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Category: Horror

The Top 10 Stephen King Movies of All Time

Alex Maidy and JoBlo.com present their choices for the Top 10 Stephen King Movies of All Time.  Using just their choices here are my top three…

#1 – THE MIST

Frank Darabont films represent three of the films on this list but it is THE MIST that deserves the number one spot. A perfect representation of King’s sense of horror combined with a master filmmaker’s eye for framing and storytelling. Couple a stellar ensemble cast led by Thomas Jane with one of the most gut-wrenching endings in movie history, THE MIST shows what can be accomplished when a Stephen King novel is given the best treatment possible.

#5 – STAND BY ME

Based on King’s novella “The Body”, STAND BY ME is a movie that represents an entire generation. Helmed by Rob Reiner, this is a movie about growing up that proved Stephen King was more than just a writer of horror stories. This film encapsulates the adventure young kids have gone on for generations but mixes it with very real and candid conversations about life and becoming adults. Reiner would go on to adapt another King novel but this one shows he should definitely make another.

 

#6 – CARRIE

The first Stephen King novel published was also the first turned into a film. Despite a lackluster sequel and remake, Brian De Palma’s original CARRIE remains a classic. Owing more to Hitchcock than any true horror inspiration, CARRIE is an examination of what it means to be a teenage girl growing up with the threats of abuse, bullying, and psychological trauma. CARRIE remains to this day a great movie and one hell of a scary one at that.

 

If it was my list I would have included The Dead Zone but it sure would be hard to decide which of these three to remove.

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10 Invasive Facts About “Mars Attacks”

Mark Mancini and Mental_Floss present 10 Invasive Facts About Mars Attacks.  Here are three of my favorites…

2. BURTON WANTED HIS MARTIANS TO BE ANIMATED VIA STOP-MOTION.
The concept of a Mars Attacks! movie first surfaced in 1985, but development wouldn’t begin in earnest until 1994, when screenwriter John Gems and director Tim Burton got involved with the project. To bring the aliens to life, Burton intended to utilize stop-motion animation, something he’s “always [loved] and always will.”

Early in pre-production, a set of 12-inch articulated Martian models were built for testing purposes. At first, Burton’s plan was to have these animated in front of a blue screen. They would then be inserted digitally onto miniature sets by the artists at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM). Ultimately, though, Burton decided to abandon the stop-motion approach when ILM presented him with some impressive screen tests featuring computer-animated aliens.

Despite this, Mars Attacks! still pays tribute to the older effects technique. At Burton’s instruction, ILM animated the digital extraterrestrials as if they were stop motion puppets. This is why the Martians move a bit more rigidly than did most contemporary CG characters, such as the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park (1993).

4. WHY DID SO MANY CELEBRITIES JOIN THE CAST? THANK JACK NICHOLSON.
Let’s do a quick head count. Glenn Close, Martin Short, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Michael J. Fox, and Sarah Jessica Parker are just a few of the big names on this movie’s mile-long list of stars. And yet, when the casting process began, Mars Attacks! struggled to attract any players with serious marquee value. Gems blames this on the fact that most of its characters either die in some cartoonish manner or end up disfigured.

“Agents didn’t want to see their star clients playing loser roles, and a lot of big acts passed on the project,” he says. “At one point, we thought we were going to have to cancel the film. The guy who saved our butt was Jack Nicholson.” According to Burton, the Academy Award-winner was enthusiastic about joining Mars Attacks! from the very start. After sending Nicholson the script, Burton gave him a call while location-scouting. “Which part would you like to do?” asked the director. “How about all of them?” Nicholson replied.

In the end, he was double-cast as President Dale and a sleazy Vegas businessman. Once word got around that Nicholson would be involved, other celebs lined up to join the ensemble. “We started getting requests from more stars than there were parts for,” Gems notes. “It was like a tidal wave when Jack came on.”

9. INDEPENDENCE DAY OWES ITS TITLE—AND PART OF ITS PREMISE—TO MARS ATTACKS!
While Burton toiled away on Mars Attacks!, Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich were writing an alien invasion movie of their own, but theirs was to have a more serious tone. The duo knew that both pictures would be released at some point in the summer of 1996.

