Directed by John Hough
Starring Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowell, Clive Revill, and Gale Hunnicutt, and Michael Gough
Strange that I have never reviewed this on here since it is one of my favorite haunted house movies of all time. This has been a constant battle with me, between this one and Robert Wise’s The Haunting (1963) for the top spot, but Hell House usually comes in second. This was also the very first VHS tapes I rented after buying my first VCR. I don’t remember when exactly was the first time I saw this, probably around the same time I saw The Haunting for the first time, thanks to my future wife, Dawn, and her mother. But I know I immediately fell in love with it. Continue reading
Ever since the publication of Stephen King’s 1979 novel, The Dead Zone, the fictional town of Castle Rock would become a staple in a lot of King’s later stories. Now with Hulu, King, and J.J. Abrams creating a new series based on this little strange town, it seems the perfect time to celebrate the different stories that have a connection with it. And now thanks to the Music Box Theatre and Consequence of Sound podcast, Chicago area fans will have a chance to see 8 different films based on King’s work on the big screen.
Released by La-La Land Records
First in 2003 & then again in 2014 in an expanded edition
Original release has 14 tracks with a Total Running Time of 1:06:49 min.
Expanded release has 48 tracks with a Total Running Time of 75 min.
Composed and Performed by John Harrison
2014 Expanded Release
George Romero and Stephen King made this movie as a homage to the old EC Comics of the ’50s, such as Tales from the Crypt and Vault of Horror. Listening to Harrison’s score for this movie is just like reading through the comics yourself. The eerie sounds both in and around the music is incredible, making this one of my favorite scores of all time. Granted, the film itself in one of my favorites, so the music just adds to that.
The Shining (1997)
Released by Varèse Sarabande Records, 2017
3 Discs – 64 Tracks with a Total Running time of 2 hr. 29 min.
Music by Nicholas Pike
Being released for the first time, Varèse Sarabande has unleashed Nicholas Pike’s epic score for the 1997 mini-series version of Stephen King’s The Shining. It’s common knowledge that King wasn’t particularly fond of the movie version of his novel, so with him writing the screenplay and directed by long time King collaborator, director Mick Garris, they made a version that he would be happy with. Pike was in charge of bringing the sense of dread in musical form for the mini-series. And he does a fine job with it too.
Released by Varèse Sarabande Records, 2017
Disc 1 – 16 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 46 min.
Disc 2 – 17 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 42 min.
Music by W. G. Snuffy Walden
It has been years since I’ve seen Stephen King’s The Stand, but can remember there sitting in front of my TV when it first debuted, anxiously awaiting it to start, like millions of other King fans. But since it has been so long, I don’t recall much of the score, other than hearing Blue Öyster Cult’s Don’t Fear the Reaper in the opening minutes, so this was almost like listening to it for the first time. And I have to say, I am amazed that I don’t remember more of this highly entertaining set of music.
If you’re a fan of Stephen King and love soundtracks, then you are probably going to love this bit of news. Varèse Sarabande Records has announced an 8-CD set that has the soundtracks for four of King’s films. They are:
Dreamcatcher (2003) – Composer James Newton Howard’s score on 2-CDs
Firestarter (1984) – Tangerine Dream
The Stand (1994) – Composer W.G. Snuffy Walden’s score on 2-CDs
The Shining (1997) – Composer Nicholas Pike’s score on 3-CDs
Released by Varèse Sarabande
18 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 34 min.
Original Music by John Carpenter in Association with Alan Howarth
Another classic soundtrack from Carpenter and Howarth. I don’t know how Carpenter continued to do it all those years ago, coming up with a score that was so simple and never over-the-top or intricate, but almost made them damn effective. And the score for Christine is no different.
Using just a keyboard, they once again create such an eerie score, building tension and atmosphere that some couldn’t do with a full orchestra. Even on a track like #5 Discovery, it is slow with on a few notes but is still able to make in impact, not to mention what it adds to the actual film. When you get to tracks like Moochie’s Death, we get a lot of suspense through the beating pulse along with a little melody in the background, with a few stingers here and there. Highly effective.
At the end of this month, Varèse Sarabande is releasing this on vinyl, with brand new art from Gary Pullin.
Nothing pleases me more than when I hear of a new book coming on a horror movie. Not only does it make me happy that here are still books being published, but also that it is about the genre I love so much. Definitely a win-win! Now it has been years since I’ve seen the film version of Cujo, and even longer since I’d read the book. But I do remember enjoying both for different reasons. I know it’s been a film that I’ve been meaning to re-visit for a while. I’m sure after reading this book, that desire will be even greater.
Lee Gambin, author of Massacred by Mother Nature, has a new book out called Nope, Nothing Wrong Here: The Making of Cujo, that focuses just one of those killer animal movies, the 1983 film based on the King book which was published in two years earlier. A simple story about a battle between a mother and her young child against a massive and rabid Saint Bernard. I know of a couple people that this movie simply terrified them and made them always a bit twitchy around dogs, of any size. Gambin’s book tackles the whole movie from beginning to end, and all aspects of the production. It covers the early days when the production was running into problems, the original director Peter Medak getting canned, and so much more. With more than thirty different interviews with the people involved, Gambin gives us a ton of information about this famous furry terror. We’ll get to hear from actors Dee Wallace, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Danny Pintauro, director Lewis Teague, composer Charles Bernstein, stuntman Gary Morgan, and plenty of more.
Directed by George Romero
Starring Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Fritz Weaver, Leslie Nielsen, Carrie Nye, E.G. Marshall, Viveca Lindfors, Ed Harris, Ted Danson, Stephen King, Warner Shook, Robert Harper, Elizabeth Regan, Gaylen Ross, Tom Atkins
One question that horror fans get asked a lot is “what’s your favorite horror movie?” I know a lot of fans do have a particular one that is their favorite. For me though, it really would be impossible for me to narrow it down to even 20, let alone a single one. But I do know that if such a list was ever conceived in my brain, somewhere near the top would be George Romero’s Creepshow. In fact, it is my favorite of all of Romero’s work, even above Night of the Living Dead. Maybe it was because I saw this in the theater at the time my obsession with the horror genre really started to explode. Maybe it was the great mixture of horror and humor. Or the way it blended the world of horror comic books that I read as a child into the movie world in such a beautiful way. Whatever reason it might be, or all of them, I have loved this film since I first witnessed it in the theater back in 1982, and I still love it just as much today.
“Although the villagers had forgotten the ritual and lost the original black box, they still remembered to use stones.” Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.
I had mentioned this on my Facebook page a few days ago, but I feel that I need to comment it on here as well, but in a slightly longer detail. In issue #170 of Rue Morgue, they have Shirley Jackson on the cover. Who is Shirley Jackson you ask? I would hope that everyone out there knows who she is, but sadly, that is probably not the case. It is this exactly reasoning that I feel why Rue Morgue needs to be applauded for this. By not just putting something their cover that they know it will draw attention of potential customers and sales, they decide to put the relatively unknown Jackson on it, in tribute of what would have been her 100th birthday this year.