Archive for Stephen King

Ghost Town With Real Ghosts. And Dogs.

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2017 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Stephen King's Desperation

Not since The Stand (1994) has a Stephen King movie adaptation had such a high body count. And these expired husks aren’t just for statistical/social reasons: they’re rotted, leaking, stinking and bloated, with snakes and hairy tarantulas coming out of mouths and holes where the eyes and south of the belt exit-only ramps used to be. Like human non-recycleables, these things are all over the place.

Stephen King's Desperation

One person is responsible for all this carnage: the town sheriff. He’s so sadistic, you cringe in your swimsuit (hey, the washing machine’s broken —don’t judge me) every time he traps another victim on a long stretch of highway just outside the small Nevada town of Desperation. Those he doesn’t kill right away land in a small jail. The others get shot without a lick of thought. (i.e., a five year-old girl.)

Stephen King's Desperation

As with all Stephen King stories/adaptations, you’re overloaded with complex characters, one of which is always “different,” in this case a young boy who speaks directly to God. Good thing as the other God (i.e., Tak) is possessing bodies (i.e., the sheriff) and making them rot from the inside out (i.e., goopy drawers).

Stephen King's Desperation

The first half of Stephen King’s Desperation (2006) is intense enough to make your underpanties twist up under the driveshaft. The small town is completely dead from the inside out. Dozens of dogs evenly line the street as if waiting for a cat parade. Vultures peck nonchalantly at bodies, snacking lightly in-between meals. And there are rattlers (snakes) and crawlers (spiders) everywhere you step. (The grocery store scene will make you think twice about ever walking into a food shop full of dead people again.)

Stephen King's Desperation

The second half, where the God kid and Tak’s prisoners get out of jail (great scene) and try and figure out what the flip, starts to sink under its own weight. Outside of town is the Chinese Pit, a coal/gold/gravel mine where Tak’s cathedral nightclub was disturbed, thereby unleashing the vengeful god and making the Chinese immigrants who were digging in the mine all those happy years ago to go crazy and kill each other with pick axes to the chest vicinity. Stephen KIng's Desperation

The get-out-of-jail people wrestle with moral issues, more spiders and a cougar in a bathroom that changes shape to that of a Vietnamese guy with a bomb. That part will make sense if you just have patience. Instead of getting out of town, the survivors head for the mine where they have a redeeming showdown with Tak, complete with flashback wedgies and dialogue that works better in a book than in a movie with gnarly, decomposing bodies all over the place.

Stephen King's Desperation Normally, I’m all about vengeful gods wreaking havoc, especially if they look like a monster and/or evil something or rather. But Tak looks like cigarette smoke (ala, Lost), which isn’t so scary, unless you factor in the health detriments of second hand smoke. The ending gets kinda “group huggy,” but in the end a decent take on a book with too many pages. Better, anyway, than Stephen King’s ultra-crappy The Langoliers (1995). (The movie version.) Man, what a punch bowl turd that thing is/was/continues to be.

Ghost Lives Matter

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Ghosts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Riding The Bullet

Riding The Bullet (2004), adapted from the Stephen King novella of the same name of all things, is not one of the better King horror movies out there. Not surprising, as director Mick Garris had done four weak SK’s adaptations (Sleepwalkers/1992, The Stand/1994, The Shining re-boot that needed to be given the boot/1997, Quicksilver Highway/1997, prior to this unfulfilling mess. (Garris later went on to do several more King movies: Desperation/2006 and Bag of Bones/2011).

Riding The Bullet

Riding the Bullet is set in October, 1969. Hippies, gateway drug pot, rock and/or roll, and only one pair of bare boobies. Alan, morose college art student (i.e., hippie) is pretty certain his hot girlfriend is breaking up with him, despite her wanting to smooch his scruffy emo face. On his birthday he smokes pot, drinks non-twist top booze and attempts to commit suicide while taking a bubble bath with candles. A demon appears to urge him on. Alan’s friends bust into the bathroom to birthday surprise him, only to see he’s slit his wrist. Doesn’t anyone knock anymore?

Later finding out his widowed mom had a stroke and is in the hospital, Alan hitchhikes in the dark (about 100 miles) to emote at her bedside. His companion is his own doppelganger who calls B.S. on his poor decision making process.

Riding The Bullet

As Alan accepts rides from red flag travelers (draft dodger, old man with a hernia, greaser demon ghost), he endures alternate situation scenes and confusing flashbacks wherein his mom tells a young Alan his dad is dead, having been involved in a car accident. That’s funny; could’ve sworn he opted out by sucking on the end of a shotgun.

Riding The Bullet

As with all King movies, there’s a self-discovery underpinning that didn’t translate to the big screen this time. What works extraordinarily well on paper (say, a book), doesn’t have enough time to flesh itself out on your TV. So hit the gas pedal on the thrills – the greaser demon ghost gives Alan a ride. He died earlier years prior whilst ramming his sweet 1958 Plymouth Fury into a truck transporting pumpkins to market (same car in King’s Christine/1983), and gets his head cut off from all those super sharp pumpkin shards.

