of the Century. Not because I feel the ending is unearned, but more so that it ruins the rest of the movie for me. It caused me a great deal of anxiety and I’m not sure why.

      • FranktheFiend wrote: “It caused me a great deal of anxiety and I’m not sure why.”

        But isn’t that horror?! Guys! I don’t think these stories necessitate bleak endings and I do think horror can end happy, but can’t we agree that a horror movie that has that kind of effect is at least doing its job well? This is precisely why I loathe films like MARTYRS, but I have to admit that they are effective.

        • Wolfman Josh wrote: “…can’t we agree that a horror movie that has that kind of effect is at least doing its job well?”

          I guess the ending of Storm of the Century bothers me in a similar way that body horror often does in movies. I actually felt like the town deserved doom and the anxiety comes from them not getting their comeuppance. I think it might be good horror, but I think for me it is a one and done because it left me with dissonance. I’m still tore up lol.

    • Love to listen but don’t always come to the site to post. I had to on this one because my feelings are SO much like Joel’s. I have several thoughts on that.
      1) Both Joel and I are longtime fans of the novelette. I don’t think our reactions would have been as violent if we didn’t already have expectations for a beloved story (a story that worked, mind you.)
      2) Sure horror can have a downer ending. However, the original ending of The Mist was just FINE. The movie ending to Cujo was revised from the book, and King has expressed regret for that novel’s ending, which is grim but very powerful and memorable. I didn’t need or want a perfectly satisfactory unknown-future, imagination-grabbing ending to The Mist turned into Cujo the novel. (I think Cujo is stellar fiction btw.)
      3) I may watch The Mist again for its good points. I will suggest to Joel and Redcapjack that if we turn off the movie as the car is driving off it will be SORT of like the book. :)

      • P.S. I forgot to say, the discussion over The Mist was lively and just delightful (which is why I’m here posting). I loved the episode.

  4. Also of note:

    The Dark Tower movie is wholly unrecognizeable from the books. Everything from theme, mood, and even genre is flipped and turned inside out. It is nothing at all like the books and no one who sees this should go into the book series expecting this… I tried very hard to watch this as a stand alone film, but there as enough tenuous string to remind me of how wrong they got it. If Stephen King really approved if this, as has been stated, he is going senile. This was terrible and awful on all fronts and all copies should be collected and burned.

    • I’d have to agree, unfortunately. I’m a huge DT fan and was incredibly disappointed. I felt like the casting was great, but it suffered from some unfortunate writing and direction. I wasn’t expecting a straight adaptation-
      I did enough research beforehand to somewhat know what I was walking into, but the entire atmosphere to me was a kiddie adventure movie and was so not what I was expecting. It felt like The Giver and Spiderman Homecoming had a baby. I know Dark Tower isn’t necessarily as much horror as it is fantasy with horror elements, but the feel was just all wrong and really didn’t sit well with me. I went in cautiously optimistic, but left just super bummed out.

      I sincerely hope IT fares better.

  5. Funny enough, I remember seeing Secret Window on cable when I was about eight and the last shot that Josh talks about stuck with me in a way that I don’t really understand. It was qute the punctuation mark, which I guess is what Koepp was going for, and I remember beingg fascinated and even unsettled by it, but even after watching the movie again only a few summers ago, I couldn’t tell you the context of the shot. Now I’m interested in watching the film for a third time just to see if the shot is as awesome as it seems in my memory

    • When you were eight? Damn, I’m old. Let us know what you think when you rewatch it. I could have done without the last 10 minutes, but particularly that final shot. I’ve seen it enough now where it makes me laugh, but I remember being really turned off when I saw it for the first time.

  6. Another great in depth themed podcast guys! Love all the special guests. I’ve been reading and watching Stephen King for as long as I can remember. I always wondered why he has been the go to Horror author? Is it his work can easily be put up on the big screen? Is it that most people can understand what they are reading/watching? I like the guys work for sure. To me, it doesn’t seem like he pushes the bar far enough for my true liking. He does have some dark movies/books, but I’d like to see him get into even more darker territory. He has done Vampires with Salem’s Lot, but I like Interview With The Vampire better. He’s done Werewolves in Silver Bullet, but I like The Howling better. He’s done Animal Horror in Cujo, but I like Frozen better. Even Carrie isn’t as good as Scanners. Now the one I find hard to top in crazy psycho is The Shining, which American Psycho does come close. I believe Stephen King’s best work is when he steps out of the Horror genre, The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me are up there with the best Movies of all time for me personally.

