Author Topic: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?  (Read 1138 times)

Mister Six

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Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« on: July 18, 2019, 01:19:11 PM »
Per chatter in the IT Chapter 2 thread - is Stephen King's filmography mostly tops or mostly plops?

In a fit of boredom I've made the following list of his televisual, cinematographic and videodromical gubbins (from adaptations to his own directorial efforts to the Nth Children of the Corn sequel), separated into good, bad and I dunno.

(I know this is mental - feel free to talk about it more generally.)

Doesn't include video games, or shorts (because there's a billion of them, all by students and no cunt's seen them). Haven't bothered to differentiate between cinematic, video and TV releases, but (TV) denotes telly series. I've lumped in the Dead Zone's pilot with the series itself.

Nobody's going to reply to this I think, but , fuck it, let's do this:

Good/mostly good
The Shining (obv)
Carrie
Salem's Lot
Creepshow
The Dead Zone
Firestarter
Cat's Eye
Stand By Me
The Running Man
Pet Sematary
Misery
Needful Things
The Shawshank Redemption (oh shush, it's fine)
X-Files episode "Chinga" (TV - actually this might be shit but I remember liking it... I'm a soft touch for The X-Files mostly, though)
Apt Pupil
The Green Mile
1408
The Mist

Bad/mostly bad
Cujo
Children of the Corn
Christine
Maximum Overdrive
The Lawnmower Man
Creepshow 2
It (miniseries)
It Chapter 1 (2018 film)
Sleepwalkers
The Shining (TV)
Storm of the Century (TV)
Salem's Lot (remake)
Kingdom Hospital
The Dark Tower

Haven't seen
The Night Flier
The Eyes of the Dragon (TV)
The Devil's Gift
Silver Bullet
Stephen King's Golden Tales
Tales From The Darkside episode (TV)
Tales From The Darkside The Movie
Graveyard Shift
Sometimes They Come Back
Golden Years (TV)
Monsters episode (TV)
Children of the Corn 2
The Dark Half
The Tommyknockers (TV)
The Stand (TV)
The Mangler
Dolores Claiborne
The Langoliers (TV)
Children of the Corn 3
Sometimes They Come Back... Again
Stephen King's Nightshift Collection
Children of the Corn 4: The Gathering
A Return to Salem's Lot
Thinner
Quicksilver Highway
Outer Limits episode (TV)
Trucks
Children of the Corn 5
Sometimes They Come Back... For More
The Rage: Carrie 2
Children of the Corn 666
Hearts in Atlantis
Children of the Corn 7: Revelation
Rose Red (TV)
Firestarter 2: Rekindled (TV)
Carrie (remake)
The Dead Zone (TV)
Dreamcatcher
The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer
Secret Window
Salem's Lot (TV)
Riding the Bullet
Desperation
Nightmares and Dreamscapes (TV)
Dolan's Cadillac
Children of the Corn (remake)
Everything's Eventual
Children of the Corn: Genesis
Bag of Bones (TV)
Willa
Carrie (remake 2)
The Boogeyman
A Good Marriage
Mercy
Big Driver
Under the Dome (TV)
Haven (TV)
11.22.63 (TV)
Cell
The Milkman
Gerald's Game
1922
Mr Mercedes (TV)
The Doctor's Case
Castle Rock (TV)
Creepshow (TV)
Pet Sematary (remake)
« Last Edit: July 18, 2019, 02:47:21 PM by Mister Six »

Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2019, 02:22:07 PM »
Christine is fucking great. The effects of the car rebuilding itself still look really good and it's Carpenter so the soundtrack's rad. Also the main lead is so hilariously "Stephen King cool" how could you not love it?

Forgot about Dead Zone, that's another great one. So many amazing directors have done King adaps.

Really, just looking at the top ones, those are some damn fine films.


Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2019, 02:25:11 PM »
Also, Dreamcatcher is fucking terrible. I mean, really REALLY terrible.

Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2019, 02:43:10 PM »
You put Maximum Overdrive and The Lawnmower Man in shit but Running Man in good?

The answer is 'mostly shit' btw.

Mister Six

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2019, 02:44:20 PM »
Many of these opinions were formed when I was a child or teen and may not be reflective of the films' actual quality.

Pretty sure Lawnmower Man was gash though.

Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2019, 02:44:48 PM »
Children of the corn is one of the dullest films I've ever seen to be fair. We got it free as the guy in the corner shop used to rescue the free dvd's (the papers go back for recycling but the glossy mags and dvds just get fucked out) and give them to us sometimes.

I felt resentful of having my time wasted, and I was a student that spent most of their time sleeping.

Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2019, 02:52:10 PM »
Really tempted to watch everything in the "haven't seen" list now. Nine children of the corn films, hot fucking christ.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2019, 03:38:21 PM »
This is my brutal take:

Good/mostly good
The Shining (obv)
Carrie
Creepshow
Stand By Me
Misery
The Shawshank Redemption (oh shush, it's fine)
The Mist
Mr Mercedes (TV)
Castle Rock (TV)

Vaguely Okay:
The Dead Zone (film)
Christine
Salem's Lot

The rest is shite, sadly, it's amazing how terrible the majority of adaptations have been.

Bad Ambassador

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2019, 03:45:56 PM »
Lawnmower Man has nothing to do with King's story, and I believe he sued to stop his name being used for publicity. The producers bought the rights to the story and tagged the title on an unrelated script.

The Langoliers is a good, creepy idea reasonably well executed, except it's far too long and the person who figures everything out - basically a super-genius - is a writer. Yeah, thanks Steve.

neveragain

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2019, 03:51:54 PM »
Gerald's Game is another good'un. Tense, atmospheric, well performed and with some truly horrible (non-supernatural) moments that stay with you. Thinner, on the other hand, is mad shite.

Given how prolific he is, I'd say he has a fair ratio of excellent-to-stinking.

Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2019, 03:56:34 PM »
Christine is great.

The Langoliers and The Stand are quite good I think.

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2019, 04:29:58 PM »
Think there needs to be a distinction between "good" and "enjoyable". Otherwise you end up with The Shining and Creepshow on the same list. (I love Creepshow). My categories would be:

1. Good by Any Measure
2. Good for a Stephen King Movie
3. Not Bad, Enjoyable
4. Enjoyable Dreck
5. Dreck
6. Shit




Fuck, just realized it's a pun on "peepshow".

Phoenix Lazarus

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2019, 05:31:19 PM »
Mostly very overlong, for me-except Pet Sematary, by far my favourite of the ones that I read.

Mister Six

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2019, 05:38:04 PM »
This is about his film and telly work (or adaptations etc) rather than his books. But feel free to talk about that, why not?

Think there needs to be a distinction between "good" and "enjoyable". Otherwise you end up with The Shining and Creepshow on the same list. (I love Creepshow).

Nah, enjoyable is good, as far as I'm concerned. I know what you're saying, but if a film's got merit - whether that's Kubrickian artistic genius or just schlocky fun - then I'm happy to put them in a "must watch" pile.

Quote
Fuck, just realized it's a pun on "peepshow".

Fuck, me too.

mothman

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2019, 05:53:04 PM »
Tommyknockers and Golden Years can go in the Shit column. The Stand, I would say is mostly good - for its time. It may not have aged well.

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2019, 06:17:27 PM »
Think there needs to be a distinction between "good" and "enjoyable". Otherwise you end up with The Shining and Creepshow on the same list. (I love Creepshow). My categories would be:

1. Good by Any Measure
2. Good for a Stephen King Movie
3. Not Bad, Enjoyable
4. Enjoyable Dreck
5. Dreck
6. Shit




Fuck, just realized it's a pun on "peepshow".

There might be too many there, but you're on the right track for me. There definitely needs to be an in-between category - it's okay to be on the fence in these extremist times of ours. There should also be an admittedly subjective Guilty Pleasure section.

Another vote for Gerald's Game into excellent (being able to adapt the bloody thing deserves kudos). Thinner, Cell, Under the Dome, Bag of Bones go into the shit pile. For In-Between: Salem's Lot (dated), Pet Sematary (older one - dated), Cujo (dated), 1408 (it almost works), Cat's Eye (segments go good to bad and the cat's links with each is ropy).

I think Christine should be filed into excellent - sure Arnie's switch from dweeb to Elvis is a bit sudden, and why run along a road away from a car, but the rock/ost music combo and regeneration scene (all mentioned above) are iconic (at least in my head).

I liked Storm of the Century. It fulfilled the TV-budget mini-series format for me - a late evening visual page turner. Giving your kid away to a demon/mentor would put a strain on any marriage.

For shit pile I would move in Firestarter. I remember hating the way it was filmed. It just seemed devoid of suspense which is a feat, and it pains me to say the soundtrack didn't work (otherwise fucking love Tangerine Dream). The Running Man might be watchable but it has to go into shit, doesn't it?

Heaps go into the Guilty Pleasure pile.

magval

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2019, 06:44:45 PM »
To this day Bronson Pinchot is my default benchmark for 'guy going mental' in films/TV.

He's class in The Langoliers.

Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2019, 10:50:34 PM »
To this day Bronson Pinchot is my default benchmark for 'guy going mental' in films/TV.

He's class in The Langoliers.

In terms of "good" vs "enjoyable" as well I think with King theres a divide between King stories that will work as serious films and those best suited to knowingly camp adaptations like The Langoliers or Maximum Overdrive. Something like Dreamcatcher was aweful because it fell between those two, too silly to take seriously and too sensible to be that fun.

