Sometimes I ask myself why I keep coming back for more Stephen King movies not from the 1980s. I’m just a sucker for Stephen, and there’s at least little enjoyment to be had with these three, so let’s find out where that horror happiness stems from.
When we think of fantastic performances in Stephen King adaptations, we think Kathy Bates in Misery, Jack Nicholson in The Shining, Sissy Spacek in Carrie, Dee Wallace in Cujo—but we should also take note of Ron Perlman in Desperation.
The tragedy is that he disappears midway through the movie due to the plot, at which point the entire film loses steam. If you ask me, King should have revised his story for the screenplay in order to keep Perlman as the antagonist.
Driving along a desert road, numerous people are stopped and arrested by a freaky sheriff, played by Perlman.
He tosses them all in prison cells in a ghost town to do what with them we don’t know.
Working as his minions are loads of nature’s creatures, including spiders, buzzards, snakes, a mountain lion, and wolves.
At some point, Perlman takes a woman from the prison to pass on to her a demon that has been possessing him, and then he’s gone. After that, this becomes a generic, totally forgettable, good vs. evil, made-for-TV movie with way too much talk about and metaphorical shit concerning God and Jesus. Cool cast though—Steven Weber, Tom Skerritt, Charles Durning, Henry Thomas…
And as a subliminal PSA, Skerritt wears protection when he comes upon a dangerous looking hole…
BIG DRIVER (2014)
This flick is based on a novella from the collection Full Dark, No Stars, and it just feels like King is at a loss for new ideas and resorting to giving basic old premises a King touch.
This is a rape/revenge story. How it differs from other similar stories is that the victim here is an author, and to get revenge, she relies on an “imaginary friend” in the form of a character from her novel…played by Olympia Dukakis. Weird.
This was originally a Lifetime Channel movie, yet the rape scene manages to be very disturbing.
The main character gets a flat on a deserted road, a huge guy in a pickup truck stops to help her, and he then assaults her.
Rather than reporting the incident, she starts an investigation to track him down. That’s about it until the big final battle.
The most interesting thing to come out of this is Joan Jett in a small role, but the final act is satisfying enough for a fairly generic rape/revenge flick.
At some point it has to be all right for someone to admit not everything King writes is great, and the stuff that isn’t good shouldn’t be made into bad movies.
Adapted from a novella in the book Full Dark, No Stars, this is basically Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, with the beating heart replaced by rats and mooing cows. I can’t. I just can’t.
And therefore, I barely will. Thomas Jane’s wife wants to sell their farm and move. He convinces his son to help him kill her. They dump her down a well. Rats start eating her.
They dump one of their cows in on top of her—alive (the theme of animal cruelty I’ve been noticing in this series of Stephen King posts persists). They fill the hole with dirt.
Thomas Jane is terrorized by rats and mooing for the rest of the movie.