    Now, what kinda goes along with the above, I did see The Dark Tower. I think what most people are saying is correct as it does seem too young adult. I did enjoy the movie, but not as much as I wanted to. I think that is what I’m getting at from above. Although, most Stephen King movies are rated R, they are just a soft R. The Shining is a hard R and that’s what makes it one of the best movies around. It takes things to the next level and that is what is lacking in a lot of Stephen King material. I still enjoy most of Stephen King’s work, and no doubt we are better off having him in the Horror genre. For me, he doesn’t take things far enough. I am looking forward to seeing IT, Gerald’s game (one of my favorites books of Stephen King’s), The Dark Tower series and Castle Rock, we will see if they push things far enough for me.

    • I think the easy answer is money. His books are just so dang popular. He’s just one of the most successful horror authors ever, so it makes sense that his work is often adapted. Another is that his work has inspired classic films such as Carrie and The Shining. I think those two alone are enough to give him a sterling reputation. Finally, I think his tendency to deal with childhood and families and small towns make him more accessible to a general audience than someone like Barker or Lovecraft. It’s just easier to get into his world without explicitly being a genre fan. Again, that means more tickets sold.

      And from what I’m hearing about IT, it’s going to be a hard R. That will be interesting, if it’s true.

  7. As I’ve mentioned before, my own experience in King film adaptations is embarrassingly lacking. That said, upon reflection, I’ve come to realize that I’ve actually seen a decent handful of these films… at least enough to put together a solid (if, also, rather standard) top 5. I know a few people threw their top 5 King horror films up in the part 1 comments, but I’m throwing mine down here…

    1. The Shining
    2. Carrie
    3. The Mist
    4. Pet Semetary
    5. Christine
    HMs: Cujo, Children of the Corn, Carrie (2013)
    CND faves: Thinner, Graveyard Shift

    I should probably mention that I think these are also the ONLY King horror film adaptations I’ve seen. So, yeah, I have some catch-up to do.

  8. In listening to Joel’s assertion that Thomas Jane’s execution/euthanasia of his son (and fellow friends) at the end of The Mist, I think he’s conveniently forgetting some variables. Yes, in a vacuum (and the existence of rational thought), one would hopefully wait until they absolutely knew of their impeding demise before blowing their child’s head off. However, BECAUSE of the previous two hours established within the context of the film (the grocery store will ultimately be overrun by otherworldly creatures, the existence of said creatures well beyond the grocery store) not to mention the giant behemoth which crosses their path moments before Jane’s fateful decision, it did seem their deaths were beyond imminent. I’m not sure I would have been able to do what Jane’s character did (I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t), but for Joel to suggest he’s merely a dope who didn’t wait long enough is built entirely on our foresight and removal from the situation. I am on team Jay in this instance.

    P.S. While I may not always agree with Joel’s assessments (or yours for that matter), I love the passion and generosity (and humor) you guys convey during the course of your podcasts. It’s what continually keeps me coming back for more. Thank you. :)

  9. I’m glad to hear somebody else likes the movie 1408 a lot of people I know don’t seem to like it and I don’t know why. As far as The Mist, I liked the ending. To me The character had lost all hope. Maybe they were saying you should never lose hope. I personally wouldn’t have done what he did. I would have stayed with my family till the end. But that wouldn’t make as good of a movie. It didn’t need a happy ending. I still have some of the show to listen to. Loving it so far.

    • Glad you’re enjoying it, Gene. Thanks for listening and thanks for the comment. As I mentioned above, I think 1408 can seem a bit flat on first viewing but the standard of most modern horrors, but I do think it is a rich film with a lot to say.

