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October 27, 2016
Comments Off on The Shining: Couldn’t agree more

The Shining: Couldn’t agree more

Love Stephen King, loved the novel, couldn’t wait to see the film as a kid, couldn’t have been more disappointed when I did.
 

“It promised to be the scariest film ever made.
Except it wasn’t. The first time we saw The Shining, it was a shattering disappointment. I’d never expected – nor wanted – a film adaptation that slavishly stuck to its source, but Kubrick had left out all the best bits. Where were the hedge animals? The roque mallet? The boiler? “The novel is by no means a serious literary work,” Kubrick told French film critic Michel Ciment, “but the plot is for the most part extremely worked out, and for a film that is often all that really matters.” Yet he and his co-writer, Diane Johnson, cavalierly junked the central dynamic of a parent struggling against his own dark urges and fear of harming those closest to him, and fans of the book were not pleased.” – The Shining has lost its shine – Kubrick was slumming it in a genre he despised

The Dead Zone, on the other hand, one of my favourite of Cronenberg’s and a good King adaptation.

 

March 21, 2013
Comments Off on James Herbert

James Herbert

The Rats

The Rats

Too young to get into 18 certificate films, and jealous of my cousins who could, my alternative was to read horror novels, and I soon discovered James Herbert. The Rats, The Spear, The Fog, Fluke, so many great stories that had everything I wanted as a kid from a book.

 

I remember an interview in which James Herbert described being in a meeting and wondering “What if someone got up and jumped out of the window – what might make them do that?” – or something along those lines. All his books were great What ifs?

 

Along with Stephen King, Roald Dahl, Frederick Forsyth and William Goldman, James Herbert was what I read as soon as I had a say in it (although my parents were always great in letting me pick their books from the shelves to read, thus the Goldman, Forsyth and adult Dahl stories), and fostered my love of horror.

 

July 24, 2012
Comments Off on My Top 10 Films

My Top 10 Films

  1. Lost in Translation
    Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray perfect in Sofia Coppola’s best
  2. Groundhog Day
    Explains The Internet
  3. Dumb and Dumber
    Saw this at the cinema when it came out and hated it. Got funnier with every viewing after.
  4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Perfectly captures the pain of being in love with the wrong person
  5. Ichi the Killer
    Off the wall sadomasochism
  6. Kissing Jessica Stein
    Slightly clutzy lesbian love story, but that “I know…” scene is a killer
  7. The Dead Zone
    David Cronenberg’s best is the best Stephen King adaptation
  8. Five Easy Pieces
    Quit a job after watching this
  9. Harold and Maude
    Quirky love story with perfect soundtrack
  10. Big dumb fun action movie
    Die Hard, Payback, Terminator (I or II), Bourne. Before the sequels ruined them

 

May 1, 2012
Comments Off on Always had a lot of time for Stephen King…

Always had a lot of time for Stephen King…

King himself currently pays taxes of around 28% on his income, and at a recent rally in Florida wondered publicly why he was not paying a higher rate of 50%. You’re unhappy about it? “Cut a check and shut up,” was the response from his listeners, the author writes in a piece for The Daily Beast entitled Tax Me, for F@%&’s Sake! “If you want to pay more, pay more, they said. Tired of hearing about it, they said. Tough shit for you guys, because I’m not tired of talking about it. I’ve known rich people, and why not, since I’m one of them? The majority would rather douse their dicks with lighter fluid, strike a match, and dance around singing ‘Disco Inferno’ than pay one more cent in taxes to Uncle Sugar.”

Stephen King: I’m rich, tax me

April 8, 2012
Comments Off on Rereading and By Reason of Insanity

Rereading and By Reason of Insanity

By Reason of Insanity, Shane StevensNot big on rereading books for much the same reasons as Mark Watson*, but one of the few I do is By Reason of Insanity by Shane Stevens.

Mentioned in the afterword of Stephen King’s The Dark Half which also has a character named after one from another Stevens’ novel Dead City, finding a copy back in the day wasn’t as hard as now. Which is a shame, as it was published before the serial killer thriller was written to death, a genre I stopped reading when I would pick one up in a bookshop and struggle to remember if I had read it already. Thirty-three years on By Reason of Insanity still stands head and shoulders above nearly all of them.

And while I enjoyed Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, their tight writing and pared down story took away the need to reread them. They were a gripping one shot hit, brilliant for those very reasons, and if you haven’t read them you must. But By Reason of Insanity at 500 pages or so, with a plot that twist and squirms getting more and more desperate as it develops, rewards rereading and is one of a handful of books I return to.

Hopefully the rumours that Shane Stevens was a pen name for another author are true, otherwise he apparently passed away in 2007.

Guardian article c/o John Barger on Google+

*a shelf of books and a stocked kindle waiting for time