New Discovery in Stanley Kubrick's THE SHINING: THE SHONE REPORT

"The Shone Report.  16 identical audio markers strategically placed in the first 48 minutes of the film. The sound of Stanley Kubrick calling out the word “Shone” – which is the past tense of the word Shine."

Seriously. . . I'm curious now.  How many constant readers buy into all The Shining "deeper" stuff -- and how many think it's just a good movie?

THE SHINING - Mystery of the Twins - film analysis

More over-thinking a simple plot.

Christine and Rebel Without A Cause

I just watched the 1955 classic, "Rebel Without A Cause."  I was surprised to find I liked it a lot. The movie reminded me a lot of another car movie about a troubled young man -- Christine.  

Consider, both Christine and Rebel Without A Cause. . .
  • Are about troubled youth.  
  • Involve an outcast teenager.
  • Include a love triangle. 
  • In the movie Christine, Arnie wears a red suede jacket like James Dean.
  • Introduce parents  who are weak and unable to connect with their teen.
  • Include a car as a major part of the plot.  And the car, in both tales, brings death.
This made me wonder -- did Rebel Without A Cause play any role in the formation of King's idea for Christine? Laura Wright at Haunted Masters Club says that King is rumored to have written Christine based on James Dean's Porsche Spyder.  ( cars and curses)

Wait a minute!  So the thrust of the movie itself is not what interested King, but James Dean and his personal car?  That's what Wright is saying.  And Wright is not alone. Consider this from Under World Tales
A lot of people would swear that there wasn't a curse at all, but that there was a malevolent spirit in that Porsche--a spirit that had been there all along. Or the car itself might have been evil, similarly to the Chrysler Fury in Stephen King's Christine. 
It turns out that James Dean's car, a 1955 Porsche Spyder, has quite the haunted history.  Was King aware of this and basing Christine on the spooky legacy of Dean's Spyder?

Consider a few things about James Dean's car -- Wright says that people in Dean's social circle were "anxious" (spooked?) when they were around the car.
Famed car designer and Dean’s personal automobile customizer, George Barris, stated the vehicle gave, “weird feelings of impending doom.” Actress Malia Nurmi, better known as Vampyra, is reported to have been horrified by the car and begged him to get rid of it. Dean was frequently warned against driving the vehicle, but chose to ignore the words of friends and business acquaintances. 
Wikipedia offers the following encounter with actor Alec Guinness (of Star Wars fame),

When Dean introduced himself to British actor Alec Guinness outside the Villa Capri restaurant in Hollywood, he asked him to take a look at his brand new Porsche Spyder. Guinness thought the car appeared 'sinister' and told Dean: "If you get in that car, you will be found dead in it by this time next week." 
The encounter with Guiness took place September 23, 1955.  Seven days after that conversation, September 23, 1955, Dean died in a terrible car wreck on the way to race his Spyder.  It was a head-on collision that was the result of Dean driving too fast. (September 30,1955)

From there the story gets even more interesting.  This is from Wright's article, "Christine Syndrome: Cars and Curses" (
The wreckage was purchased and taken to a garage where, on arrival, the broken heap of metal slipped from the trailer and broke a mechanic’s leg.   
The engine and drive train were each purchased by one of two doctors. The two physicians were friends and racers themselves. The first placed the engine in his racing car while the other installed the drive train in his vehicle. They raced their newly renovated cars together on October 2, 1956. The doctor who used the engine hit a tree and died instantly. The other was seriously injured when he went too fast into a curve and his car rolled.   
Two of the Spyder’s tires remained in good condition and were sold. The purchaser returned them the next week and claimed they both blew, at the same time, while he was driving and he went in a ditch. Two souvenir thieves attempted to take parts from the wreckage and both were injured. One thief had a more serious injury when trying to reach inside the vehicle. A shard of metal gashed his arm open lengthwise.  
It became clear the vehicle, and its parts, would not be used for driving again. It went on display with the California Department of Transportation. The vehicle showed the dangers of racing and driving recklessly. It was carried throughout the country, but the “bad luck,” started after only two exhibitions.  
The third exhibition was in Fresno, California. While the car was being stored in a garage, the building went up in flames. The entire structure, and all equipment, was consumed and scorched in the fire. Except the Spyder, it survived with only minor paint damage.
Later when the car was on display at a high school, misfortune hit again, a high school student was injured when the bolts holding the displayed wreckage broke. There are conflicting reports as to what happened to the student. One report states his legs were crushed, while the other claims his hip was broken.  
As if that weren’t enough, the vehicle soon found itself in the middle of tragedy again. While being transported via truck, the driver lost control of his automobile. He was thrown from the vehicle, but survived, until the Spyder fell from its place onto him. He was crushed.
WHOA!  That makes me think all the more of Christine.  So what happened to the Spyder?  It disappeared!  When being shipped from Miami to LA, it just disappeared!  Wright says, " When the boxcar arrived and was opened, the crate was there, but no car. No one knows what happened to infamous automobile."

I cannot find any comments by King about Christine and any influence James Dean's car or the movie Rebel Without A Cause might have played in the formation of the novel itself.

What 21st Century King Novel Is A Must Read?

I liked GQ's list, "10 books from the 21st century every man should read" because it did not guilt me about needing to read War and Peace before I die.  

The article says, "Anyone who's been handed a high school diploma can tick off the classic novels from the twentieth century: The Great Gatsby, A Farewell to Arms, The Grapes of Wrath. But cross into this millennium and things are suddenly murkier, Kindle-ier, less classed up with age. Then again, it's been an affirming thirteen years, enough time to breed a whole new body of post-2000 lit we're happy to call the new classics—and we're not afraid to name names." 

So here's their list:
  • The Corrections
  • The Human Stain
  • The Road
  • White Teeth
  • The History of the Kelly Gang
  • 2666
  • Tree Of Smoke
  • Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
  • Fortress Of Solitude
  • Pastoralia
The full GQ article is HERE.

But wait. . . HOLD ON!  No Stephen King?  Nothing since 2000 is a "must read" for guys?

I'll put it to you.  Which novel since Y2K is a must read for guys?
2000, The Green Mile (complete novel)
2001, Dreamcatcher
2002, Blach House
2002, From A Buick 8
2003, The Gunslinger Revised
2003, The Wolves Of The Calla
2003, The Song of Susannah
2004, The Dark Tower
2005, The Colorado Kid
2006, Cell
2006, Lisey's Story
2008, Duma Key
2009, Under The Dome
2010, Full Dark, No Stars
2011, 11/22/63
In my opinion: 11/22/63 is a must read.  King does more than simply give us a good story, he takes us back in time.  He returns us to the Kennedy Years.  He doesn't just shovel a pile of history at us, he takes us by the hand and walks us into an era many of us never experienced.  No kidding, I really do think this is a must read!

CARS Christine

I think with all the talk about Carrie lately -- another book with a woman's name might be getting a bit jealous.

This is just to get you in the mood for Monday's  post. . . Christine and Rebel Without A Cause.

JJ Abrams Options 11.22.63

DEADLINE reports that J.J. Abrams‘ Bad Robot is in negotiations for the rights 11/22/63.

Nellie Andreeva says that the plan is to adapt the book as a TV series or miniseries -- possibly for cable.