  10. Joel is dead on. The end of The Mist is awful. It just doesn’t ring true. It might’ve been OK if he had wandered off into the mist. But not only does the Army arrive right on time, they are winning far too convincingly.
    If I were putting a final bullet into my child . . . I would attempt to arrange it so the bullet went through both of our skulls. It’s just a dumb ending and it ruins an otherwise very-good film. Even the other people in the car . . . why the hell wouldn’t you die fighting. Sure it will be more painful but you may as well try.
    I went back and reread the original story. The end is much much better . . . fading away into an uncertain world.

  11. I saw the Dark Tower yesterday and I enjoyed it. I actually am puzzled why the critics are being so harsh on it. Yes, it’s fast paced. Yes, it needed more story development, but it’s a cohesive film that tells a story. It’s entertaining and I feel it welcomes the viewer to the Dark Tower world where it can build from there. I have not read the books and I understand the Stephen King purists not liking it. But like other King adaptations it used the source material to encapsulate the audience.
    I feel that this was an origin story of sorts, to draw an audience. Granted, it is PG-13, sure it held back on violence and such, but I feel it was wise so that it can grab a wider audience, the teen crowd. I feel inspired to read the first book now and that will translate to the teen crowd also. The Dark Tower could be a gateway film to the Stephen King world for new, younger viewers. 8/10. See it in theaters, it’s a fun film that doesn’t need to be taken as seriously as people want it to be.
    It’s not the book, it’s not great, it needed another draft, but I’m a supporter of Stephen King.
    Think Monster Squad
    Stephen King Rules!

  12. I certainly have some work to do…haven’t seen very many from this episode! Loved the interview with Greenberg. Question: is it imperative to watch The Mist film before the new tv series?

      • I watched The Mist movie adaptation ober the weekend and really enjoyed it. The effects are a little rough, but what a great little cast that’s been assembled. The ending was incredibly bleak. Since when was horror a walk in the park though? Haha. It’s a fitting, disturbing finale which reminded me of the Hitchcock Presents and Twilight Zone.

  13. Thanks for the interview with Matt Greenberg. I personally love hearing from screenwriters, and appreciate the insight that they offer into their process. I enjoyed 1408 when it first came out, but I haven’t seen it since. I’m glad I have a new reason to revisit it.

    And since you asked for our top 5 King Horror:

    1-5: The Shining.

    Okay, I’ll make it a little more interesting:

    1) The Shining
    2) Carrie
    3) Misery
    4) Pet Sematary
    5) Tie: 11/22/63 (Mini-series) and 2017’s IT

    Two notes: The assassination of JFK was one of the most horrific incidents of U.S. history, so I’m including it on my list. And as for IT, consider this my pre-release hype move. I just REALLY want this film to succeed and to scare the crap out of me. Fingers firmly crossed, and here’s to hoping that I am right…..

    • I’m right there with you, hoping that you’re right. I’ve heard so many great things about 11/22/63. Can’t wait until I have some time to watch it.

      Glad you enjoyed the Matt Greenberg interview. I agree with you about hearing from screenwriters. While I enjoy the technical and visual craft of filmmaking, I find that the writers typically have the most interesting insights.

  14. Guys – I love your show; my favorite podcast BY FAR, so I was thrilled that you would devote 2 episodes to the work of Stephen King. There are a couple of things that surprised me. First was that it seemed to me that you guys haven’t read many of the novels on which these films are based. That’s ok, it’s a horror movie podcast after all, but I have to admit that I was hoping for a little more familiarty with the source material.

    I was also surprised by the mentions of the numerous, awful, franchise films (Children of the Corn – ad nauseum). Granted, they weren’t being reviewed, but even the mere mention of them associates them as having come from the author. I know that King gets a writing credit on IMDB since he penned the original short story, but tying him in with these movies feels like a bit of an injustice. It’s like blaming Jaws 3-D on Peter Benchley.

    • Haha. You know you love King when you’re offended that the Children of the Corn sequels are even tied to him in passing! I think we were clear that he didn’t write the things. We’re completeists and we just wanted to give everything a mention. His work at least inspired the films. I don’t think we were being unfair.

      As far as being familiar with the source material, hey, I wish I had read more of his books too, but there are only so many hours in the day and you can’t read/watch everything. We are who we are and we are all movie guys. I’m making my way through King’s books now and loving them, so I understand your passion.

