Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Top 5 Tuesdays (T5T) Loves Stephen King

Is there any author out there who has more stories adapted for the screen than Stephen King? I'm not sure but I doubt it. Another adaptation is coming our way tomorrow with The Mist, based on a King short story from the book Skeleton Crew. It's directed by Frank Darabont who took another one of King's short stories Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption to a whole new level and then missed a little with The Green Mile. But Darabont is just one director from a long list of directors (high profile and not so high profile) to translate King's work on the big screen and the small. So give me your Top 5 Stephen King movies. Here are mine.

1. Salem's Lot Arguably one of the scariest movies put on screen. And interesting that it would be on the little screen. Hooper gets all the praise for Texas Chainsaw Massacre but he should get it all for this.

2. The Shining Stephen King hated this adaptation by Kubrick. Then Stephen King made Maximum Overdrive. Hmmmmmm.

3. Stand By Me I cannot be a male - a male with a childhood in a small town - and not love this movie.

4. The Dead Zone This Cronenberg adaptation creeps from the opening seconds and leaves you colder than a Toronto winter.

5. Carrie DePalma adapts King's work but still makes it all his own.

There are certainly some King stinkers as well. As a bonus, you can also give me your bottom five Stephen King adaptions.

1. Dreamcatcher Morgan Freeman with eyebrows that look like they have a life of their own, and an alien that comes out of your ass. Kasdan, how far you have fallen.

2. The Mangler A laundry folding machine possessed by hell. Is there anything scarier? Yeah, lots of stuff.

3. Sleepwalkers Um, there are cats. And then the Mom is in love with her son? And um... yeah.

4. Cujo Somebody please just put that damn dog down.

5. Maximum Overdrive This was just bad.


Anonymous said...

Look at that list. With the exception of Stand By Me, every one of them have essentially the same plot.

King is a hack with three templates. Frankly I think the guy's FACE is both scarier and more creative than anything he writes.

Sheamus the... said...

I agree with you on these. I really liked Pet Semetary when I first saw it. The sick girl gets me everytime. I heard they were remaking this with Clooney. Probably just a myth.

Anonymous said...

(oops ... accidently hit enter without putting my name down ... no, I'm not drunk)

Look at that list. With the exception of Stand By Me, every one of them have essentially the same plot.

King is a hack with three templates. Frankly I think the guy's FACE is both scarier and more creative than anything he writes.

Sheamus the... said...

AS far as what he writes I love his stories. I dont really know how many books Capt Anonymous has read but he truly is amazing...and from what I'm told I havent even read his best. I read Cell, The Gunslinger, and On Writing. I am halfway through The Talisman.

PIPER said...


How is Salem's Lot (a movie about vampires in a sleepy town) like The Dead Zone (a man who can see the future through touch)? I would admit that Carrie, The Shining and Dead Zone share some of the same themes but they don't share the same plots.

I do like the phrase "King is a hack with three templates" but I don't agree with it. King is not a fantastic writer, but he sure as hell is an entertaining one.

TALKING MOVIEzzz said...

I've never been a fan of King as a writer (SALEM'S LOT is the only book of his I've finished, and I didn't care for it). But, I do like the films you mentioned.

Glad to see you mention SALEM'S LOT. It is indeed a great (if maybe a bit overlong) film. There are moments in it that traumatized me as a kid (especially the guy being impaled on the wall).

Anonymous said...

King has been a guilty pleasure of mine for years, but my problem is that very rarely do I think that the film adaptations live up to what I envisioned they'd be.

As far as the list goes, I'd agree that they're pretty good examples of his best and worst.

The mini-series based on The Stand was OK, certainly not up to what was one of my favorite King books.

When I read The Mist in high school I thought it would make a great film, and I look forward to this one, although I'm sure it too will fall short.

His Dark Tower series of book would make an awesome set of movies, but they'd have to be pretty epic to do them justice.

Anonymous said...

Here is the King plot formula:

(Main character is a writer + childhood monster seeking revenge)


(Main character is a writer + inanimate objects come to life)


(Main character is a writer + evil threat)

= supposed horror novel.

In other words, a fucking hack.

Adam Ross said...

I think "Sleepwalkers" could have been great if it was made about 20 years earlier. The story has potential, but in the hands of a bad director it's hard to take seriously.

The "Langoliers" TV movie was pretty good, "Tommyknockers" was not.

PIPER said...


You're right that King is guilty of making a lot of his characters writers. But Carrie is not a writer, nor is the main character in The Dead Zone. Anyways, it obvious you don't like King and since I don't own any stock in him, I won't try to change your mind.


I haven't read the Dark Tower series but I have heard it's pretty damn interesting. I thought The Stand was pretty good and I read the book before I saw the mini-series.


I wanted the Tommyknockers to be good because I thought the book was pretty good, but you're right that it wasn't.

Anonymous said...

Piper - Carrie was studying to be an English major when she went nuts at the Prom. Look it up.