Andreeva writes, "Bad Robot, which received an early renewal for NBC’s Revolution earlier today, had been looking to expand its TV business to cable. In addition to Revolution, the company has CBS drama Person Of Interest also renewed for next season. The deal for 11/22/63 comes on the heels of CBS’ green light for a drama series based on King’s novel Under The Dome, which will air this summer."

The full article is at DEADLINE.COM

REDRUM the game

Redrum is murder spelled backward. It is also the name of a new selection of mystery games.  I found it at Target.  As far as I know, Redrum was not used as a popular term until The Shining.  I believe King totally made it up.  Interesting to see it appearing on Non-King products. gives the following description:
"""An Eerie Hidden Object Collection
Includes 4 Games: Dead Diary, Time Lies, Curse of the Witch Crow, and the Flying Dutchman.

Dead Diary - Help solve a series of grisly murders and put an end to Dr. Fraud’s twisted experiments.

Time Lies Track down evil Dr. Fraud to end his terrible crimes and free the souls of the victims and put an end to their nightmares!

PLUS Bonus Games:
- Curse of the Witch Crow
- The Flying Dutchman"""
  • Release Date: March 9, 2012
  • Platform:PC Games

King Gives Large Gift To Gun Control Advocates

Stephen King has made  passionately expressed his opinions about gun control in his essay "Guns." According to The Guardian, King has made a "substantial" donation to a The Coalition for a Safer Maine.  According to the Guardian,
The group supports legislation calling for greater background checks on gun owners, a ban on the size of magazines that can be sold and a strengthening of the prohibition of the sale of guns to those judged to be mentally ill.
The Guardian also notes:
It said in a statement on its website that it had received a "substantial donation" from King and his wife (and fellow author) Tabitha King, and that the couple backed its support of gun control legislation. 
"We are grateful for the generous support of Mr and Mrs King at this pivotal moment in our efforts to establish common-sense gun regulations in Maine," said Larry Gilbert, former mayor of Lewiston, former federal marshal and co-chair of the Coalition for a Safer Maine.

THINNER on top 10 list of Weight Loss films

411 Mania has put together a list of the top 10 weight loss films.  Which Stephen King films deserves to sip onto this list?  Well, none other than that wonderful film -- Thinner!  He, skip The Firm and watch Thinner.  I'll admit, it worked for me -- I didn't want to eat for a couple days after watching it.

Mike Gorman writes about Thinner:

In Stephen King's Thinner, we meet a successful defense attorney who is winning in every facet of his life except for his battle of the bulge. He gets every client off even if they don't deserve it. Eventually though he learns that there are consequences to his behavior when a gypsy curse's him with the word, "thinner." Soon he finds weight loss success that knows no boundaries. I chose this film because it brings to life the old adage, "Be careful what you wish for!" A weight loss journey is not just about wanting to be thinner, although it can often feel that way. Thinner is a great reminder to keep an eye on the big picture.

See the full list HERE

UK Carrie Poster posted this interesting UK poster for the upcoming Carrie with this note:
As excitement continues to rise for the anticipated horror remake of "Carrie," Empire released a new UK poster for the gruesome flick this morning (April 24). 

Underrated Stephen King Novels

Just so we all understand, by underrated I mean overlooked.  These are the books I think were actually pretty good -- if not great  -- novels that are so often just overlooked.

Here are the five most underrated (in my opinion) -- offer your own list.  I love it!

5. Christine.  When released, this novel was overshadowed by the publication of Pet Sematary.  Also, there is the awkward situation with the change in narration --1st person to 3rd person to 1st person.  But don't let a little issue of point of view keep  you from this truly gruesome novel!  It's good stuff, trust me.  (talkstephenking : CHRISTINE Journal)

4. Dolores Claiborne.  I think this is King at his best!  Yet, it seems to just fall in the pile with other books when King discussions come around.  Why?  This book is as tightly woven as a Ken Follett spy novel and as rich as a Dickens character drama.  The first person narration that drives  this story is so strong, it's hard for me to believe King wrote this and not a female.

Now, there is a pretty good movie and play about the book.  But still, I don't sense that people really appreciate just how well told this story is.

3. The Langoliers. This one suffers from bad press because of bad Hollywood!  A novella stretched into a mini-series turned into total mind-numbing boredom.  However, the story is great.  I found it to be a page  turner, anxious to find out what  had happened.

2. The Sun Dog.  Is this one great writing?  Maybe not.  But it's a good story -- very Twilight Zoneish.  I liked it a lot, but never hear much about it.

1. The MOST underrated? --  Needful Things.  

Needful things is creepy, all out gory and well told.  In fact, it's very well told!  Interconnecting plots, great characters and gutsy story telling keep this thick novel moving.  King has said he saw it as a parable of the 80's.  I didn't see that.  Honestly, I just saw  a really good novel!  The book is held together by a very bad man and a very good Sheriff.  Needful things has some of the scariest scenes I've ever encountered in a book.  When the two women have a knife fight in broad daylight right in the middle of the road. . . that's getting pretty crazy!

The end of Needful Things was not as strong as the rest of the novel.  I liked the fight and all the bits King pulled together  there; but Pangborn being confronted with video of his wife's death seemed out of place.

What really drives this story -- as with any good King story -- are great characters.  Much like in Tommyknockers, this is the story of an entire town becoming possessed.  We see various addictions formed as people get what  they think they want.  Want to make love to Elvis?  Want to spend your time betting over a toy racetrack?  Need a sure cure to that terrible arthritis?  Needful Things has it all.

What really hurt  Needful things was the terrible screen adaptation.  Fans should be screaming for a recall!  The movie started great, but went downhill quickly.  Unfortunately, I suspect many think they know the book by the movie.

Your turn!  What King novels (or novella's) just don't get their deserved press?

CARRIE stills

Here are two new stills from the upcoming CARRIE movie. Spotted first at



Is There A Stephen King Book You Don't Like?

Could it be?  Are there some books King fans just don't really like?  Well, when an author is as prolific as Stephen King, there is lots of room for some all time favorites and some big time losers.

Least favorite King books:
1. Lisey's Story. (Did not complete)
2. Roadwork.  (Did not complete.)
3. Cell.  (But I want to like cell.  I really want to like it!)
4. Gerald's Game. 

Is it fair to list books I didn't even finish reading?  Probably not.  So my list is an unfair list!  I have tried, more than onc, to dig into Lisey's Story.  I'm sure it is a good book -- it just doesn't connect for  me.

Book others seem to hate, but I like: Tommyknockers!  But it's been a long time since I read it and I remember very little! 

My least favorites books of all time (Non King)
First of all, I'm not including politics and relgion.  I've read a LOT  of books on religion by Mr. Dawkins and the like that I totally disagree with. 

Second, I notice most books I don't like are from authors I do.  I love Ken Follett's historical novels,  but nod off when he does spy thrillers. 

1. David Copperfield.  I don't get it.  Nothing happens!  IT's a book without a plot.  I think you should all question the judgment from here forward of someone who does not understand David Copperfield.  But pass no judgment until you've read it.  Give m Great Expectations any day!

2. The Beast Within.  It's so bad I couldn't believe it actually made it to print.  I bought a hardcover  just to encourage me -- if this guy could get published, then any of us can!  And, tey made it into a movie.