      We invited Joel on this episode, knowing that he was a big King fan, but it turned out that he was more a fan of the movies as well. The only person on our podcast network who has read almost all of King was Batty Matty from The Sci-Fi Podcast. Sadly, he was unavailable for these. We also invited the host of Stephen King Cast, but he did not respond in time. I know a couple of our listeners listen to and really like Stephen King Cast, so I’d recommend that show if you’d like more coverage of the books.

      Ultimately, it’s a movie podcast. So while I agree with you 100% that these episode could have been stronger had we known the books, we weren’t reviewing the books. We were reviewing the movies. I think we did that pretty well.

      You’ll be happy to know that we have a Stephen King expert on our next episode to review IT (TV-1990) vs IT (2017). Her name is A.M. Novak and she’s a great horror writer for sites like Birth.Movies.Death. She’s also obsessed with King and It, so I think you’ll get your money’s worth on that one.

  15. My top 5 Stephen King horror adaptations would be:

    1. Pet Semetery
    2. The Shining
    3. Cujo
    4. Carrie
    5. Desperation (Slipped in a nostalgic favorite)

    This has been a fun little two-parter. Thanks guys!

  16. By the way, two of King’s adaptations will be shown at Fantastic Fest this year. Gerald’s Game and 1922 are set to premiere (I think it’ll be their first showing, but don’t quote me on that) and Gerald’s Game will make its way to Netflix soon after, like less than a month after.

      • I’ll try to. They haven’t released the list of the second wave of films, so I’m still not sure if there are other films that will take priority. I try to watch films that I know will be hard to find or that are a long way from being released, so I might end up skipping Gerald’s Game. Whatever I end up watching, I’ll make sure to report like last time.

  17. My top 5 favorite SK horror adaptations (in alphabetical order): Carrie, Creepshow/Creepshow 2 (because I can’t choose, I’m cheating), Cujo, Pet Semetary, ‘Salems Lot. Four of these movies are in my top 50 horror movies of all time.

    I know this is Horror MOVIE Podcast, but I must mention some of my favorite Stephen King stories that are not likely to be adapted for feature film or television: Mrs. Todd’s Shortcut, The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet, I Know What You Need, Strawberry Spring, Home Delivery, L.T.’s Theory of Pets.

      • When I really started thinking about my favorites I realized many of them are written in first person point of view. This works great for short stories, but would pose challenges for film, I think. It would be tough to make full length while keeping the immediacy of first person POV; and as much I a like some old East Coastah telling me a tale, Voice Over is usually a clunker in movies. That said, I am always so tickled by King’s short stories and I would love to see someone take a stab at any of them!

  18. Really enjoyed listening to this 2 part Stephen King podcast. I’ve been a life long King fan. I was a King book of the month club member in my early teens. So I’ve read almost all of his books. Sadly, as its well documented, the cinematic adaptations have been very hit or miss. I’ve of course seen The Dark Tower. I tried really hard to avoid any information, other than the trailer, that would affect my viewing. So I didn’t know that this is a stand alone movie. I assumed it would be another franchise. I didn’t hate the movie as most fans of the books. I do like it a lot less now knowing this is a one and done. Every King movie, and readers of his books will know this, should be a hard R rating. Hollywood of course always assumes that a borderline PG-13 will get more butts in seats, but certain movies need to be made closer to the source material. Especially a movie based on such a beloved series of books as The Dark Tower. I know someone mentioned this in the podcast, that this book series is such a massive success, why not just use what has been proven to work. As a movie fan, I give it a 7 rental. For someone who read the books .5 dumpster fire and would rather it hadn’t been made.
    Favorite Stephen King Horror Adapations:

    1. It miniseries
    2. Silver Bullet
    3. The Shining
    4. The Langoliers
    5. Pet Sematary

    Really looking forward to Geralds Game BTW. Great book. Hope they did it justice.

    • Interesting to see The Langoliers on your list. You aren’t the first to include it.

      I literally laughed out loud when I read your comment, “As a movie fan, I give it a 7 rental. For someone who read the books .5 dumpster fire and would rather it hadn’t been made.”

