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By Emily Booth, Wednesday 4th October 2017
Stephen King fever is everywhere right now, and with the icon turning 70 last month, it doesn't look like he's slowing down anytime soon. This summer's IT reboot caused cinematic shock waves on a global scale, and the recent Gerald's Game is being touted as one of the must-see horrors of the year by the critics.
Let's be honest; the King movie adaptation has always been fraught with controversy, from both fans, critics, and even the man himself. While Stanley Kubrick's The Shining is considered by many to be one of the best King adaptations (and indeed the best horror film of all time!), King himself publicly criticised the film, writing and producing "Stephen King's The Shining"; a TV mini-series in 1997 in direct response to address this 'misinterpretation' of his literary vision. It all started though in 1974, when his first novel Carrie - written when he was aged just 26 - created a massive storm, and just two years later Brian De Palma helmed the film adaptation, which unlike The Shining, was warmly received by King. Since then, there have been nearly a hundred different adaptations and we've collated a season of four network premieres to be screened and introduced by myself every Saturday night in October at 9:00pm.
Launching the season comes King's inventive, feline led anthology Cat's Eye (1985). Starring a young Drew Barrymore seeking help from the eponymous cat, the unfortunate feline is embroiled firstly in an adventure that sees him captured by Quitters Inc., a dubious company employing extreme measures of blackmail to help their clients quit smoking, before being swept into a dizzying scenario involving a mobster, his wife's lover, and one terrifyingly high ledge. When the moggie finally reaches Drew Barrymore, he discovers a little girl terrified of a troll living in her house but no one believes her. This truly is the stuff of childhood nightmares! Cat's Eye gets its network premiere this Saturday 7th October at 9:00pm.
The following Saturday comes the only film that Stephen King has ever directed to date; the film adaptation of his own short story 'Trucks'. Maximum Overdrive (1986) starring Emilio Estevez sits on the more fun, light-hearted and indeed bonkers end of King's vast spectrum, and sees the rise of sentient machines turning against humanity when planet Earth crosses paths with a comet. Such a dramatic turn of events allows for some very unusual death scenes when machinery turns murderous, including a violent Coca Cola vending machine and an army of killer trucks. Accompanied by a rock 'n' roll soundtrack by AC/DC, Maximum Overdrive gets its network premiere Saturday 14th October at 9:00pm.
The following Saturday, Stephen King's Thinner sees a greedy lawyer get what's coming to him when he runs over the daughter of an old gypsy man who lands him with one hell of a curse; no matter what he eats, he loses weight at an alarming rate every single day, so the man who had it all is about to lose everything.
The final film in our Horror Channel Stephen King Season is the 2009 version of King's chilling masterpiece Children of the Corn - originally a short story which first appeared, bizarrely, in the 1977 issue of Penthouse Magazine. Set in Nebraska, a young couple is unwittingly drawn into a horrifying cult where children rule and sacrifice 'adults' to their demonic pagan god. Exploring one of King's favourite themes, religious hysteria, this is sure to send a chill down your spine.
Stephen King is irrefutably a master of original horror with morality tales that stab you in the back, so don't miss Stephen King Season on Horror Channel every Saturday at 9:00pm in October.
Related show tags: CAT'S EYE, CHILDREN OF THE CORN, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, STEPHEN KING'S THINNER MORE ARTICLES Renowned Author and critic Kim Newman takes us on a nostalgic trip through Horror Channel's Classic Monster Marathon Day on Sunday 24 November.
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