3. Darkness on the edge of town.  Everyone said it would be like the Mist or Under the Dome.  It was mostly about druggies who. . . surprise surprise. . . have a lot of bad ideas and get a lot of people killed.  I'm done reading books where some homeless guy actually understands the inner-workings of the universe!

4. Baal  I like Robert Mccammon a lot.  I'm not so sure I like Baal a lot.  I think I prefer Swan Song and after when it comes to Mccammon.  Boys Life is great.

5. The Partner.  Once again, an  author I like (Grisham). . . a book I didn't!

NOW. . . tomorrow I will post: The 5 Most Underrated Stephen King books.

Tell me:
1. What is your least favorite Stephen King book.  We all reserve the right to pass judgment and shame upon you for disliking a King book.
2. What is your least favorite non-King novels?

CARRIE. . . What's new?

Fansided posted today, "Carrie Remake 2013: Alternate Destinies For Stephen King’s Prom Queen."  After going through the normal details of the story, familiar plot turns we all know well by now,  Jas Faulkner offers a few suggested -- an unexpected endings.
"Okay, let’s say you didn’t know and you thought maybe Carrie would go home, pin her mom to the ceiling, pack her bags and walk off in the glow of the burning high school, muttering “Sucks to be y’all.” The credits roll. She gets a job in a call center for DirecTV and enrolls in community college, then: 
(This is where you pick your adventure.) 
1.) Gimme some rope
Tie me to dream…
Carrie is seated next to her friend, Britta, when a smarmy thirty-something disbarred lawyer hits on Britta. She shoots him down, and then makes a play for Carrie. She telepathically squeezes body parts on the guy until he sounds like Minnie Mouse and then asks him if he wants to join their study group. He nods, she releases her grip, and he weeps in gratitude as she stipulates that he do their homework and provide cheat sheets to the tests for the rest of the semester.
Check out the rest of the suggested alternate endings HERE.

Collecting As Investment

Ed Lin at Penda Daily posted an article I really enjoyed  titled, "Making a killing off  Stephen King." (

Lin addresses special editions as investments.  Do  you think of your collection as an investment?  I have thought how difficult it would be to break my collection down and sell each piece on ebay.

Cemetery Dance sold the signed limited edition of Doctor Sleep for $2,500 with a print run of 52 books.  Even at that steep price, it sold out in 75 minutes.  Lin puts the pieces together, adding up that readers paid a total of $130,000 on PRE-ORDERS!  Pre-orders create lots of anticipation -- and sometimes you even forget what you bought.  I ordered a book called "Scream Plays" YEARS ago -- and am yet waiting.

Selling such nicely produced books with a very small print run creates what Lin calls a "instant rarity."

Lin writes:
“We’ve been publishing limited editions in the 500-to-2,000 copy range since 1992, and the market has stayed fairly strong even when the economy hasn’t been chugging along,” says Brian James Freeman, the managing editor. “We have witnessed other presses come and go over the years, but we have a strong base of collectors who have seen us through good times and bad.”

No matter what Freeman says about customers seeing CD through good times and bad, no one is buying books just to keep the publisher in business!  They are selling books because  they are producing something buyers want: A high quality product that is instantly rare by a beloved author.

Now, I have a first edition of The Shining, and was anxious for the Doctor Sleep signed editions to be offered.  However, when I saw the price of the signed editions (just the signed ones came to something like $350) I could not justify it.  I could afford it -- but I couldn't justify it.  Kids to send to camp, dance costumes to  buy. . . and I want a $350 book.  What's different about it?  King signed it.  Is a signature worth it?  I would argue not.  I own one item signed by King (Under the Dome), and that's enough for me.  (See my article:  Signed Books, Do They Matter? talkstephenking)

HOWEVER. . . if you are collecting to SELL, Lin points out that signatures might be well worth it!

By the way, I love special editions!  I think the IT edition by King was fantastic.  Also Full Dark  No Stars was a great production.  Simply put, buyers purchase from CD because they keep swinging home runs.

Lin offers the following "rough" guidelines for collecting special editions:

  • Sign up for the publishers’ email lists.
  • Acquire all the titles in a series. 
  • Buy books that you would truly enjoy owning.
The full article is HERE.

Does THINNER Work?

I'm loving James Smythe's "re-reading Stephen King" series. His most recent entry is the Bachman novel, Thinner.  Smythe subtitles the article, "The last time Richard Bachman and Stephen King were thought to be different writers, and King's signature is becoming ever clearer in its story."  That is quite true.
Smythe's article can be found
Smythe writes,
What made a book Bachman rather than King? Was erring closer to King's usual output here some deep-level subconscious version of self-sabotage? Of wanting to be found out? Of wanting to be able to claim these books as his own again?
Smythe notes that King had previously done a nice job with unlikeable protagonists, including Carrie and Jack Torrance, but Smythe can't find anything redeemable about that Halleck --and that "makes reading the novel relatively tough."

Is it tough for the main character in a story to be truly rotten?  I don't know.  I'm watching House of Cards on netflix, and there's not much redeemable about the main character!  Thinner is dark for other reasons.  Smythe discusses the supernatural elements of Thinner as being more King than Bachman.

What breaks the book for me?  Plotting.  It doesn't work.  Thinner twists and turns with plot twists that aren't always logical.  More bluntly, Thinner feels forced to me.  The ending in particular feels like an end that King wanted to get us to.  Twilight Zoneish as it may be, it didn't feel natural to the flow of the story.  King is forcing the plot, not letting the story itself take its natural turns.

That said, I might ask: What would a more plausible ending to Thinner be?

Under the Dome "No Way Out" Teaser

Stephen King Focus of Local Musical "The Opera House of Blood"

This is from

Joseph Field of Bangor admits on his youtube channel that he's a "non-musician, playing musical instruments, singing non-musically," but that hasn't stopped him from producing a collection of video demos for a musical about famed horror-writer, Stephen King. Entitled, THE OPERA HOUSE OF BLOOD, the musical "...tells the story of Stephen King coming face-to-face with the terrors he's created...and when the author comes home to a ceremony honoring his lifetime achievements, all Hell breaks loose at the Bangor Opera House. Literally." With musical numbers like The Troop Greeters vs Stephen King, Beep Beep, Richie!, and the above video Bath Salts Zombies (featuring art by Pigeon & Leadbetters on Hammond Street), the musical is sure

Stephen and Owen King To Discuss Writing In October

photo credit:

PEN Canada announced that Stephen King will discuss writing his son Owen King.  They are the opening feature for  the 34th International Festival of Authors.  The event  is Thursday, October 24th, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. in the Fleck Dance Theatre at Harbourfront Centre.  The article also notes  that award-winning mystery writer Louise Penny will moderate the discussion.

“We are thrilled that Stephen and Owen King are supporting the work of PEN,” said Charlie Foran, President, PEN Canada. “The evening promises to be a rare glimpse of an intimate father-son conversation about life and art.”
Stephen King will present his new novel, Doctor Sleep, which returns to the characters and the territory of his first best-selling hardcover novel, The Shining, including the now middle-aged Dan Torrance. Owen King will present his debut novel, Double Feature, which explores the creative life and the complicated relationship between a B-movie actor and his filmmaking son.

Under The Dome Creates Small School Panic

photo credit:

Perez Hilton posted on April 14 that filming of Under The Dome caused a 20 minute  lock down at Wilmington's Pine Valley Elementary School.