      Now, as I understand it, The Dark Tower was not intended to be one-and-done at all, but actually an massive franchise including a television series and several more films. If it needs up being one-and-done, I think it has to do with this film’s failure.

    • I’m glad to see the Langoliers on a list too. I didn’t love it, but I remember being young and watching it and being profoundly scared. “Great, now I have to worry about being left behind by time and erased.” I associate it with Final Destination which came out 5 years later. Both involve a plane and in both the victims are doomed for no fault of their own due to happenstance. Isn’t that the worst.

  19. I have never really given this era of King movies a chance,but the review of 1408 got me interested. I think it’s on Netflix so I’ll give it a shot this week. Great pod as usual. My top 5 King movies:
    5 Shawshank Redemption
    4 The Running man
    3 The Shining (Kubric)
    2 Cujo
    1 Creepshow

    • All great picks. I think there are several King films from this era worth giving a shot. None of them are The Shining, but they are still above average horror movies, in my opinion. Defintely check out The Night Flier, Secret Window, 1408 and The Mist, if you haven’t. We’ve also seen listener love for Mercy, Desperation, Rose Red, Storm of the Century, The Green Mile and Cell. Also mixed reviews on both remakes of Carrie and the remake of Salem’s Lot.

  20. My top 5 King movies:
    5: Graveyard Shift.
    It’s so weird and pulpy, you can chew on the performances like it was Taffy.
    4: It
    Even with the poor second half, this is one of those really memorable films you find yourself revisiting over and over again.
    3: Creepshiw
    The combination of humor, horror, and all out comic book camp combined to make this a memorable film for so many it would be a crime to keep it off the list.
    2: Salem’s Lot
    One if, if not THE, scariest vampire movies of all time.
    1: Pet Semetary:
    THE movie that still scares the shit out of me to this day.

    • Yeah, Jay actually didn’t want to mention any of the TV series, only the features films. But then we all wanted to cover the TV mini-series. And we ended up name dropping several of the TV series. So, we never actually planned to mention, Under the Dome, but as things turned out, it was one of only a couple that didn’t get mentioned, so it was probably weird to leave it out. Next time, we’ll just have to convince Jay that TV counts as cinema (even if it’s a HOME cinema).

  21. I’ve read so many Stephen King novels but have missed out on a lot of the film adaptations. These podcasts have given me a lot of films to catch up on. My top five off the top of my head are.
    5. The Mist
    4. IT (I have weird nostalgia for this film. Hoping the new one is great.)
    3. Cujo
    2. Pet Semetary
    1. Salem’s Lot

  22. Just listened and great as always… a good few I haven’t seen… I put on Dolores Claiborne tonight as I realized, based on your synopsis, that it was based on one of one of my fav short stories.

    Really enjoyed the adaptation as well. Right, I am going to see some of the others…

    As to fav Stephen King Horror adaptations:

    1. The Shining
    2. 1408
    3. It
    4. Salems Lot (TV 1979)
    5. Creepshow

    • I’ve been on a road trip that included the total eclipse so just listened to this episode. These are not necessarily the films I think are the best adaptations (such as Misery)–these are the few that I will watch and enjoy any time and again and again and again:
      – The Stand miniseries
      – The Dead Zone
      – Silver Bullet
      I’m also very fond of Storm of the Century, but that one started out as a screenplay.
      P.S. neither version of The Shining scares me, but the novel has scenes that haunt me and make me keep the lights on.

    • Dolores Claiborne is based on a novel of the same name and not a short story (unless the novel itself is an expansion upon a concept covered in one of his short stories and I’m just ignorant to it). I would HIGHLY recommend the novel. Similar to Misery it is one of King’s best works. Different from his usual style in some ways (for want of less cringeworthy phrasing, it feels more “literary” than his more genre specific stuff) but it is gripping and brilliant.

  23. Great job guys. Though the one big one that was missed was under the dome. Unless I missed it somehow. Thought?

      • I felt that it was ok. It started out so close to the source material but them strayed pretty far. I felt it was that with it being a series it could have pulled more from the SK universe but didn’t. I loved hearing all the new views to some of the movies and am thinking of going back and revisiting a few now.

