David Aaron Gray: What does Shawshank Redemption have in common with Lindsay Lohan, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and the Scariest Clown in History?

This is from David Aaron Gray's blog, reposted with permission.  Thanks!  (Check out his map, it's pretty cool)

When thinking of an American state that will be the location of your film or story, I bet you could name 44-48 of our United States before you would settle on boring old Maine.

Well, the author behind Shawshank Redemption (as well as countless terrifying tales), Stephen King, chose Maine for the location of virtually all of his well-known works. And if you have ever been to the 23rd state admitted to the Union you'd quickly realize that it offers writers and directors a remote venue in which to tell their disturbing story (equipped with dark and disquieting natural scenery).

Besides being a popular attraction for Stephen King fans, Maine's only other appeal exists in its potential to become a swing state in a Presidential Election (but this is somewhat rare).

As a side note, Maine must have been unpopular with the founding fathers. If you look at a map of the East coast of the U.S., it would be logical to make Maine the 14th state admitted to the Union (post the Revolutionary War which created the original 13 states). But no, as I mentioned earlier, Maine doesn't get into club America until 1820 as state #23 (after Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi). There were even serious rumors circulating in March of 1820 of making California a state before Maine. Now, you don't need to look at a map to conclude how insulting this would be to residents of Maine. For all we know, the only people in 1820 who could actually attest to the existence of this so-called "California" were Lewis and Clark.

Maine only got in as part of the famous Missouri Compromise whereby Missouri would be a slave state and Maine a free one. I think the South got the better end of that deal.

Well, maybe not deemed important to Congress, Stephen King, lobsters and a bunch of summer camps still call Maine home and below is an annotated map of some famous films set in lucky #23:

LINK: Paging Doctor Sleep

Here is an interesting review of Doctor Sleep by Merab-Michal Favorite and Drew Winchester at The Bradenton Times.

The reviewers declares that King's classic horror novel, The Shining, is far more frightening than Kubrick's movie, which they found terrifying in itself.  In fact, the word used to describe reading the novel  is "trauma."  Of course, when a book makes that big an impression, the expectations for the sequel are gargantuan.  The review focuses on King's decision to take dramatically different approaches in terms of writing to the original novel.
While the tale The Shining is one unsurpassable in the minds of horror enthusiasts, it’s refreshing to see that King didn’t try to make a sequel similar to the plot of the legendary book. Instead, it’s a totally new take on Dan Torrance and I think it was the right call

10 Things Not To Say To A Stephen King Fan

1. I love Stephen King, too.  I don’t read the books, but I’ve seen the movies.  (Great.)

2. Doesn't he just write about monsters? (Sure, that’s what he does.)

3. Have you read the one about the clown?  (Yeah, we have.)

4. I don’t read his stuff.  I read Insomnia once but didn't finish.  (Neither did most of us)

5. I prefer movies like The Green Mile to all that Stephen King stuff.

6. Why can’t I read your copy of The Shining?  (Because it’s a first edition)

7. Do you only read Stephen King?  (Uh-huh.  Made it clear through college and seminary reading nothing but Stephen King.)

8. He’s too scary for me.  I read that book – what’s it called? – about the girl with the powers. (Carrie.  He doesn't just write scary stuff.)

9. I don’t need to read Under The Dome, I saw it on TV.

10. Stephen King didn't write Stand By Me.  (Yes he did)
Nope, I checked his book list, it’s not there.  (That's because it's not called Stand By Me.)
See, I told you he didn't write it.  (It's called the Body.)
Hey, that's not on his book list, either.  (It's in another book called Different Seasons)
Yeah, I don't think you're thinking of the same movie.  I'm talking about Stand By Me, about a bunch of kids.  (Okay, whatever.)

Finally . . . I'm not a Stephen King fan, I'm a constant reader.  What's the difference?  I'm interested in what he writes, not chasing around after him.

Cemetery Dance Has A Deal For You. . .

I like Cemetery Dance a lot.  Mostly I like the books they publish.  My copy of Full Dark No Stars was awesome!  As was the anniversary edition of IT.  And for both those books, I paid a lot.  But I was willing because they were Stephen King special editions.

Cemetery Dance is currently promoting sales of a book about the Salem's Lot miniseries, titled, "Tobe Hooper's Salem's Lot: Studies in the Horror Film."  The 464 page book is due out in April, 2014.
Few horror films in the history of television can boast the deadly seriousness, inspired casting, indelible images and lingering impact of Salem’s Lot. Tobe Hooper’s adaptation of Stephen King’s 1975 novel about vampires that infest a small Maine town was first broadcast in November 1979. 
The three-hour film featured unforgettable performances by an array of stars — James Mason, David Soul, Lew Ayres, Bonnie Bedelia — along with one of the most truly terrifying monsters in the history of movies: the feral vampire Mr Barlow played by Reggie Nalder. 
This book documents the gestation and production of the film. There are reminiscences from cast and crew, including new and exclusive interviews with Tobe Hooper, David Soul, cinematographer Jules Brenner and producer Richard Kobritz; dozens of images, including many never before published behind-the-scenes production stills; deleted scenes from the original teleplay; foreign posters and artwork inspired by the film; photographs of Ferndale, California, where the exteriors of Salem’s Lot were filmed; and much, much more.
That looks really neat!  But there is a bit of sticker shock on this one.  How about $40 for the PAPERBACK.

