Stephen King, Wes Craven, and George A. Romero are three of the most recognizable names in modern horror. In Beyond Fear, author Joseph Maddrey takes a look at some of the most iconic works of each and explores their deeper meanings, drawing on each creator’s personal history and worldview. The book, however, is not too highly intellectual, making it accessible to the average fan who is interested in learning more about their favorite scary storytellers.
Maddrey divides his writing into three parts: one essay on Romero and his Living Dead series, five chapters on Craven’s career in film, and twenty-seven entries on King’s material (including five entitled “The King of Hollywood”). Early influences and possible inspirations are cited for each story or film, and the impact they had on society is considered.
Beyond Fear provides an interesting overview, specifically when it comes to Stephen King’s prolific output and the struggles of his early career. The first 123 pages covering Romero and Craven are an interesting read, but even if they were omitted, Beyond Fear would still be well worth the reader’s time.
The Illustrated Stephen King Trivia Book
by Brian James Freeman and Bev Vincent
illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne
Cemetery Dance Publications, 2012
Based upon both the life and the works of one of the most celebrated modern horror writers, The Illustrated Stephen King Trivia Book is sure to stump even the most ardent fan at some point. Brian James Freeman, who co-wrote The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Book, teams up with Bev Vincent for this volume. While the movie version was organized by title, this collection of trivia jumbles all of King’s novels together in one section, his novellas in another, short stories in another, and so on. At first I was put off by the seeming disorganization within the sections, but after reading why this path was chosen it makes sense. Vincent explains, “If you didn’t remember that Joe Camber was a character in Cujo, you’d be less likely to remember what his wife got him as a present.”
The bulk of the trivia deals with King’s horror writings, but there are also small sections dedicated to movies and other adaptations, non-fiction, and miscellaneous trivia. The authors provide whimsical hints for questions to help the reader remember, or to make him smile. However, as Vincent states in her introduction, Glenn Chadbourne’s illustrations really set this volume apart from other trivia books on the market. Fans of King’s works will enjoy the challenges presented here, while horror art connoisseurs will devour Chadbourne’s renderings of King’s creatures and characters.
The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Book by Brian James Freeman, Hans Åke Lilja, and Kevin Quigley (2012)
The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Book
by Brian James Freeman, Hans Åke Lilja, and Kevin Quigley
illustrated by Glenn Chadbourne
Cemetery Dance Publications, 2012
Have you seen all the movies based on Stephen King’s writings five times each? Own the DVD releases of the various television miniseries? Think you know every last detail about every last Children of the Corn sequel? With The Illustrated Stephen King Movie Trivia Book, you can test yourself and your horror-loving friends about both the big-screen and small-screen adaptations of your favorite author’s works.
Arranged by movie, starting with 1977’s Carrie and going all the way through 2011’s Bag of Bones, authors Brian James Freeman, Hans Åke Lilja, and Kevin Quigley test you on some of the most trivial details, from the name of Captain Hollister’s secretary in Firestarter to the type of soft drink used to drug Wharton in The Green Mile. There are special sections for sequels, for King as an actor, and for his “Dollar Babies.” The most prolific franchise, Children of the Corn’s six “awful” sequels, also has its own segment near the end of the volume.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Glenn Chadbourne’s fantastic illustrations throughout the book. The artist’s renditions of Church and Pennywise are a couple of my favorites in this book.
This book is recommended without reservation for horror movie buffs, especially those who specialize in Stephen King cinema.
Starring Angela Bettis, Patricia Clarkson, Rena Sofer, Kandyse McClure, Emilie de Ravin, Tobias Mehler, Jesse Cadotte, Meghan Black, Chelan Simmons, Katharine Isabelle
Directed by David Carson
As a general rule, reamkes are unnecessary, especially when the movie is fairly recent. A 1976 movie does not need to be remade in 2002. However, due to the motivation behind the 2002 television remake of Carrie, I’ll give them a pass. As a standalone production, it is absolutely unnecessary, but it was never intended to be a standalone production. NBC wanted to make a television series based on the character of Carrie White (played by Angela Bettis).
Unfortunatley, the television series never made it off the ground.
There are a few differences between the 1976 and 2002 films: the major difference being the survival of the titular character. Carrie was supposed to become a mentor to others with telekinetic powers, helping those in Florida harness their gift, and she couldn’t do that if she was buried under the house (as happeend in the original movie). In 2002, Sue Snell (Kandyse McClure) used CPR to save Carrie from drowning in the bathtub, then hid her in some sort of storage garage until it was safe to take her away.
Again, had they continued with a television series, this would have been a good pilot. Since there is no series to follow the adventures of Carrie in Florida, the 1976 film remains as a must-see, while the 2002 remake is just another in a long list of movies that didn’t really add any value to the horror community.
Day 23 – Your favorite made for TV horror film…
“I’m every nightmare you’ve ever had. I’m your worst dream come true. I’m everything you ever were afraid of.”
Techinically not a “film,” this miniseries for Stephen King’s “IT” aired in November 1990 when I was a high school freshman and I had to tape it each night because I couldn’t stay up to watch the whole thing. I wore that VHS tape out, and finally broke down and bought the DVD a couple of years ago.
Day 10 – Your favorite psychological horror film…
Based on the Stephen King novel, THE SHINING is a masterclass in psychological breakdowns. Jack Nicholson plays the perfect crazy guy, and Shelley Duvall‘s character went a little crazy too. Understandably so…wouldn’t you go crazy if your spouse chased you around an empty hotel with an ax?
Day 02 – The horror film that you relate most to…
This was a tough one, because I don’t typically watch movies that I think I can relate to. I watch movies to escape reality and to be entertained. But I decided to go with CHRISTINE for this challenge. Based on the classic Stephen King novel and directed by the great director John Carpenter, it’s the story of a nerdy kid who transforms into a kinda cool kid with the help of his demon-possessed car. And what nerdy kid doesn’t want to be transformed into someone kinda cool? Alas, I was never transformed. But I wanted to be. So I guess I relate to this movie. I guess.
I’m not a big reader anymore. I used to be. I loved “Lord of the Flies,” “Ordinary People,” and various other books in high school. One of the first horror novels I read was Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary.” But reading is not something I enjoy doing much anymore.
Watching movies…now that I can get into. Movies based on books…I’m hooked. I love Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and another series of movies that I won’t admit to because I don’t want to be mocked. Moving along…movies based on Stephen King novels are hit-and-miss. There are some really good ones (Pet Sematary, Carrie, It), and some awful ones (which I won’t name just in case they are among your favorites). But my favorite has to be Christine.
One of the cards I created for Thorzul’s Nightmares on Cardboard III contest is a tribute to Christine, in the style of 1983 Topps (the year the movie was released)…