Riding The BulletThe greaser demon ghost tells Alan he has to choose between him and his hospitalized mom who gets to go to Hell, with the Ride the Bullet roller coaster ride of Alan’s youth that he was too much of a p*ssy to ride as a kid, as the metaphor for the whole flippin’ film.

Riding The Bullet

Later, adult Alan reflects on his hippie past, his now dead mom, his ex-wife (he married his college girlfriend for four years) and the greaser ghost demon, who shows up to offer him a ride. Alan tells him to go away. The end.

If you didn’t read the book (sorry, I was busy), this leaves a pumpkin truck load of questions unanswered. You’re left dangling like a severed head. For instance, what was the back story of his dad painting the walls with his particulate matter? I’m guessing it was he found out his son would grow up to be a pot-smoking emo wuss who was too scared to ride the bullet. Dad did – and look how nicely that turned out!

Cut-up Clowns

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Ghosts, Slashers, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Clowntown

Clown horror has been around as long as there have been clowns. As of late it seems this odd horror sub-genre is making another honk-honk bid for your circus coupons with the imminent release of Clowntown (2016) and the re-boot of Stephen King’s long-winded mini-series, It (2017) and its painted protagonist, Pennywise, a seriously f’d up downtown clown. And if you haven’t seen it, check out Eli Roth’s Clown (2016). That one is double f’d up – in a good way.

Ckown / It

Clowntown, arriving September 2016 on all formats (except eight-track), goes to the hoop with this: “This is story of a group of friends who get stranded in a seemingly abandoned town and find themselves stalked by a gang of violent psychopaths dressed as clowns. It is loosely inspired by the clowns who terrorized Bakersfield, California, in 2014.”

Killer Klowns / The Funhouse

Cleaver / Clownhouse / The Last Circus

I heard about that Bakersfield thing and thought it was a publicity stunt for a traveling circus. Unfortunately, it was for real – the clowns were running around scaring people. Those juvenile jesters should get the death penalty, or worse – a frowning of a lifetime.

100 Tears / Stitches / Sick

Mr. Jingles / Scary or Die / Clownstrophobia

My first exposure to prime time clowns came in the form of Bozo The Clown, a Saturday morning kid’s show icon. Never bought into his business model as I couldn’t understand why a grown man would put on a day-glo fright wig, paint his face white, and have a rubber ball for a nose. Then I discovered beer and answered my own question.

Final Draft / Mockingbird / Killjoy

I’ve seen a lot of horror clown movies and they’re all pretty much the same and can be put in the slasher category. Some of them are memorable (the Killjoy series), The rest hit and miss. Mostly miss.

Dead Clowns / Circus of the Dead

But for my carnival cash there are only two clowns that rock my world. First up is the super scary Twisty, from the fourth season American Horror Story: Freak Show. He’s so f’d up, he’ll make you crap someone else’s pants.

Twisty

But for pure hilariousness, I’m going with Down-O: The World’s Most Depressed Clown. The kicker: He can only get it up when a chick hits him in the face with a pie. To call that less than brilliant would be a huge injustice. (FYI: No photo provided as Down-O doesn’t like getting his picture taken. But trust me, it’s funnier than a rubber nose.)

S’Carrie

Posted in Classic Horror, Scream Queens with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Carrie

As everybody in the freakin’ world (except that one cable-less town just outside of the Antarctic) knows, Carrie (1976) is a modern horror classic about a bullied wallflower high school girl with blossoming telekinetic powers being set up for the world’s best Candid Camera prank, one that ends in screaming as opposed to laughing.

Carrie

Carrie, based on a story by Stephen King (whoever he is), has numerous horror icon moments, from the Pig Blood Prom, to the entire graduating class of 1976 getting their degrees (Fahrenheit), to the religious freak mom getting the point of what knives are really good for, and the iconic shock ending scene that’s been copied one million billion times by everyone – except me.

Carrie

Even though she could snap my spine with her mind, I’d still ask Carrie to the dance, mostly because she looks good in red.

Wrecker: Tab-Expired Horror

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Misc. Horror, Science Fiction, Scream Queens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 11, 2015 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Wrecker

It’s always painful to see Hollywood to run so dry of ideas that they shell out good pocket coupons to produce cheap/cheesy horror like Wrecker (releasing November 6, 2015): “Best friends Emily and Lesley go on a road trip to the desert. When Emily decides to get off the highway and take a ‘short cut,’ they become the target of a relentless and psychotic trucker who forces them to play a deadly game of cat and mouse.”

Wrecker

Not only is Wrecker NOT an original idea with a crappy title, who would pay to see a movie what you can see on a freeway any day of the week?

Duel / The Car

Wrecker’s plot is a direct lift from Stephen Spielberg’s Duel (1971), in which McCloud (or “Dennis Weaver”) is relentlessly pursued across dirty desert back roads by a 18-wheeler driven by a malevolent invisible trucker.

This was mimicked by Elliot Silverstein’s The Car in 1977, in which Amityville Horror’s James Brolin goes up against a possessed black car that “vroom-thump-thumps” anyone brave enough to use a crosswalk in Utah.