Hilton writes:
A TV adaptation of the author's sci-fi/horror tale Under the Dome is currently in production in Wilmington, North Carolina, and apparently, the CBS show's crew neglected to inform an elementary school a few hundred yards away from their set that they were filming a scene that involved a fake gunfight!
So when shots rang out, the nearby students and teachers enjoying recess close-by after their lunch feared for the worse, rushed everyone back inside, and a deputy on duty at the school put the entire student body in lockdown for 20 minutes, until they realized it was a false alarm!
The full article is at

TMZ (Hilton's source) notes, "The script called for a gunfight with all the sights and sounds. Problem is, the midday Tuesday shoot was filmed in a park just a few hundred yards from the Pine Valley Elementary School in Wilmington, N.C. ... and it sent everyone there into a blind panic."  (

Stephen King surrounded

photo credit: iamaconstantreader.tumblr

I like this picture!  Of course, if he  never finishes his next book -- we'll all be wondring which of them got him.  Looks to me like Cujo has the best shot.

Double Feature SIGNED

This is cool -- Cemetery Dance has copies of Owen King's novel, Double Feature for $26.00.  That's. . . REALLY GOOD!

Fellow King blogger, Bryant Burnette asked Owen King about all the B-movie plots he had to make up as part of Double feature.  King said,
The challenge of the made-up films was to make sure that they made sense in their respective milieus - i.e. B-movies or indies or avant garde or mainstream or whatever. It was definitely fun, though, and probably the part of the novel where I was most able to let my imagination run wild. (Much of the pleasure, from my standpoint, is that they're just brief descriptions. Actually drawing stuff out - i.e. turning a story into prose - is what makes writing fiction so agonizing!)  (
Here's the announcement from Cemetery Dance:

Double Feature by Owen King
Signed Trade Hardcover Edition!
Publisher: Scribner
Format: Trade Hardcover
Publication Date: March 2013
Trade Hardcover: $26.00

Note for Collectors:
Owen King has generously agreed to sign copies of the trade hardcover for our collectors, so this is a preorder.

About the Book:

SAM DOLAN is a young man coming to terms with his life in the process and aftermath of making his first film. He has a difficult relationship with his father, B-movie actor Booth Dolan—a boisterous, opinionated, lying lothario whose screen legacy falls somewhere between cult hero and pathetic. Allie, Sam’s dearly departed mother, was a woman whose only fault, in Sam’s eyes, was her eternal affection for his father. Also included in the cast of indelible characters: a precocious, frequently violent half-sister; a conspiracy-theorist second wife; an Internet-famous roommate; a contractor who can’t stop expanding his house; a happy-go-lucky college girlfriend and her husband, a retired Yankees catcher; the morose producer of a true-crime show; and a slouching indie-film legend. Not to mention a tragic sex monster.

Unraveling the tumultuous, decades-spanning story of the Dolan family’s friends, lovers, and adversaries, Double Feature is about letting go of everything—regret, resentment, dignity, moving pictures, the dead—and taking it again from the top. Against the backdrop of indie filmmaking, college campus life, contemporary Brooklyn, and upstate New York, Owen King’s epic debut novel combines propulsive storytelling with mordant wit and brims with a deep understanding of the trials of ambition and art, of relationships and life, and of our attempts to survive it all.

Will You Be Spooked At The Stanley Film Festival

The Stanley Hotel is debuting the Stanley Film Festival May 2-5.

What is the Stanley Film Festival? contributor Claudia Carbone explains that it is a "A full slate of films, panels, student competitions, audience awards and parties are on tap, with all events at the hotel."

Hold on!  The Stanley Hotel is hosting a film festival?!  HOW COOL IS THAT?  Yes, I knew about this -- but somehow the sheer coolness of it hadn't sunk in.

One of the films to be featured is Room 237

Carbone writes:
A fitting venue for the horror film genre, the Stanley Hotel enjoys its reputation for being the inspiration for Stephen King's book The Shining and the location for the TV mini series based on the book. And, the historic hotel is rumored to be haunted since its opening in 1909. Visitors flock to the iconic hotel six miles from Rocky Mountain National Park to take the haunted tours, learn of its fascinating history, dine at its gourmet restaurant, and enjoy its old world charm in overnight stays.

Carbone quotes Festival Director Jenny Bloom, “It’s an honor to join the Stanley Film Festival team in its inaugural year and build a prestigious cinematic event specifically for the horror genre. The Stanley Hotel's history with Hollywood and real paranormal activity makes it such a natural fit for an annual celebration of film."

