Good Stephen King Adaptations

Stephen King texts in a majority of cases get the absolute shit beaten out of them by crappy-assed directors, poor production values and inadequate budgets. Very rarely a highly acclaimed director would come along (with a suitable budget) doing the books some much needed justice. David Cronenberg for instance (amongst my favorite film makers) is the director of many psychological thrillers and more prominently the godfather of the genre known as "physiological terror". Stanley Kubrik... well... enough said. There's also John Carpenter who is a trail blazer in terms of the horror genre and last but most definitely not the least is Brian 'motherfucking' De Palma, the king of suspense. Nail biting frustrating suspense.

The Shining (Stanley Kubrik): This particular film is not completely faithful to the text. Although it is a magnificent re-imagining. This film still retains the power to scare the shit out of people many decades after its first screening. Kubrik's directing coupled with dream-like surrealism is really necessary for the adaptation. Thankfully I read the book after watching the film. I'm thankful because the film lost its loving touch after reading the much superior book. Still a magnificent film.

Christine (John Carpenter): John Carpenter brilliantly works Kings book to the screen, this film (as all of John Carpenters movies) is a special effects bonanza. It was very appropriate that Carpenter directed this, as special effects laden films are his specialty. Plus that schmick red Plymouth is fucking gorgeous.

The Dead Zone (David Cronenberg): This particular adaption wasn't very well received. It does stand as an excellent 90 minute condensation of the book. Even better is the fact they perfectly cast Christopher Walken as the stories accidental psychic. Again the paranormal thriller is completely in Cronenberg's ball park and he does a brilliant job. The only real changes is the violence being toned down a considerable amount to that of the text.

Carrie (Brian De Palma): This film is so taut. The prelude to Carrie destroying the high school is one of the most suspenseful endings to any film ever made. De Palma's revolutionary 'split-screen' effect has a brilliant advantage in being able to faithfully transcribe the chaos in Kings book to the screen. It again is an excellent adaption of a King text.

Maximum Overdrive (Stephen King): This movie is a timeless classic. King turns his own short story 'Trucks' into a homage of 50's B-grade science fiction trash. There are many nods to the likes of Ed Wood in terms of its absurdity and implausibility. Plus the sound track is by AC/DC, what the fuck else could you ask for? Emilio Estevez? Yep, he's in it and he is a total bad ass. Conversations with inanimate objects like road trains and cars with machine gun turrets? Yep, that shit is in this movie as well. All in all, this movie fucking rocks. Sadly the filmed flopped and as expected King got black listed as a director.
Also watch out for the blatant AC/DC cameo.

Here is a shortlist (other wise I'd carry on forever and besides I really need to do some stuff around the house):

Pet Cemetery
Children of the Corn
The Running Man (the book was written under Kings pseudonym 'Richard Bachman')

I think that just about covers it. The rest are absolute putrid shit. The worst would have to be Sleep Walkers and IT. IT is one of the best books I've ever read and the best Stephen King book (with The Stand coming in as second best), I really wanted the film to be at least a little bit like it BUT instead I got a 3 hour mass spectacle of shit being smashed by shit. Besides if anyone has read IT, IT'S easy to see that a majority of the best material in the book is totally and completely UN-FILM-ABLE.


  1. I was pretty disappointed with IT. Let's just hope the remake they're planning isn't worse than the original. And I have to say, Yeardley Smith almost ruined Maximum Overdrive for me, with her fucking ANNOYING VOICE.

  2. that horrible little slut in that movie should rot in motherfucking hell. what a repulsive sack of shit. i do hope the IT remake would be uncompromising. one single aspect that i enjoyed about IT was tim curry as penny wise. IT would be a totally necessary remake. I've been thinking for years that it should be done as an X-rated anime. How fucking cool would that be?!??

  3. Haha, yeah that would be interesting. Did you see the tv show Kingdom Hospital? It was Stephen King's take on Lars Von Trier's Riget. I thought it was a pretty good show. And speaking of Stephen King remakes, I hear that Pet Semetary is in the works and so is Carrie.

  4. i really tried to like kingdom hospital, but riget was a million times better. i need to get around to watching riget 2. i think i lasted about one season of kingdom hospital.