Christine / Maximum Overdrive

And picking up the pieces and running with that, who could forget Christine, the 1983 Stephen King horror movie that featured a “body by Chrysler, soul by Satan” ’58 Plymouth Fury that could return to showroom condition after being engulfed in flames and making griddle cakes out of thugs.

Then came Maximum Overdrive (another Stephen King adapted movie) in 1986 that not only turns a huge truck (with Spider-Man’s bestie the Green Goblin’s face on the front grill) into a “devastation wagon,” but anything mechanical that held a grudge against their human slave masters. (Can opener: “Take that, you opposable digit oppressors!”)

Road Train / Blood Car

Let us not forget the Australian Road Train (aka, Road Kill), which came out in 2010. In that one the monster truck is a rolling grindhouse, running on the goop left over after it throws you in the back and food processes you into energy-efficient goop. (They got this idea from 2007’s really funny dark horror comedy, Blood Car.)

Super Hybrid

While we’re on the subject of all things vehicular homicidal, there’s the “destined for the junk yard” Super Hybrid (2010) that had a souped up Prius™-y type hybrid not yielding to the right of way of pedestrians.

Want more? There’s plenty out there – especially on the freeway.

One Hell of a Halloween

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Ghosts, Scream Queens, TV Vixens with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2015 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Hellions

Lots of new Halloween-themed horror movies lining up outside your/my door this year, looking to fill their bags with treats (i.e., cash). Hellions, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival way back in the ancient days of January 2015, looks to lead the pack, despite borrowing notable elements from previous horror movies. (Borrowing is the new steal.)

Hellions

Hellion’s premise is straightforward: “A pregnant teenager must survive a Halloween night from Hell when malevolent trick-or-treaters come knocking at her door.”

Four weeks pregnant – and she only hooked up last week. Funny how time flies when you’re having horizontal fun.

Hellions

So these eerie/creepy/spooky kids in handmade Halloween cosplay, torment little Miss Unprotected Sex, telling her to give them what they came for. I’m thinkin’ it isn’t safe booty advice. That the gal’s pregnancy is progressing so quickly means that someone or something is hitting the fast-forward button on her womb of doom.

Storm of the Century

Of course, strangers appearing out of nowhere demanding to be given something is not new. For instance, in Storm of the Century, Stephen King’s 1999 TV mini-series, André Linoge, a seriously menacing dude, shows up as a mega storm is about to bury Little Tall Island (off the coast of Maine) in a world of whacked winter weather.

Storm of the Century

He somehow knows the dirty little secrets of the entire town’s citizens and keeps saying, “Give me what I want, and I’ll go away.” I’m thinkin’ it’s probably not a sno-cone.

Hellions

As for the little creeps in Hellions, one of ‘em sure looks like he borrowed some fashion tips from Sam, the Halloween mascot from Trick ‘R Treat (2007), a surprisingly cool horror anthology. FYI: The burlap look is back and is the must-have season accessory.

Trick 'R Treat

Vampire Town

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Vampires, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Salem's Lot

Originally a four-part mini-series on television (or “TV”), this thorough 2004 remake fleshes out Stephen King’s best-selling novel about a small town plagued by a vampire and punches the corny 1979 Salem’s Lot right in the neck.

Salem's Lot

Four hours long, the story begins with published author Ben Mears (Rob Lowe) returning home to Jerusalem’s Lot to do a book on the feared Marsden House, where as a kid on a dare, he witnessed several murders and was scared so bad he loaded his metaphorical pants. Ben wanted to rent the decrepit huge mansion up on the hill overlooking the town, but a vampire signed the lease first. (Probably with a pen filled with blood.) Very convenient having Ben and the vampire show up at the same time.

Salem's Lot

Soon several school kids turn up missing. Then several townsfolk. Then the whole dang community is one zip code away from becoming Vampire Town. (I could’ve used the word “City” or “Ville,” but I stick by my first choice.)

Salem's Lot

With four hours to kill (sorry) the movie really gets a chance to define King’s well-crafted characters, although they all talk like they were reading directly from his book. When it happens, the vampire stuff is kinda cheese ball (the garish display of fangs, the hissing of breath like a punctured water bed, screaming like a little girl when impaled with a wooden stake).

Salem's Lot

This is a rare instance where the story is better than the monster. Several scenes, though, are pretty cool, including the creepy vampire kids on the school bus and a housewife’s dead body coming back to life in the morgue. (Thankfully someone had the frame of mind to construct a crucifix out of tongue depressors or there could’ve been big trouble.)

Salem's Lot

The best line comes after the vampire (Rutger Hauer) convinces a priest to renounce his faith. When the defrocked dude asks him, “Is there a God?” Hauer replies, “Only the God that feeds you,” and makes the past pastor drink his vamp-y blood. Cool.

Decent horror, great story and a “ville” full of bloodsuckers. I’d move there. In the daylight, though, because hey, vampires.

Salem's Lot

P.S. The vampire in the 1979 movie was/is way cooler than the 2004 version vampire. This tooth is evident Heh.