I'm not suggesting collectors won't buy this book, because obviously CD knows their market.  What I'm wondering is why.

Mr. Mercedes is selling for $18.00 first edition hard cover.  Revival is selling for 19.48.  So for $37.48 you can have BOTH Stephen King first edition new books -- or there the $40 Salem's Lot book.

Leads me to a curious question.  What price should books about Stephen King be set at?  


Carrie Paperback

Carrie paperback -- AWESOME!  Notice the lack of giant lettering "STEPHEN KING."  In fact, the author is completely underplayed on both the front and back.  -- Thanks Shaun Lawton!

Young People Are Still Tuned In To Carrie

Altadna Library gave teens 11-17 the opportunity to give a Teen Choice award to their favorite novel.  The award went the 2011 novel Divergent, by Veronica Roth.  The teens gave honorable mention to Black Cat, 2012; Inheritance, 2011; and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, 2007.  And then – right in the middle of those books was Carrie, 1974.

So the earliest book before Carrie was 2007 -- and then they choose a book 33 years its junior.  Why?  Because Carrie continues to connect with readers.

Why do you think Carrie has such lasting power?


Is Pennywise In New York?

How  would you like to encounter this clown on the side of the road?  A pennywise-eque clown is making his rounds through New York's Staten Island.  What is the clown doing -- handing out balloons, of course.  Nothing harmful in that, right?  Well, as yahoo reports, people are actually pretty freaked out! (FULL STORY: yahoo.com/blogs)

The people who live in the New York City borough are not thrilled with their new addition. Robert Privtera, who took a picture of our friend, told the Advance, “Bro, I did a double take. My heart stopped." Vincent Innocente characterized it as bizarre. People are taking to Twitter and voicing their concern as well…
Pennywise has been making a lot of sightings lately, including on google maps and in England.

From my September 17, 2013 article:

Pennywise might have been chased off from Derry Maine, but he's not dead!  The evil clown has been making appearances throughout the United Kingdom borough of Northampton.

Shea Bennett of Media Bistro says, "Residents are, as you’d imagine, spooked, and you can understand why – imagine seeing this guy standing outside your window?"

Indeed, the clown has become so popular that a Facebook Page erected on Friday has already picked up more than 25,000 Likes, with the clown using Facebook to update fans, as well as fend off a few slightly sensationalised reports. 
As for why he’s doing all of this, that still remains unclear. But, as we can see from the photos, he has balloons. So, I guess the only question that really matters, is…
(Source: www.mediabistro.com)

Now. . . a question --  If you saw Pennywise,  would you pause to take a picture?  Well, I probably would.  But I don't think I'd have the courage to go up and say howdy.  Just for fear of hearing him say, "They float!"

And -- another question -- does anyone think the British Pennywise is perhaps a bit more, eh, scary than  the American versions?  I don't know why,  but I find that clown just flat out creepy.  And that's not to put down Curry's performance in the mini-series.  In fact, it's probably good Curry didn't look that scary, or I would have died watching it.

Mr. Mercedes & Revival On Amazon Pre-Sale

Looks like Mr. Mercedes and Revival are ready to go.  What format will you be reading it in?  I usually go audio book, my wife Kindle, and my kids. . . aren't allowed to read Stephen King yet.

Charlie Fried's Scrapbook, 4

Films of 1994! An ad for Shawshank Redemption video tape. From a catalogue directed at video stores.

The Stand video tape. An ad aimed at video stores.

Oh my, it's an ad for video stores to buy bulk copies of The Langoliers. There's a special "6 pack offer." Also advertised is a "Deluxe 5 Standee!" and Theatrical size poster, and shelf talkers.

This is straight forward: 4 Audio books for 99 cents. And hey, how often do you see Stephen King on the same page with Barbara Bush?

Here is an article Charlie clipped from. . . somewhere. It's a article by Stephen King extolling the virtues of an ice ax. I'll type it up when I have time, because it's really cool.

Here is an early internet page, I think, listing the Filmography of Stephen King.

A handbill for North American Premiere of the stage version of Misery. Oct 19-Nov 11, 1995.

This one is interesting! It's an ad for spanish Stephen King audio books.

"Captivating Personalities." I do not know what this is from. On the page are: Sally Jessy Raphael, Stephen King, Gene Siskel, Jim Morris, Jenny Jones, Ben Vereen. The King caption reads:
Stephen King: Simply the most popular writer alive. Stephen King is a phenomenal talent who dominates the best seller list like no one ever has. From early classics such as Carrie, the Shining and The Stand through recent works including Misery and Needful Things, his novels have caused countless sleepless nights and inspired some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters. An equally masterful storyteller in person. King is a rare treat at the lecture podium.
And that, friends, brings us to the end of Charlie Fried's Stephen King scrapbook.