“I said to Dean, we can’t do our film after a parody comes out. We had to beat [Burton] to it,” Emmerich recently said in an interview with The Guardian. “If it came out on the 4 July weekend, we would beat Mars Attacks!, which was coming out in August. So we wrote the concept around the release date. Dean said: ‘Let’s just call it Independence Day; we can come up with something better later.” The rest is history.

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15 Modern Horror Movies Stephen King Has Personally Recommended

John Squires and Bloody Disgusting present 15 Modern Horror Movies Stephen King Has Personally Recommended.  Here are three of my favorites from his list…

11) THE MIST
“The ending will tear your heart out… but so will life, in the end. Frank Darabont’s vision of hell is completely uncompromising. If you want sweet, the Hollywood establishment will be pleased to serve you at the cineplex, believe me, but if you want something that feels real, come here. Darabont could have made a higher-budget film if he’d added a cheerful ‘It’s all OK, kiddies’ ending, but he refused. His integrity and courage shine in every scene.”

4) DAWN OF THE DEAD (2004)
“Genius perfected would be Zack Snyder’s Dawn remake, which begins with one of the best opening sequences of a horror film ever made. Snyder’s zombies are, it seems to me: fast moving terrorists who never quit. You can’t debate with them, you can’t parley with them, you can’t even threaten their homes and families with reprisals. All you can do is shoot them and then steer clear of the twitchers. Remember that their bite is worse than fatal.”

12) THE RUINS
“The Scott B. Smith-scripted adaptation of his novel isn’t quite as creepy as the book, but the sense of dismay and disquiet grows as the viewer begins to sense that no one’s going to get away. With its cast of mostly unknowns, this would play well on a double bill with Snyder’s Dawn [of the Dead] remake.”

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10 Infectious Facts About “Resident Evil”

Jay Serafino and Mental_Floss present 10 Infectious Facts About Resident Evil.  Here are three of my favorites…

1. GEORGE ROMERO WAS ORIGINALLY TAPPED TO WRITE AND DIRECT.
George Romero basically created the zombie movie genre with 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, and his signature undead style had a huge influence on the original Resident Evil video game series. So the decision to bring him on to write and direct the first movie was a virtual no-brainer. Video game studio Capcom and Sony came to an agreement with the horror legend in 1998 to bring the film to life, and despite not being familiar with the game series (he researched by watching someone else play the games), Romero wrote a script that closely followed the events of the first Resident Evil title.

Despite early enthusiasm from everyone involved, Romero’s script treatment was eventually rejected and he was fired. “Romero’s script wasn’t good, so Romero was fired,” Capcom producer Yoshiki Okamoto tersely said of the ordeal. That’s not to say Romero never directed anything Resident Evil-related. Before the movie fell through, he was at the helm of a live-action commercial for the Resident Evil 2 video game that only aired in Japan. (You can watch it above.)

6. ALICE NEVER APPEARS IN THE VIDEO GAMES…
Milla Jovovich has been one of the most visible action movie heroines over the past 15 years, but her Resident Evil movie character, Alice, never even shows up in a single Resident Evil video game. Anderson reasoned that the role of Alice helped people enjoy the movie even if they never played the games.

“There’s the hardcore fans, who know everything about the video game and about the world and then there’s the more general audience, who you also need to come and see the movie, who don’t know anything about the world,” Anderson told The Hollywood Reporter. “I think sometimes they feel a little excluded because they go, ‘Oh this is not for me.’ Milla really became the avatar for that audience.”

7. ALICE’S NAME IS NEVER SPOKEN THROUGHOUT THE MOVIE.
Seriously, watch the first movie again. Milla Jovovich is never referred to as “Alice”; you’d only know her name by staying and watching the closing credits. This was intentional, as Anderson didn’t even want Alice to know who she was in the first movie.

“What I provided her with in the first movie, was like a blank slate,” the director told Thrillist. “She wakes up in the first movie, she has no memory. She has no concept of who she is and how she feels about things. While you’re watching as an audience member, you’re watching a character being constructed in front of your eyes.”

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