Those lovely folks, doing the marketing for Warner Bros, have asked us nicely to let you good folks know about the wodge of offerings they have on retail from the master of horror Stephen King. Mr King is enjoying a bit of a revival currently with the big-screen version of IT eating up box-office records (and small children), Gerald’s Game successfully translating the difficult-to-adapt tale of a woman handcuffed to a bed to the smaller screen and, oh yeah there’s The Dark Tower, the less said about the big-screen mess that is The Dark Tower the better. Anyhow that’s enough yabbering. Here’s what we have to say about the current Stephen King offerings available on retail this Halloween courtesy of Warner Bros all of which can be purchased via the link just below.

SALEM’S LOT (1979)

This acclaimed TV mini-series, adapted from Stephen King’s 1975 book of the same name, stars David Soul and James Mason and is directed by the late great Tobe Hooper. David Soul stars as writer Ben Mears who returns to his hometown only to discover that there’s a rather hungry vampire turning the townsfolk into fellow blood-suckers. Given the remarkable, and deserved, box-office success of this year’s big-screen version IT, it should come as no surprise to hear that studio chiefs are toying with rejigging this beauty for the big screen too. For now though why not do yourself a favour and sink your teeth into this worthy adaptation.


Now here’s a title that needs absolutely no introduction. THE SHINING is arguably one of the finest genre films ever made however Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation didn’t sit well with its author. Jack Nicholson stars as former alcoholic Jack Torrence who, along with his son Danny and wife Wendy, is caretaking the remote Overlook Hotel during the winter months. Jack sees this as opportunity to get back into his writing however his young son Danny isn’t so keen. Danny has a gift, a gift that affords him the opportunity to see into the hotel’s grim past. Kubrick racks up the tension as Jack unravels culminating with that famous line delivered by Nicholson as he axes down the bathroom door. Upon its theatrical release in 1980 THE SHINING received a lukewarm response from both critics and cinema audiences – what were they thinking? This is a classic in every sense!


Before director Andy Muschietti turned Stephen King’s mighty tome into a critical and commercial smash the book had already been adapted into a fondly remembered 1990 mini-series starring Tim Curry as the iconic clown Pennywise. Whereas the big-screen version tackled the earlier based elements of King’s novel – with the second film scheduled for release in 2019 – director Tommy Lee-Wallace tackles the story wholesale with the Loser’s Club, as adults, returning to their home town to confront and destroy the evil that resides there. Whilst not completely successful this 1990 version still has plenty to enjoy especially in Curry’s performance as the clown.


Upon purchasing Stephen King’s book of the same name, upon its release in 2001, I struggled with elements of the plot. Was Dreamcatcher meant to be a comedy? After all this is a tale where folks literally squeeze aliens out of their butts. This 2003 big-screen adaptation is faithful to the source material but for this reviewer it was just as much of a mess as the source material. Dreamcatcher definitely has a strong team both in front of and behind the camera. There’s Lawrence Kasdan directing from a screenplay he co-wrote with William Goldman and Morgan Freeman, Thomas Jane and Damian Lewis headlining. Apparently King wrote Dreamcatcher whilst he was recovering from a near-fatal car accident and it’s clearly evident that he is far from his top form with this tale. However, for those amongst you that fancy an alien tale with a difference then DREAMCATCHER is for you.


Originally a short story collection first published in 1993 NIGHTMARES AND DREAMSCAPES debuted on TNT back in July 2006. Lasting eight episodes the anthology series is primarily based on stories from King’s book of the same name however a couple have been taken from other collections from the same author. Starring Tom Berenger, William H. Macy and Ron Livingston there’s over three hundred minutes worth here to satisfy genre fans everywhere.

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