All posts tagged: Stephen King

readingrainbow

You’re Dead to Us…The Miniseries

In which we look at once common curiosities of pop culture that don’t exist anymore, be it because of changing tastes, the fragmentation of culture, or merely the fickle nature of fads. “This week our regular programming will be pre-empted so that we may bring you a special television event.” Such was how you knew you were in for something big in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s – a sweeping epic harkening back to the days of grand movie experiences like Gone With the Wind or Doctor Zhivago, except even longer, and on your TV screen, but for free, and with way, way higher production values, budgets, and star power than the usual fare of CHiPs and One Day at a Time. And you simply had to tune in, because it was event television, and events happen and then fade into history and you can’t catch them again because VCRs weren’t invented yet (or they cost $2,000, same difference) and everyone at work would be talking about it, and maybe even at school, because …

PS_07_thumb

PopSmarts: Let Nothing Come Between Us

One of the most anticipated television events of the summer is Under the Dome, a 13-week summer series adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name. Under the Dome, which premieres June 24 on CBS, has a high-concept sci-fi hook; an entire town is unexpectedly encased in a semi-permeable force field, cutting the whole place off from the rest of the world. While a small group of citizens look for a way to escape their confinement, life inside quickly degenerates into a reign of terror as a nefarious local wheeler-dealer seizes power in the absence of any outside authority. In short, Under the Dome looks like the kind of small-town-under-siege thriller you’d expect from Stephen King. If the premise sounds vaguely familiar, well, it’s probably because you’ve seen it in another Stephen King story. It’s a dependable formula that’s worked well in Salem’s Lot, It, and Needful Things, among other works. The transparent dome, as the characters themselves note, functions like a terrarium or a fishbowl — and the characters are specimens under …

shining

10 Movies…That Are Remakes of Classic Horror Films

Horror movies derive most of their power and enjoyment (you sicko) from a combination of novelty and surprise.The novelty: how the filmmakers will have this particular bad guy stalk and kill the good guys. The surprise: OHMYGODLOOKOUTBEHINDYOUDREWBARRYMORE! Nevertheless, because horror movies are eternally popular, Hollywood remakes the biggest ones, as they would any genre of film. However, horror movies also boast extremely devoted and defensive cult bases, so time will tell if this weekend’s Evil Dead reboot is as good as Sam Raimi’s original 1981 classic, despite Sam Raimi’s seal of approval and active involvement. Here then are 10 more notable horror remakes. Friday the 13th (2009) There was once a rumor that they were going to eventually make 13 Friday the 13th movies. But after sending camp drowning victim/supernatural hockey mask-wearing murderer Jason Vorhees to space, hell, and Freddy Krueger, the franchise ran out of steam at 11 movies. So in 2009 they rebooted the franchise by remaking the original 1980 film, set at the proven horror setting of a summer camp full of …

Robert Carradine

The Popdose Interview: Robert Carradine

You might think that Robert Carradine, an actor whose filmography is far more formidable than the average moviegoer would ever imagine (keep reading and find yourself astonished by at least one or two of his past co-stars), would view a motion picture like Revenge of the Nerds as an albatross, one of those projects that you can’t make people forget no matter how hard you try. Carradine, however, views the role of Lewis Skolnick in the 1984 comedy – and its sequels, lest we forget – as more of a godsend, something that became far bigger than anyone ever could have anticipated. Plus, c’mon, who would’ve thought 29 years ago that nerds would end up being so hip as to warrant a prime-time television series? Or, as is the case now, a reality-competition series on TBS? That’s right: get ready for King of the Nerds. Popdose spoke with Carradine about this project, along with some of the other projects he’s worked on over the years, including – true story – Django Unchained. Popdose: The most …

Pennywise

TCM Plans “A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King” for October

In A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King, which premieres on TCM Monday, Oct. 3, at 8 p.m. (ET), Stephen King discusses how he discovered terror at the movie theater. He takes viewers on a journey through many aspects of the horror genre, including vampires, zombies, demons and ghosts. He also examines the fundamental reasons behind moviegoers’ incessant craving for being frightened. Along the way, he discusses the movies that have had a real impact on his writing, including Freaks (1932), Cat People (1942), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Night of the Living Dead (1968) and The Changeling (1980). A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King will kick off an entire month of classic horror on TCM, with each Monday night’s lineup packed with memorable chillers. The offerings include Universal classics like Frankenstein (1931) and The Wolf Man (1941), Val Lewton thrillers like Cat People (1942) and I Walked with a Zombie (1943), Hammer classics like Horror of Dracula (1958) and cult favorites from William Castle and Roger …

Comic Book Review: “American Vampire Volume 2”

The most startling element about American Vampire Volume 2 is how different it is from the first book in this series by Scott Snyder, Stephen King and Rafael Albuquerque. The first book introduced us to Skinner Sweet and Pearl Jones, both part of a new breed of vampires that grew out of the American frontier. Simultaneously telling their origins from 1925 (Pearl’s) and 1880 (Skinner’s), Snyder, King and Albuquerque began a story that would be at home on HBO, sitting on the channel next to Deadwood, Boardwalk Empire and maybe even True Love. American Vampire Volume 1 was about the new rising over the old, whether it be about vampires or a country beginning its transition into a rising world super power. With Stephen King’s stunt-casting co-writing gig over, the story in Volume 2 is all Snyder who fully takes over the reins of the book. As if losing the draw of King’s name wasn’t enough, Snyder relegates Sweet and Pearl to supporting characters in this book as he shifts the focus away from the …