Charlie's Scrap Book, 3

The overlook is a personal picture that simply says on the back "overlook hotel." I wonder if he took it himself.

Charlie's Scrap Book, 2

Don't miss the personal photo of The Sandpipe, from IT. Below is Charlie's photo of the King home.

King speaking.
Add Image

Charlie Fried's (SUPER COLLECTOR) Scrapbook, 1


A while back I bought a grab bag from Betts Bookstore. It was a box of strange, wonderful things. My favorite thing -- perhaps the thing that has given me the most pleasure -- is a simple scrap book. 

It belonged, I am sure, to Charlie Fried. Fried was a "super-collector," meaning he owned LOTS of unique Stephen King items.  He was the subject of an interview in Stephen J. Spignesi's THE ESSENTIAL STEPHEN KING.  Spignesi titled this portion, "10 Questions With Stephen King Super Collector Charlie Fried."

Spignesi described Fried as the definition of the term "low profile."  He also noted that he had one of the five most important Stephen King collections in the world.  "I think the term supercollector was coined for him," Spignesi wrote.  Fried called King the "ultimate storyteller."

After his death, Fried's collection was broken up and sold through Betts Bookstore. Including, I guess, his scrapbook.  I'm in no way a "supercollector."  But I'm a fan of the supercollector!  Is it strange, one of my favorite Stephen King items is just Charlies ragtag notebook.  I find it endearing, fun and kind of sweet.

Fried's scrapbook is a little bit of absolutely everything! I like it because it's personal, it's not a book, it's pictures he took and essays he wrote. . I'm inviting you to come with me as I dig through Charlie's scrapbook. This will be fun! It will also be a lot of pictures, so the page might load slow for a while. . The scrap book is kept in a simple notebook with permanent binding. (hard to describe) The items are kept in simple page protectors. Good stuff!

A newsletter from Betts bookstore.
Charlie's review of The Mangler. I'll type and put it up as a post soon, because it's quite good.
Charlie's notes: "My visit to Bangor Maine -- or the pleasure of hearing Stephen King read to about 3,100 plus people." This is actually the first page of the notebook.

Ad for "An evening with Stephen King." Attached are Charlie's tickets at the bottom of the page. "All seats $5." Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 pm, Bangor Auditorium. "Spend a memorable evening with one of America's favorite storytellers reading from a selection of personally chosen material." Hosted by Tabitha King, proceeds will benefit The Bangor Public Library Capital Campaign.

A map of Bangor. Charlie pasted a paper to it and identified places in Stephen King books.

CAT'S EYE: James Rebhorn Dies

With James Woods,
picture credit: yahoo.com/photos
James Rebhorn, called the man who played  people "in a suit" died Friday due to skin cancer.  He had roles in Homeland, “Meet the Parents,” “Independence Day,” “My Cousin Vinny," "Cold Mountain," and "Cat's Eye."

He was also one of the readers on From A Buick 8.

FOX Discusses THE SHINING'S Alternate Ending

In an article about movies that had different endings (10 Popular Movies That Nearly Had Completely Different Endings) Foxnews.com said this about The Shining:
One weekend after "The Shining" debuted in theaters, director Stanley Kubrick hacked off a few minutes from the end. In his original cut, right after viewers caught a glimpse of Jack Torrance's frozen corpse jutting from the snow, it was revealed that his wife Wendy and son Danny were admitted to a nearby hospital. The Overlook Hotel's returning manager comes to visit, and informs Wendy that investigators "didn’t find the slightest evidence of anything at all out of the ordinary," implying that Wendy was perhaps hallucinating. Then, on his way out, he gives Danny the mysterious yellow ball that appeared earlier in the film, which actress Shelley Duvall (Wendy) took to mean that the hotel manager was behind the Overlook's paranormal activities. (source: magazine.foxnews.com

Check out: talkstephenking: more-on-shining-alternate-endings

Pet Sematary Behind The Scenes Photo

From Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary, "here's a great behind-the-scenes shot of Blaze Berdahl (Ellie Creed) and Miko Hughes hanging out on the set. Brother/sister on-screen, buddies off-screen." (www.facebook.com)

Maximum Overdrive Trailer

"I just wanted someone to do Stephen King right"

Evan Dickson wrties, "As a kid Maximum Overdrive was one of my holy grail movies. It just dripped with menace and a sweaty inappropriate quality I couldn’t get enough of. The greasy, hot vibe of The Dixie Boy. The down and out characters. The way it hits the ground running. The way it kills children. The AC/DC soundtrack. The wonderfully lazy comet explanation. The mean-spiritedness of it all. It made me feel… grown up? In hindsight this is a funny thing to take away from such a gleefully immature movie. I don’t think I ever saw the film in the theaters during its initial release, but between multiple rentals of this and The Lost Boys I probably kept the lights on at my local Blockbuster."

Read his full article at: bloody-disgusting.com