  • 100 BLOODY ACRES: A trio of fun-loving tourists on their way to a music festival fall into the hands of two crazed brothers with sinister plans in this madcap comedy about trying to survive.
  • AFTERSHOCK: Modern horror maestro Eli Roth co-wrote, produces and stars as a mopey tourist whose wild vacation in Chile turns gruesome. Ravaged by a vicious earthquake, he and his friends desperately struggle to survive a living nightmare. Closing Night film with Eli Roth in-person. 
  • ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE: Resurrected after a several year hiatus, this legendary splatter-fest is finally making its way back to the big screen. When the most sought after girl in school is invited to a weekend outing with friends on a secluded farm, a mysterious suitor begins to pick off the other boys one by one.
  • BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO: Winner of five British Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Actor, this creepy love letter to the classic “Giallo” period details the complications befalling a motion picture sound designer as he quietly descends into madness.
  • BIG BAD WOLVES: An obsessed cop, and the father of a victim take justice into their own hands when they capture a suspected killer of children. In their genre-bending follow-up to Israel’s first horror film Rabies, Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado explore an unimaginable terror.
  • BLACK ROCK: Three childhood friends have their weekend getaway on a secluded island transformed into a brutal game of cat-and-mouse with a trio of trained predators. Katie Aselton (The Freebie, star of “The League”) directs from a script by husband Mark Duplass.
  • Bobby Yeah: Bobby Yeah is a petty thug who lightens his miserable existence by brawling and thieving stuff. When he steals the favorite pet of some very dangerous individuals, he finds himself in deep trouble. 
  • Broken: Sarah is haunted by a tragic accident that leaves her fighting between reality and the terror in her mind. Part of the Stanley Dean’s Cup Student Competition Submitted by University of Colorado Denver
  • Broken Things: This dark fairy tale, blending live action and stop motion, explores what happens when misfits fights back. Part of the Stanley Dean’s Cup Student Competition Submitted by University of Colorado Denver
  • Bydlo: An allegory of mankind heading for disaster, Bydlo is a tragic vision inspired by Mussorgsky’s music. 
  • CABIN FEVER: The inaugural Stanley Film Festival Visionary award recipient Eli Roth will present his directorial debut. This modern horror classic centers on a group of college graduates who rent a cabin in the woods, only to fall victim to a flesh-eating virus. Eli Roth in Person
  • Dance Till You Drop: The Girl is a newly single dancer that is tasked to watch her best friend’s house. After deciding the place needs a clean, she cranks up the tunes and decides to show off her nifty moves. And that’s when things get really weird. 
  • FRANKENSTEIN’S ARMY: Near the end of World War II, a platoon of Russian soldiers are given a secret mission that leads them into the lair of a Nazi mad scientist and his frightening creations in this cinematically inventive take on the monster movie. 
  • Haunted Castle: For our very first festival, we proudly present the very first horror film in recorded history. Master of silent cinema Georges Melies directs for your enjoyment. 
  • Haunted Love: Jane and John explore the subtle – almost tortured – feelings they hold for each other. 
  • Hell No: Hell No is a short movie trailer that explores what would happen in horror movies if smart characters made quality logical decisions. Spoiler alert: everyone lives. 
  • HENGE: Following treatment for violent spells, a young man returns home to his loving wife. But as his seizures intensify, it becomes clear something inside him is trying to get out. Part domestic drama, part sci-fi thriller, this ambitious micro-budget tragedy heralds the arrival of a bright new talent
  • HENLEY: Meet nine-year-old Ted Henley, budding motel manager and roadkill entrepreneur. 
  • Here After: A young girl investigates an ghostly apparition in a fimilar locale, The Stanley Hotel. Part of the Stanley Dean’s Cup Student Competition Submitted by Art Institute of Colorado
  • HERE COMES THE DEVIL: Argentine director Adrían García Bogliano (Cold Sweat, Penumbra) returns with a shockingly gory erotic horror film about a couple whose children mysteriously disappear while on vacation in Mexico.
  • Hundred Waters “Boreal”: Hundreds of years before the first Europeans land in Florida, a young Tequesta boy goes hunting in the Everglades. Meanwhile, his prey longs for deeper fulfillment. 
  • IN: A man is asked by a friend to retrieve something lost inside a train tunnel where an unknown terror lies in wait. 
  • In Hanford: This heartbreaking true story of a town poisoned by Cold War–era nuclear-arms manufacture is told through firsthand accounts and fantasy scenes, which empathize with the victim’s plight. 
  • Lazarov: Refusing to accept the decline of the U.S.S.R., a handful of Russian scientists work secretly to resurrect Soviet power through the mysterious program Lazarov. 
  • Legend: Claudia, a ten-year-old girl, leaves with her family to spend the weekend out of town. At an abandoned gas station, the appearance of a strange woman will reveal her true fate.
  • Macabre: A group of friends traveling together are lured to a house of evil run by an ageless matron and her bloodthirsty offspring. The rarely seen directorial debut of Indonesian horror-hounds The Mo Brothers delivers carnage in spades.
  • MANIAC: Elijah Wood shines in this remake of the horror classic about a psychotic stalker with a habit of scalping his objects of desire. Reimagined in mostly point-of-view shots, this revolutionary horror hit from Cannes is part camp, part art and all fear.
  • Meadowcroft: After a failed suicide attempt, a depressed teen seeks the help of a former classmate, Charlie Meadowcroft. Part of the Stanley Dean’s Cup Student Competition Submitted by University of Colorado Denver
  • No One Lives: Gore master Ryûhei Kitamura (VERSUS, THE MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN) tells the story of a brutal gang of thieves who get more than they bargained when they attempt a typical highway robbery of what appears to be an average vacationing couple. 
  • Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise: Terrifying and strange happenings descend on a 1970’s high school. 
  • Peak of Terror: When a Monster terrorizes a small town a woman must confront her past to protect the people she loves. Part of the Stanley Dean’s Cup Student Competition Submitted by Colorado Film School
  • Pet Peeves: Is a film about Victor, a cereal killer thats motivation for murder is based on her P.e.t P.e.e.v.e.s. Part of the Stanley Dean’s Cup Student Competition Submitted by University of Colorado Denver
  • ROOM 237: In 1980 Stanley Kubrick released his classic horror film, The Shining. Over 30 years later, viewers are still struggling to understand its hidden meanings. A wild exploration into the heart of obsession, this cinematic essay is one that you will want to see at The Stanley Hotel. Filmmaker in Person
  • Shorts Program I: This program contains the following films: THE APOCALYPSE DIRECTOR Andrew Zuchero Four uninspired friends try to come up with a terrific idea for how to spend their Saturday afternoon. HUNDRED WATERS “BOREAL” Director Lucas Leyva & Jillian Mayer Hundreds of years before the first Europeans land in Florida, a young Tequesta boy goes hunting in the...
  • Shorts Program II: This program contains the following films: IN DIRECTOR Adam Berg A man is asked by a friend to retrieve something lost inside a train tunnel where an unknown terror lies in wait. Hell No DIRECTOR Joe Nicolosi HELL NO is a short movie trailer that explores what would happen in horror movies if smart characters made...
  • SIGHTSEERS: Ben Wheatley, director of the cult hit KILL LIST, returns with this hilarious horror comedy about a couple vacationing in rural England who can’t seem to shake the series of graphic deaths that follow them wherever they go. 
  • The Apocalypse: Four uninspired friends try to come up with a terrific idea for how to spend their Saturday afternoon. 
  • The Bungled Child: There’s nothing easy about mending a bungled child. 
  • The Cub: Wolves make the best parents. 
  • The Event: Love and a severed foot at the end of the world. 
  • The Purge: In the near future, a daring new edict keeps the nation safe. Called simply The Purge, it is a 24 hour release from all laws. When vicious outsiders break into an innocent family’s home on the one night that crime is legal each year, everyone will find out how far they would go to protect...
  • THE RAMBLER: Director Calvin Lee Reeder (The Oregonian) utilizes his unique style of psychological horror and surrealism to adapt his acclaimed short about the man known only as “The Rambler” and his bizarre journey through the back roads of America. 
  • The Root of the Problem: In the candy-colored world of 1950s suburbia, a reluctant young housewife suspects that the friendly neighborhood dentist is hiding a horrible secret. Is it just the anesthesia at work, or is there something more sinister hiding below the surface? 
  • The Unliving: Thirty years after a zombie outbreak, people are taming the undead and using them as cheap labour. Katrine catches ‘em and Mark lobotomizes’em. They’re an awesome team, but work is starting to bleed into their relationship. 
  • Thumb Snatchers from the Moon Cocoon: A Texas Sheriff uses his cowboy logic to recklessly defeat a race of thumb-snatching, cocoon dwelling robo critters. 
  • TOWER BLOCK: When bullets start flying into an isolated tenement building, no one is safe from the faceless shooter who has trapped the residents there for reasons unknown. The traditional slasher film is taken to its extreme in this taut psychological thriller.
  • Two Fingers "Vengeance Rhythm": This is the story of a very very angry teddy bear. 
  • V/H/S/2 : The latest installment to last year’s successful found-footage short anthology series aims higher, bigger and scarier with new visions from the deranged minds behind some of independent genre’s finest offerings (The Blair Witch Project, The Raid, Hobo with a Shotgun, You’re Next).
  • VANISHING WAVES: A hypnotic, erotic, and wildly thought-provoking cinematic odyssey into the unknown realms of the mind, this operatic sci-fi vision highlights the development of a strong psychic link between two patients in an experiment gone awry.
  • When The Zombies Come: At a remote hardware store, fans of the walking dead have turned their love of zombies into an obsession, warping the way they see the store and its customers. 
  • WITHER: In the grand tradition of EVIL DEAD and it’s progeny, this tale of a group of vacationing friends who encounter an infectious creature from the unknown delivers on the gore in this impressively made low budget screamfest.
  • Yellow: A reclusive older man is on the hunt for a vicious serial killer in neon-lit Berlin in this neo Giallo short by Jon Britt and Ryan Haysom.

