EP 48 – “STEPHEN KING’S REIGN OF TERROR” IS NOW UP!

 

ON THIS EPISODE:

Danny, Devon and Brandon are on their best behavior as they are joined by Alexandra West and Andrea Subissati from The Faculty of Horror Podcast to discuss STEPHEN KING. For the last half-century KING has been captivating and terrifying his loyal readers and providing Hollywood with endless material for movie-going audiences the world over. Listen in as the panel discusses their favorite entries from KING’s vast body of work. Whether you love CARRIE or lose sleep over PET SEMATARY, you marvel at the visuals in THE SHINING  or sit on the edge of your seat until the credits roll on THE DEAD ZONE,  STEPHEN KING’s stories have transcended paper and film and changed American horror in a way that only few ever have.

EACH PANELIST’S TOP 13 STEPHEN KING FILMS
(PRIOR TO TAPING – MANY OF US HAVE SINCE CHANGED OUR MIND)
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  • Richard K. Weems

    Hello, everyone. I’m a first-time listener, lured in from the Faculty of Horror horde, and I wanted to leave thanks for the insightful discussion of Stephen King adaptations. I don’t enjoy reading his books (tried several, and the only one I read with pleasure and thus finished was On Writing) but I have great respect for his impact on culture and adore the respect he shows for the craft of writing and storytelling. His reading list at the back of On Writing is impressive and varied.

    I don’t recall hearing anyone bring this up on the show (but if i’m bringing up a redundant point, forgive), but I read in Tony Magistrale’s book Hollywood’s Stephen King that King will at times sell movie rights at bargain basement rates. For Castle Rock Entertainment to make Stand by Me, for example, King sold the rights to “The Body” for a dollar but took a percentage off the top. This detail suggests not only an economic availability of his work, which probably makes his work sought after for adaptation, but I think it also relates to the general availability that pervades his aesthetic. You noted in your show his typical focus on small towns and regular joes (and janes?), but also, King writes in a direct, unburdened style that makes his work accessible to so many age and reading levels (unlike, no doubt, this post).

    Just wanted to contribute a bit. Great choice to bring on Profs West and Subissati, and thanks for the insightful discussion.

    • Brandon Fleet

      Hi Richard, great great insights and thank you for listening. Talking King is a daunting topic so we were extremely pleased that Alex and Andrea jumped in with us for the talk, as we too are part of the Faculty of Horror horde.

      It’s a really interesting point about the availability of his work. I love a lot of King’s “dollar baby” adaptations (not all of them, mind you) but I wasn’t aware that he would do that sort of deal with a major studio (unless the back-end offering was extremely lucrative). Though, admittedly I don’t know how much of a presence Act III would have been in Hollywood circa 1985/86, so maybe that explains it too. Very interesting stuff to look into and be considered…

      I just wanted to quickly mention that the release of Stand by Me actually preceded the founding of Castle Rock Entertainment. I always assumed that it was the company’s first production but it was actually “Winter People” with Kurt Russel and then “When Harry Met Sally”, which were both in ’89. It’s also interesting to note that Castle Rock went on to produce the second film version of Lord of the Flies, the original-original namesake of “Castle Rock”. And obviously they went on to produce Misery, Shawshank, Dolores Claiborne, The Green Mile and Dreamcatcher.. so your point still stands – They’re in the Stephen King adaptation business. I’ll have to take some time to look into some of the numbers a bit closer on those films by the sounds of it, as you said – it might lend some interesting insights into them coming to fruition.

      Cheers.

      • Richard K. Weems

        Thanks for the fuller picture. The detail I provided was from an interview, so perhaps he’s misremembering the names some, but he also made clear that his percentage came off the top, which for movies like Green Mile proved to be a plutonium mine.

        But yes, to make his stories available to film students shows such dedication to the art of storytelling and encouraging the tradition rather than keeping work under lock and key and deterring adaptations. Though it’s funny also to note that his dollar-deal with large studios also involves a lot of creative control, which I can imagine has some root in his enmity with Kubrick.

        • Brandon Fleet

          Hahaha.. Absolutely.