St_Eddie

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2019, 02:16:18 AM »
Also, Dreamcatcher is fucking terrible. I mean, really REALLY terrible.

Anus monsters tho.

Lawnmower Man has nothing to do with King's story, and I believe he sued to stop his name being used for publicity. The producers bought the rights to the story and tagged the title on an unrelated script.

Correct.

Mister Six

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2019, 03:10:21 AM »
To be fair, the original Lawnmower Man short story was laughable shit too. I'm assuming that one came during The Cocaine Years.

St_Eddie

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2019, 03:15:54 AM »
To be fair, the original Lawnmower Man short story was laughable shit too. I'm assuming that one came during The Cocaine Years.

Personally, I love just how fucked up it is.  A straight up filmic adaptation would have been a sight to behold!

Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2019, 03:19:04 AM »
To be fair, the original Lawnmower Man short story was laughable shit too. I'm assuming that one came during The Cocaine Years.

Most of his best work was written whilst on the china.

Mister Six

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2019, 03:20:09 AM »
Personally, I love just how fucked up it is.  A straight up filmic adaptation would have been a sight to behold!

Ha, perhaps. Not sure how you'd spin it out to two hours though.

St_Eddie

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2019, 03:34:29 AM »
Ha, perhaps. Not sure how you'd spin it out to two hours though.

A romantic subplot and a comedic relief best friend.

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2019, 05:38:31 AM »
Thanks to Mister Six for doing the groundwork on that big list. I'm hosting a six-hour event in Derby in a couple of months on 'Stephen King at the movies', coincidentally, and was about to commence research and put together a list myself this weekend - now I'll just consult CaB instead!

I saw CARRIE on a 1979 reissue and all of the 80s classics on cinema release, so have seen first-hand how the King adaptations played with audiences (though in 1983, a 'cinema audience' usually comprised me, three blokes in raincoats, and a dog). I saw the King-related CARRIE 2: THE RAGE in Times Square in 1999 during my first trip to the States and was delighted to see that everything I'd heard about US horror film audiences seemed to be true!

I'll be putting together a few short packages of movie clips for the Derby event but haven't worked out my schedule or themes for the day yet. I'll probably begin and end with 'greatest hits' selections but might explore areas like 'the TV movies and miniseries', 'King's self-imposed restrictive approach and the film versions' (CUJO, MISERY, GERALD'S GAME and other novels/films with a focus on a couple of characters and a limited setting/location), etc. Given the limits of the day (I'll be doing three sessions of approx 90-100 minutes each and using around 15 minutes of excerpts in each one), are there any suggestions on particular clips or themes that King fans would find essential? I've got my own ideas, but since this thread has popped up I'd be keen to hear CaB views.

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2019, 07:11:48 AM »
The Running Man might be watchable but it has to go into shit, doesn't it?

I don't think you can even call The Running Man a King adaptation; the only similarity is that the main character is trying not to get killed. The Fugitive is a more faithful adaptation of The Running Man than the Arnie movie. Or maybe Series 7.

Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2019, 10:23:29 AM »
Its an adaptation, just a very loose one. It'a fucking superb n all.

samadriel

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Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2019, 10:51:37 AM »
Hey, I'm not knocking it, I'm just saying that it has as much to do with its title as Blade Runner has to do with its title.

Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2019, 01:36:44 AM »
It's probably at least 5 years since my inexplicable attempt to watch every theatrical Stephen King adaptation in the order they were released. I gave up when I got to Firestarter, since it looked like it was only going to get worse from there.

From what I've seen, I boringly loved The Shawshank Redemption, I really liked Carrie, The Shining, Stand By Me & The Green Mile, I quite liked The Dead Zone & Misery, thought Creepshow, Christine, Cat's Eye & It were alright, didn't think much of Cujo, The Running Man, Pet Sematary 1989, really rather disliked Children of the Corn & Firestarter, and loathed Graveyard Shift, Sleepwalkers & The Dark Tower.

So, proportionally, I've seen more good than shit, but there's also an awful lot that I cannot be bothered to watch.

Re: Stephen King: mostly it or mostly shit?
« Reply #29 on: July 29, 2019, 08:33:09 PM »
Well thanks to this thread I watched Silver Bullet over the weekend and can tell you it categorically belongs in the shit pile. Corey Haim in a rocket powered wheelchair and he won’t stop talking about his sister’s tits; totally pointless and impossible narration from a character who’s supposed to be remembering scenes that she never appears in; the worst fucking werewolf I’ve ever seen, looks like the Hoffmeister bear and lastly the worst actor I’ve ever seen (bald dude who plays the dead kids Dad). The only good thing about it is a pissed Gary Busey swigging wild turkey and giving fireworks to small children. Terrible. SHIT