King ON Shining Prequel, I Would Be Just As Happy If It Didn't Happen

With recent news  that the Overlook, a prequel to The Shining, might actually become a reality -- many of us are interested in Stephen King's reaction.

Uncle Creepy at Dread Central posted the following from King (via EW),
"I’m not saying I would put a stop to the project because I’m sort of a nice guy," King tells Entertainment Weekly. "When I was a kid, my mother said, ‘Stephen if you were a girl, you’d always be pregnant.’ I have a tendency to let people develop things. I’m always curious to see what will happen. But you know what? I would be just as happy if it didn’t happen."

The Cujo We Love

Now that's a Good dog!

Hey Hollywood. . . this is the Cujo we love. . . don't mess with it.  Don't rethink it.  Don't reinterpret it.  Don't re-imagine it.  Don't "re-tell" it.

Sun Classic Pictures posted on their website:

Scary Breaking Bad Fan

Dean Norris tweeted from the set of Under The Dome On CBS: "A VERY scary Breaking Bad fan. Oh, he also writes stuff #icon #stephenking #awesomeguy"

from King's facebook page ( OfficialStephenKing)

LAWSON: 'The Shining' Prequel Is the Problem with Prequels

photo credit:

Strange things are happening with The Shining.  Thus the strange picture!  What do ya'all think of it?

Richard Lawson at the Atlantic summed up my own feelings toward the plans to make a Prequel to The Shining.

Responding to news that Glen Mazzara of The Walking Dead is set to write the script for The Overlook Hotel, Lawson writes:

What's worse: The unnecessary sequel? The unnecessary remake? May I submit that in fact the unnecessary prequel does the job of both, simultaneously adding to a story that didn't need adding to, just as a sequel does, and managing to oddly reinvent the world of the original, just like a bad remake would. Look no further for an example than the ultimate terrible prequels, Star Wars I-III, which were not only bad movies in their own right but, boy, did they do a number on the original trilogy. A bad prequel can wreak a lot of havoc. And so when we hear news that the whispered-about prequel to The Shining is chugging along, with Warner Bros. hiring a writer, it bears taking a moment to yell: No
YES!  That summed it up well.  I did not enjoy the Star Wars prequels at all.  I watched a documentary called "The People v. George Lucas" in which some fans said Lucas had ruined their lives.  Well, the prequels neither ruined my life nor made me love the originals any less. And, in my opinion -- they got better.  That is, until Darth Vader cried, "nooooooo!"  Really, Darth, really.

Lawson gives us an important reminder.  The prequel to The Shining will be a prequel to the Kubrick version of the film, not the King story.  Kinda sad, because as I pointed out earlier, King's own prequel in "Before the play" was quite good.  Kubrick's story was all together another story -- like something that happened in a parallel universe.

Lawson suggested, "So this prequel would exist more in Kubrick's world than in King's, though the prequel material would theoretically be based on a prologue written by King that was eventually cut from the book."  I'm not so sure of that.  The only reason to say it's based on the Kubrick film is to say that they are going in a whole new direction.  The only real back story that the Kubrick film offered was the idea that Jack had "always" been the caretaker.  Certainly not an idea King had worked with at all.

Of course The Shining had everyone scratching their heads at points -- but I wonder if we really want answers. Lawson again sums it up well, saying, "While something of an interesting thought experiment — why is Jack Torrance in that photo from 1921? — I'm not sure we really need a whole movie based on the idea of the pre-Shining hotel."  That's right!

The full story is at

Cujo and The Shining Back To Hollywood

photo credit:
Today the Hollywood Reporter posted that Glen Mazzara is "in negotiations to pen the screenplay" to a project called "Overlook Hotel."  The story will serve as a prequel to The Shining.  This was actually hard for me to imagine until I read Stephen King's original opening to The Shining called "Before The Play."  An edited version appeared in TV guide.  (talkstephenking.blogspot. before the play)

My favorite website, Lilja's Library, posted this news:
Lang Elliott, President & CEO of Sunn Classic Pictures, Inc., announced that Sunn plans to produce the remake of “CUJO” this year representing the 30th Anniversary since Sunn produced and distributed the original “CUJO” motion picture in l983, based upon Stephen King’s novel. The l983 version was highly successful at the worldwide box-office and, compared with today’s inflation and higher ticket prices, the box-office would be well over $225 million even without ancillary sales (i.e., DVD, cable, free television, pay-per-view, etc.).
Of course, the big question is -- why?  Cujo was a good book, and a better movie.  Could a remake be better  than the original?  Carrie could justify a remake because the original deviated so far from the book -- though it was great.  But Cujo actually made the story better!  If Sunn wants to drop money on a Stephen King project, how about CELL, The Sun Dog, From a Buick 8. Or how about a remake of The Runningman.

King films that need a remake:

  • The Runningman
  • Langoliers
  • Desperation
  • Needful Things (mini-series please)
  • IT
  • Firestarter
  • Dreamcatcher
Some projects you hope will just go away. . . like Children of the Corn.  

What King movies would you like to see remade?

King: Writing Is What God Put Me On Earth To Do

I enjoyed this 1981 PEOPLE magazine article, titled, "For Years, Stephen King's Firestarter Was Wife Tabitha; Now She Burns to Write, Too." (
What's kind of cool about old dated articles is you see how they come out.  Often you read a magazine just a few years old, and the couples have broken up and the love is gone.  But when love endures the story is more interesting.

Here's an interesting quote:
The marriage is built upon a healthy combination of respect and friendly give-and-take. "We have a pact not to argue about drinking, hair and dope," says Tabby, but everything else is fair game.
We know now that Tabby would eventually step in and force King to make some hard decisions.  Consider this: If she had not stepped in, think how messed up he would have been.  So in a way -- all you dark tower freaks -- she saved the Dark Tower.

This article actually sent me searching for my copy of Tabitha King's Small World.  No, I did not find it right away.  No, I have not read it.  But it sounds interesting -- "a fantasy about a mad scientist and his minimizer."

I like this:
Both concede that Small World's sales have been boosted by the fact that Tabby is Steve's wife. "I put 10 years into helping his career," she reasons, "so if his name helps me with mine, I think it's legitimate." 
When the article was written (and I think this is still true) the King's saw writing very differently.
But Tabby says that "writing is only the frosting on my cake. I'm whole without it." For Steve it is different. "If I weren't writing," he admits, "I might be like that guy in the Texas tower. Writing is what God put me on earth to do."
By the way, we know that during the time that this article was written, King was working hard on a book called Cannibals.  

BURNETTE: Interview With Owen King

WOW!  Big time congrats to my friend Bryant Burnette for getting to interview Owen King.  Check it out at

Burnette does a really good job discussing Owen King's work, and not bugging him for details about his famous dad!  The interview is serious and fun -- and at times over my head since I haven't read a lot of Owen King yet.