Dw. Dunphy On… Crawling Through a Winter Wonderland

Hey, East Coast, are you feeling a little European today? It’s the last great Blizzard of 2010, folks. I have just finished digging out our driveway (thanks to the neighbors for the snow blowing, shovel assistance and the salt) and the sun has come out. Even so, with a six-foot drift in the backyard, icy winds blowing and the main roads still awaiting a plowing and salting, now may be a good time to try out that Wii you got for Christmas, or maybe hit Netflix for some movies. Here then are some movies you may not want to rent today. The Shining (1980) – The Stanley Kubrick classic based on Stephen King’s novel about a family taking care of a hotel for the winter. Hijinks ensue when the ghosts of the manse, as well as the snow outside and the stir craziness inside, start to take their toll. Writer Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson) seethes, hyperventilates and hacks away, terrifying his wife and son. This is not a feel-good snowball fight kind of flick. Misery …

Confessions of a Comics Shop Junkie, No. 46: Best of 2010 Edition

Yep, like the title says, it’s time for me to do that list-making thing that we internet pundits do so love to do. And, as I always have done on my own sadly neglected blog, I feel I must preface this list with a disclaimer. The following entries are in no way intended to be the be-all and end-all absolute best comics and/or graphic novels of the past calendar year. There are many, many fine, worthy and worthwhile publications both physical and on the World Wide Internet that I did not have the opportunity, for whatever reason, to partake of. I like to think I read and keep up with what’s au courant, but alas, issues of time, money, and interest tend to hinder me in pursuit of that goal. I enjoyed all of these more than any others I read this year, and recommend them highly. Simple as that. OK, disclaimer complete, here’s my Personal Best of 2010 list. An even dozen. I shall cite them alphabetically so as not to imply (or infer, …

Confessions of a Comics Shop Junkie, No. 9: “American Vampire,” “Hercules: Fall of an Avenger,” and More

Number nine…number nine… Yes, here we go with yet another Confessions of a Comics Shop Junkie, in which I attempt to point out some various publications of a comic-bookish nature that I think might be worth your time to check out, or in some cases, avoid- many of which will still be on sale at various booksellers, both online and offline, near you. AMERICAN VAMPIRE #1 Script: Scott Snyder, Stephen King; Art: Rafael Albuquerque DC/Vertigo, $3.99 Despite Benecio Del Toro and co.’s best (?) efforts, vampires are still all the rage these days, even the non-sparkly ones, so it was only a matter of time before Vertigo got in on the act, and here we have the result. Of course, most of the buzz is about King’s byline, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m usually skeptical about writers of his celebrity “slumming” by writing comics; I usually figure an assistant, or some other uncredited writer, does the honors in exchange for the publicity. If that’s the case here, it doesn’t seem that …

Basement Songs: Queen and David Bowie, “Under Pressure”

This year marks the fifth anniversary of my friend Matt’s death. He was my brother in every sense except for blood, and like siblings, we fought, had misunderstandings, hurt each other and went through periods in which we didn’t speak. We weren’t on speaking terms when he died, so there wasn’t a chance to say goodbye. It was an incredible loss, having known this man since we were first graders and we would walk home from school together. I would often stop in his house for a snack, or to check out his room full of the hippest toys, like Maskatron — enemy of the Six Million Dollar Man — an action figure that came with three interchangeable faces, or leafing through his latest issue of Mad Magazine or Cracked. Growing up, he was always forward thinking; he had the latest video games and a Commodore 64. You would have thought he’d embrace the digital age, with e-mail making it so easy for friends and family to reconnect and stay in touch. Yet as soon …

One Day in Your Life: November 18, 1984

November 18, 1984, is a Sunday. By Congressional resolution, it’s the first day of National Family Week. The New York Times publishes several articles about Baby Fae, the anonymous child who died last Thursday after living 20 days with the transplanted heart of a baboon. The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub tops the Times bestseller list for fiction; Iacocca: An Autobiography, by former Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca ,leads the nonfiction list. Future Avenged Sevenfold bassist Johnny Christ is born, although his parents name him Jonathan Lewis Seward. The Chuck Norris film Missing in Action tops the weekend box office. The New York City Opera’s production of Sweeney Todd closes after 13 performances. In the National Football League, the Miami Dolphins suffer their first loss of the season to San Diego, 34-28. The San Francisco 49ers are also 11-and-1 after a 24-17 win over Tampa Bay. Tim Lewis of the Green Bay Packers sets a team record with a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown in a 31-6 win over the Los Angeles Rams. …

Book Review: Stephen King’s “The Stand: Captain Trips”

You won’t hear it from the literary highbrow among us, but Stephen King’s novel The Stand has all of the elements necessary to qualify as a (if not the) Great American Novel. If you’ve read King’s 1978 novel, you recognized themes of, in the words of editor Bill Rosemann, “faith, fear, violence, hope, religion, justice, sex, destiny, and redemption.” And if you’ve read the novel, your dreams were haunted while you were reading it, and even now some of the images from King’s story of civilization brought low by an escaped biological weapon remain fresh in your mind. You’ve probably even watched the fairly hokey mini-series that was made from the book. I watch it every time it’s on, often in all day Sunday marathons on the SyFy network. It seems somehow inevitable that a story that evokes such strong images would attract graphic novelists interested in putting their own spin on it, and artists looking to make those images leap from the page with brush and pen. Marvel has answered the call, and is …