  24. For anyone reading this who has read The Dark Tower series: I had always thought that while Roland is repeating a loop, I never thought that all of the supporting characters would be the same for each repeat. Wondering if others have felt the same? It would seem that approaching a single movie as a sequel with very different events could have been viable, but I think most people would rather see a re-creation of the original books. I’d like to see a solid television production of the original books, taking time to do character development. It seems to have worked for Game of Thrones. (I haven’t yet seen The Dark Tower movie–I will, someday.)

  25. I will say that I need to revisit The Night Flyer but I loved it when I saw it as a teenager on TV. And I’m shamed to say I haven’t seen Salem’s Lot or The Dead Zone. But I’m with J in that Pet Semetary and Cujo consistently terrify me on repeat viewings, especially Pet Semetary. Also I’m pumped for y’all to see the IT. I thought it was great, entertaining, heart felt, and absolutely terrifying 9/10!

    My rank list would be:
    5) Misery
    4) IT 2017 (This movie is awesome!)
    3) Cujo
    2) The Shining
    1) Pet Semetary

  26. Surprised to hear that lots of folks have been recommending the Bag of Bones miniseries to Jay. That is far and away the worst King adaptation I’ve seen. Maybe it’s just because I like the source material so much (it’s up there in my top ten Stephen King works) but I absolutely detested the way the series was handled. Everything they changed was to the detriment of the story and Pierce Brosnan was pretty bad in the lead role. Awful.

  27. I was also surprised to hear Joel’s fuming ire directed towards the ending of The Mist (2007) and to see quite a few heads in the comments nodding in agreement.


    I do understand that the ending might be divisive and could be accused of shock-value-for-the-sake-of-shock-value but personally I found it profoundly effective and I feel like Joel’s dismissal of the “auditory” trigger for those final moments is maybe a case of looking at things too literally. I didn’t interpret the ominous sounds as being the sole motivation for what the main character does. To me, the approaching noises felt more symbolic of the dawning realisation of the utter hopelessness of the situation. The characters are stranded in a fog that for all they know stretches out for eternity, that no longer represents any part of the fabric of the world they once knew. Surely the psychological impact of that alone would be enough to unhinge the most steadfast and practical of minds? It’s not so much a case of “oh no, that sound might be a monster so I’d better shoot my kid” and rather a case of “we tried our best and instead of escaping this elemental force that has torn away everything we ever knew and believed about reality we’ve gone and stranded ourselves right in the middle of it and this might be all that’s left of the world”. The final decision is informed by the irreversible trauma that a human psyche would go through given the context of the film as a whole. To those characters at that point it feels like there is truly nothing left, as far as they’re aware they aren’t even in a recognisable dimension any more; they could very easily be in the depths of hell. I think it’s hard to say what a person would and wouldn’t do when they are trying to process such a disrobing of the veneer of sanity.

    I also think Jay’s point that the true horror of the scene comes from the very fact that the characters decision was ultimately unnecessary is spot on. That’s the most galling aspect for me and speaks to our universal experiences with regret. And as to Joel’s counterpoint that the character didn’t deserve such a “punishment”; well… exactly. That’s why it’s horror. It happens to those who deserve it least.

    All that said, I love Joel and appreciate where he is coming from. I don’t have kids so I have no doubt that might play a role in peoples differing perceptions of this scene. And I do acknowledge the criticism that it maybe feels a little like a mechanism that is solely there to deliver a shock ending. Either way it leaves a sour taste but for me I had no trouble buying the course of action taken and it only lent more tragic weight to an already profoundly scary movie.

  28. And I was so happy to hear so much positivity regarding both The Night Flier and 1408. I see those films get panned all the time and I feel like the criticism is mostly undeserved. They’re both great for what they are.

  29. Stubbled upon this podcast and now won’t be turning back.
    Can’t wait to listen to more.
    I was born in 77 and enjoyed all of kings movies in my youth in the 80s.
    Not a fan of the newer king adaptations I feel they fall flat.
    Something gritty and raw about the 70s 80s film makers.
    That being said I need to watch Night Flier, super intrigued and of course the new IT.
    Thanks again can’t wait to listen to more of you guys.

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