Here's an interesting question that I too had wondered about when I read the synopsis of Double Feature:

Burnette: You've mentioned in other interviews that the novel was to some degree sparked by the desire to explore the life of someone who'd become famous for something they didn't want to be famous for (not unlike Internet celebrities like the "Star Wars kid"). The end result is a very empathetic novel, in which we see and experience from Sam's vantage point what it would be like to have that sort of thing happen. Did your ideas about that sort of fame and celebrity change or evolve at all during the writing of the novel, or did you wind up at essentially the place you expected to wind up? 
Owen King: In a lot of ways, the reason I wrote the book was to figure out how I felt about that weird, upside down brand of fame. With that in mind, I'm leery of spelling out my conclusions. I don't want to step on anyone's interpretation. I should say, though, that, ultimately, the novel keys on Sam as a character. It's not so much about how I feel about that weird, upside down brand of fame, and more about how he feels about it - and how his feelings change.

MANN "You Can't Kill Stephen King" Headed To NETFLIX

Here is an interview with Monroe Mann about the feature film You Can't Kill Stephen King! - The Movie.  Mann explained on his FB page that it is from last month at the New York County Lawyer's Association Entertainment Law Panel, "where I had the pleasure of being one of the five panelists."

Asked where in the US, he said, "Definitely Netflix, Red Box, Walmart  Cable, Pay per view.  Fans who want to see it will have many opportunities to do so."

Under The Dome Promo

CLUB STEPHEN KING: Richard Bachman Check

I enjoyed this article from my friends at club Stephen King about Richard Bachman.  The website is in French, but both google  and Bing will translate it just fine.  So here's something cool  I didn't know:
In 1994, nine years after his death, when his widow was preparing to move, she discovered a box of manuscript in the basement.It contained a number of novels and short stories, more or less finalized. The most complete was a novel called regulators . Claudia took the manuscript to the former editor Richard Bachman , Charles Verrill, who found that the book was a continuation of his previous books. After a few minor changes and with the permission of the widow Bachman (now Claudia Eschelman) Regulators was published in September 1996, and in October of the same year, the novel skin and bones became a Paramount film Pictures. [At the same time that the output Regulators , Stephen King published Desolation novel protanogistes comprising the same, but a different story. Similarly, the book covers are set side by side full artwork.] 
A limited edition of Regulators was published by Dutton and each copy has a check signed by Bachman before his death.

Check out  the entire website, it's a lot of fun.  club-stephenking

Could CARRIE Send Morets To The Oscar's? headlines an article about Chloe Grace Moretz that asks the question, "Will ‘Carrie’ be Chloe Grace Moretz’ First Oscar Nominated Role?"  This on the heels of the new Carrie trailer that has gotten a lot of positive attention.  The site notes that her "stock has been rising" and that  Carrie could be the project that moves her out of the realm of "child actor" and into "Oscar contender".

Of course, the idea of Moretz at the Oscar's makes me think of Carrie at the Oscars.  How much more fun would it be to see her reign terror on egocentric Hollywood instead of a High School prom.  I mean, think about it -- they're kind of the same thing. It's all about who is going with who, what you wear and who will be made king and queen.

About Moretz, the article says,
She’s proved her worth for years now, and, barring the drug, alcohol and over-spending tendencies that come with being a Hollywood actress, she should have a long and glittering career ahead, with people remembering Carrie as the film that ‘made her’

Ebert On King

The famous movie reviewer Roger Ebert died Thursday.  I first became acquainted with him when I was a kid and he offered movie commentary with Gene Siskel on Siskel and Ebert.  I would watch them on Sunday afternoon between morning church and evening church.  Strangely, the review I remember is Back to the Beach -- which both of them liked.  Seems Disney was really hesitant to let them review the film, thinking it would get bad publicity right from the start.  But it got two thumbs up.

In his review of Dreamcatcher, Ebert revealed that he is also a King reader, saying, "The movie is based on a novel by Stephen King, unread by me, apparently much altered for the screen version, especially in the appalling closing sequences. I have just finished the audiobook of King's From a Buick 8 , was a fan of his Hearts in Atlantis , and like the way his heart tugs him away from horror ingredients and into the human element in his stories."

In his review of Secret Window, Ebert offered this about King's book On Writing, "A lot of people were outraged that he was honored at the National Book Awards, as if a popular writer could not be taken seriously. But after finding that his book On Writing had more useful and observant things to say about the craft than any book since Strunk and White's The Elements of Style, I have gotten over my own snobbery."

Here are some of his reviews of Stephen King movies:

The scariest horror stories -- the ones by M.R. James, Edgar Allan Poe, and Oliver Onions -- are like this. They develop their horrors out of the people they observe. That happens here, too. Does it ever.                                        
No other King novel has been better filmed (certainly not the recent, dreadful "Cujo"), and Cronenberg, who knows how to handle terror, now also knows how to create three-dimensional, fascinating characters. (writing circa 1983)
The material in "Misery" is so much Stephen King's own that it's a little surprising that a director like Rob Reiner would have been interested in making the film.  . . .What he does with "Misery" is essentially simply respectful - he "brings the story to the screen," as the saying goes.

By the end, when he is asked to forgive them for sending him to the electric chair, the story has so well prepared us that the key scenes play like drama, not metaphor, and that is not an easy thing to achieve.
And I think this is a very important quote, since he links King to Dickens.  This is something I've  been doing for a while.  (Stephen King A Mordern Charles Dickens)
Stephen King, sometimes dismissed as merely a best-seller, has in his best novels some of the power of Dickens, who created worlds that enveloped us and populated them with colorful, peculiar, sharply seen characters. King in his strongest work is a storyteller likely to survive as Dickens has, despite the sniffs of the litcrit establishment.
SILVER BULLET (  I like the opening line:
Stephen King's "Silver Bullet" is either the worst movie ever made from a Stephen King story, or the funniest. It is either simply bad, or it is an inspired parody of his whole formula, in which quiet American towns are invaded by unspeakable horrors. It's a close call, but I think the movie is intentionally funny.
"Dreamcatcher" begins as the intriguing story of friends who share a telepathic gift, and ends as a monster movie of stunning awfulness. What went wrong? How could director Lawrence Kasdan and writer William Goldman be responsible for a film that goes so awesomely wrong?

 The crazy unreality of the situation has a "Twilight Zone" sort of appeal, and indeed "Cat's Eye" is a superior Twilight-style anthology of three stories that are held together by the adventures of the cat. It's a small, scrappy tabby that survives not only electric shock (actually only special effects, so don't call the ASPCA), but also city traffic, falls from high buildings, one-way tickets to the pound, and a duel to the death with a gremlin who lives behind a little girl's bedroom wall.

Rarely does a movie make you feel so warm and so uneasy at the same time, as Stephen King's story evokes the mystery of adolescence, when everything seems to be happening for the very first time.
"Needful Things" is yet another one of those films based on a Stephen King story that inspires you to wonder why his stories don't make better films. (INDEED!)
The word "redemption" is in the title for a reason. The movie is based on a story, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, by Stephen King, which is quite unlike most of King's work. The horror here is not of the supernatural kind, but of the sort that flows from the realization than 10, 20, 30 years of a man's life have unreeled in the same unchanging daily prison routine.
‘Stephen King’s Bag of Bones” is a bag of something, and it ain’t bones. Based on King’s 1998 thriller (which I trust is better than the two-part miniseries starting Sunday on A&E), “Bag of Bones” boils down to a hokey horror story that relies on cheap tricks — nightmares! sudden bursts of loud music! animal in the attic! — to deliver most of its chills. Worse yet, some of the characters are so cartoonish, they’re more “Scooby-Doo” than Cujo.  (OUCH!!!)
CHILDREN OF THE CORN (  -- this one is great!
By the end of “Children of the Corn,” the only thing moving behind the rows is the audience, fleeing to the exits. (well said, sir)

Planning A Conspiricy Theory

I really feel quite left out.  Now that Room 217 is out, the book The Shining Revealed and the documentary The Shining Code – I’m starting to wish I was a conspiracy nut.  I want to see Jesus in pancakes, believe the pyramids were built by ancient aliens and be convinced the moon landing was a hoax directed by Stanley Kubrick.

