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Rick Senger
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Posted: 04 February 2020 at 10:52am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

He's had a staggering number of adaptations.  About 49 as of now by my count not including TV or stuff presently in the pipeline or sequels not directly based on followup works by him.   For the sake of branching out the discussion beyond the obvious choices I'm going to include a couple strong segments from otherwise inferior anthologies.  While my love for King is strong I definitely haven't seen a lot of his stuff (missing 10-20, including the recent IT entries.)  That said...

MISERY (Bates' and Caan's performances really help sell this one)
THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION (Darabont's finest hour)
THE SHINING (1980) (Gorgeous cinematography, sensational music and compelling acting by Nicholson, Duvall and Danny Lloyd make this a must see)
CARRIE (1978 version really captures the angst of adolescence and HS cliques... remarkable last 10 minutes.  Never saw the remake(s))
STAND BY ME (An impressive fleshing out of "The Body"; maybe the most touching adaptation)
THE DEAD ZONE (1983) (Maybe the best pure adaptation even if the final result is only a good movie rather than a great one)
THE GREEN MILE (Darabont's second finest hour)
SALEM'S LOT (1979 version is his best TV adaptation and genuinely scary)
CREEPSHOW (Enjoyed some other portions but "The Crate" is particularly monstrous fun)
11.22.63 (A little too long but the good premise and stark ending nudged it onto this list)

Not quite good enough for my list but honorable mention segments worth checking out if you haven't seen or heard of them:

CAT'S EYE (Solely the creepy James Woods section based on "Quitters, Inc."; rest of the movie is nonsense)
CREEPSHOW 2 (Really a terrible movie with mostly awful acting / stories but for some reason I found "The Raft" segment scary and interesting)


Edited by Rick Senger on 04 February 2020 at 11:06am
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Ryan Maxwell
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Posted: 04 February 2020 at 10:56am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I'll have to give this some thought if I ever get over the fact that there are a couple lists that don't mention SHAWSHANK at all. 
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Rick Senger
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Posted: 04 February 2020 at 11:15am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Curious to hear views of Netflix's GERALD's GAME and 1922 by any who have seen them; both score highly on ROTTEN TOMATOES (90% and 91%) but neither seem to have shown up on any lists here.  I wasn't even really aware of them until I looked up King's adaptations list but now I'm intrigued.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 04 February 2020 at 4:46pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

"...there are a couple lists that don't mention SHAWSHANK at all."

...

Funny about SHAWSHANK with me. I must have watched it 8 times up until about 12 years ago, then "poof" I just got my fill. I can't seem to be able to return to it on an annual basis anymore like some of the less heralded adaptations.
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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 04 February 2020 at 4:56pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply


And as someone else who left if off his list, all I can say is:

I think it's very good, and Morgan Freeman is fantastic in it.  But it's not a favorite of mine.  I do have a few issues with it, and I also think it's vastly overrated.

(Now I'll duck for cover...)





Edited by Shaun Barry on 04 February 2020 at 4:57pm
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 04 February 2020 at 7:47pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Rick, I pretty much agree with nearly everything you
wrote (I haven't seen 11.22.63 and I don't rate Creepshow
as much as you -- do like The Crate though. It scared the
hell out of me as a child).

I also agree that the James Woods story in Cat's Eye is
the high point of that film, though I did also quite like
the one with the little goblin coming to steal Drew
Barrymore's breath each night.

And totally agree that The Raft is the one decent part of
Creepshow 2. Simple but really effective.
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Rodrigo castellanos
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Posted: 04 February 2020 at 10:17pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Not a fan of the final battle in either version (or in
the novel either).

Agreed. Endings are definitely not King's strong suit, he even jokes about it himself quite openly. With SK you have to get into it knowing it's about the journey not the destination.

CAT'S EYE (Solely the creepy James Woods section based on "Quitters, Inc."; rest of the movie is nonsense)

That's a great Stephen King deep cut. One of the few of his short stories that I appreciate ("Survivor Type" and "The Ballad of the Flexible Bullet" are two others). While most are readable and semi-entertaining, the short story format doesn't play to his (many) strengths.

Curious to hear views of Netflix's GERALD's GAME and 1922 by any who have seen them

I've seen GERALD'S GAME and thought it was generally ok. The book, on the other hand, I struggled to finish. Probably (and in contradiction with what I said above) it would've worked better as a short story rather than a full novel. It was at this point in his career that I stopped being an active fan of his. 

---

On STAND BY ME and SHAWSHANK I think they're both pretty good but it always kinda bothered me that the most acclaimed of his adaptations were generally the least "genre" version of King (also GREEN MILE, APT PUPIL).

So I tend to favor MISERY, THE SHINING, CARRIE or even PET SEMATARY (solid B movie and very disturbing book) rather than those.


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Rick Senger
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Posted: 05 February 2020 at 12:05am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

CREEPSHOW certainly isn't deep dish King; more like a light- (and then occasionally, dark-)hearted EC comics pastiche / homage.  I was just the right age when I saw it in the theater as a teen so there's probably some happy nostalgia at work but I did enjoy the then-unusual comic book panel stylization and day-glo shock lighting to a degree.  Besides "The Crate" I also appreciated Leslie Nielsen's disturbingly sleazy energy (along with a pre-Cheers Ted Danson) in "Something to Tide You Over" though I freely acknowledge "Father's Day", King's "The Lonesome Death of Jody Verrill" and E.G. Marshall's "They're Creeping Up On You" were not nearly up to the same standard. 

Now that you mention it, I do recall some scares in that Drew Barrymore CATSEYE segment (it's been a good 25 years since I saw the movie on VHS).  IIRC sort of reminiscent of the creepy doll sequence from Dan Curtis' TRILOGY OF TERROR anthology (itself a pretty weak movie until the surprisingly superior and frightening finale.)


Edited by Rick Senger on 05 February 2020 at 12:06am
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Greg McPhee
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Posted: 05 February 2020 at 7:28am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

  • The Dead Zone
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Misery
  • Salem's Lot
  • Dolores Claiborne
  • IT (1990)
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