I’m so bad at the conspiricy angle that even when Stephen King confirms he was really talking about another subject – I still don’t see it.  For instance, he said Needful Things was really about the eighties.  About Ronald Reagan.  Really?  Needful Things was actually about Ronald Regan and the eighties?  I would disagree wholeheartedly – if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s the author himself saying this.  So I guess if Kubrick said, “Hey, the Shining is actually about the moon landing,” I still wouldn’t believe!

You know, surely there are other King movies that I could dig a conspiracy out of.  The best prospects are: Pet Sematary, IT and Richard Bachman.  I know Richard Bachman is not a movie --  but the prospects for conspiracy theories are ripe.

So here's some thoughts:
1. It is really about how McDonald's is destroying the world, eating little kids alive.
2. Christine is actually a tale about the power of self help.  Thus the car, though beaten down, is able to restore itself.
3. Cujo is about spiritual warfare.  The mother and son take refuge in the sanctuary of the car, while the demons seek to attack from all around.

And, I offer this from


On Writing contains Stephen King's most complete autobiography to date. It is an outstanding look at himself, his growth as a writer, and the things that influenced him.

I found myself wondering recently, "Will anyone ever write Richard Bachman's biography?" Will the real story every get told?
But wasn't Bachman just a pseudonym?

Well, if you believe Mr. King he was. But can we be sure? Really? The story we were given by Mr. King was that he wrote under the name Bachman because he desired to write genre's other than horror -- and the publishing world was already full of Stephen King books. But that tale has holes in it.

First, If "Richard Bachman" is just a pseudonym, then who is the man in the photo on the back of Thinner?

Second, If Bachman didn't exist, why was it necessary to give him a wife and a death date?

Don't laugh at that first one. Really, wasn't this photo taken before computers were the rage? Before faces could be generated? So. . . who is that man? Does he walk in stores and people say, "Hey! You're Richard Bachman, aren't you?"

No! No one ever sees this fellow! No one points to him on the street. He doesn't have to hide is face in public or sneak into the movies. People don't point and say, "Hey, that's the guy who wrote The Running Man."

Why not? Why has only one picture of this man appeared? I ask this delecatly, but could Richard Bachman have existed outside the mind of Stephen King?

What if. . .

What if Richard Bachman really was the author of The Long Walk, Running Man and other paperback novels. But they didn't sell very well. He had trouble breaking through.

Dickie wasn't only a writer, he was an avid Stephen King fan. Bachman carefully hid little hints about King in his books. Not direct links, but unnerving things. Things that only King would notice.

Perhaps he even stalked Mr. King. One of those fans who gets a little too close for comfort. But Bachman was the type who just wouldn't go away! Who knows all the details. Who knows what Dickie did to make the author miserable, but we can all be sure of this: Stephen King himself told the world that Bachman was "not a very nice guy."

But as Bachman added more and more links between his work and the world of Stephen King, people began to wonder if perhaps Stephen King was actually Richard Bachman. Bachman was, after-all, a recluse. At first King denied it. How irritating to have someone elses work put out as your own. But then someone saw the way to kill two birds with one stone. They could get rid of pesky Richard Bachman, make Bachman a load of money -- enough to disappear for the rest of his life --, and add a new chapter to the Stephen King phenoma. (Okay, that was three birds with one stone).

So a deal was struck. Bachman disappeared, King took credit for the work and the money began to roll in. What had been little paperback throw away's became best sellers. Richard Bachman got a heafty monthly check, and Stephen King got rid of that pesky writer who kept creeping in on his world. Bachman demanded one more thing: Credit on the movie The Running Man. He didn't want Mr. King to suck up all his fame.

Benefits For Bachman:

Why would Richard Bachman agree to attributing his work to S.K.? Just a few thoughts:

1. To raise interest in his work. What author doesn't want to be read?

2. To raise the value of his books. His novels went from being worth a few dollars to worth hundreds of dollars each!

3. To sell even more copies. What were the chances of Bachman appearing over-seas? Or of his work even getting a second printing? Slim! But with King's name attached, the world took notice. And Bachman could cash the check and smile wide. . . on whatever island he chose to hide on.

4. To give his work a lasting impact. The paperback novels would not simply slip into obscurity, but would now live on. Of course, they must be attached to the famous author.

5. To attach himself directly to the world of Stephen King. If I am correct, Bachman was a fan of King. He slipped references of people they both knew into his work. In fact, he went all out in his novel the Regulators. Probably annoying to the famous author, Bachman would leap at the chance to have his work identified as the work of Stephen King. Soon Bachman's own name would drop into smaller print, and Stephen King's own name would appear above his.

The Problem:

There is a problem, isn't there? Bachman just wouldn't go away! Once his name was out there, he knew he could do better. In 1995 he did the unacceptable: He wrote another book! And he was back to his old ways. Spying on Mr. King, snooping through his things, and worse. How shocked was King when he got a manuscript from Bachman that contained characters and tie ins with King's own work Desperation. What had Dickie been up to?!

A decision had to be made. Would they publish the Regulators, or expose the big secret? King and publisher agreed to print one last novel. But, King had his own slice of revenge waiting for Dickie. Are you ready? This was brilliant!

In 1997 King expressed his concern that Bachman's book Rage could inspire violence in our culture -- so he asked that the book be pulled. There was truth to the concern, but it was "one for one." Bachman wrote a book . . . so Bachman would lose a book. And bam! On the word of Stephen King, Bachman saw his novel disappear from book stores.

The message was clear as day: No more novel's, Dickie, or I'll make your already published stuff go bye bye. And with it. . . those nice checks from the publisher.

Bachman must have brewed over this. What could he do? King had him over a barrell. He couldn't come out and reveal the secret. The best revenge on King woudl be. . . another novel. One King couldn't deny. One that King had already mentioned the existance of.

So Richard threw himself into writing his next novel. A retarded man kidnaps a baby and falls in love with it. He worked slowly, editing his own work and rewriting several drafts. Ten years later, in 2006, another disturbing call was placed to the famous author: "I've been at work again. Do you think you can help me out, or should I seek my own publisher?"

The decision was made to keep up the pretense.

Can We Really Trust The King?

Some of you are saying, "But I trust Stephen King's version of events." Well, when it comes to biography, King has been known to admit to fibbing. King cites John Irving and says, "never believe a writer when he he seems to be offering you autobiography, because we all lie." (Stephen King goes to Hollywood, Jeff Conner, 1987)

For those of you who want to believe the King story and accept that Mr. Bachman never existed, I say: FINE. I understand your doubts. But someone's picture is on the back of Thinner. . . and they've never come forward. The only proof needed to show Bachman never existed is for the man in the photo to step in front of a camera. But he'll never do that. Why? Because it WAS Richard Bachman!  (You try to find that insurance agent)