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Horror Channel celebrates Stephen King's 70th year and goes Southbound this October.
By James Whittington, Tuesday 3rd October 2017
Works by Stephen King feature heavily this month on Horror Channel, which celebrates the icon's 70th year of one of horror's most prolific and popular authors. There are network premieres for his fearsome feline anthology Cat's Eye, starring James Woods and Drew Barrymore; his darkly weighty cautionary tale Stephen King's Thinner, directed by Tom Holland in his directorial debut; the science-fiction action horror Maximum Overdrive, starring Emilio Estevez; and the 2009 adaptation of his short story Children Of The Corn.

Horror Channel has eleven film premieres in October, including the UK premieres of Southbound, a chiller compendium from the creators of the V/H/S franchise; Mitch Wilson's gruesome hell-ride Knucklebones; and Declan O'Brien's twisted take on the Outback slasher franchise, Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines.

There are also network premieres for remakes The Hills Have Eyes 1 and 2, George Mihalka's Canadian slasher My Bloody Valentine, and hillbilly horror returns in Valeri Milev's Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort.

First of all let's look at the Stephen King season which starts on Saturday the 7th with Cat's Eyes. Three shocking King short stories are linked by a stray cat that roams from one tale to the next. First, Dick (James Woods) is trying to quit smoking by any means necessary - even joining a shady self-help group. Next, Johnny (Robert Hays) is an adulterer forced by the wronged husband to circle a building's hazardous ledge. Lastly, Amanda (Drew Barrymore) is threatened by an evil gnome who throws suspicion on the family cat. The season continues on the 14th with King's Maximum Overdrive. After a comet causes a radiation storm on Earth, machines come to life and turn against their makers. Holed up in a North Carolina truck stop, a group of survivors must fend for themselves against a mass of homicidal trucks. A diner cook, Bill Robinson (Emilio Estevez), emerges as the unlikely leader of the pack, attempting to find an escape plan for himself and the survivors.

Stephen King's Thinner is next up on the 21st which concerns Billy Halleck (Robert John Burke) who is an obese lawyer who accidentally hits a gypsy with his car. Given Halleck's influence in town he manages to brush the incident under the rug with some unethical legal help. However, the victim's father, Tadzu Lempke (Michael Constantine), places a curse on him and he starts to lose weight at an alarming rate. Then, events become even more macabre. The season ends on the 28th with one of his most famous stories, Children Of The Corn (2009). As physician Burt Stanton (David Anders) and girlfriend Vicky (Kandyse McClure) drive across the American Midwest to his new job, their trip comes to a sudden halt when they encounter the body of a murdered boy in the road. Trying to contact the authorities, Burt and Vicky wander into a small town populated only by children. Soon they realise in horror that the youthful fanatics want to sacrifice them to their demonic deity.

The rest of the month contains fear-filled franchises with the UK TV premiere of Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines on the 6th where a small mining town hosts the Mountain Man Festival on Halloween. The wild night of costumes, drinking and partying turns into a bloodbath when an inbred family of hillbilly cannibals target several college students for dinner. The story continues on Friday 13th with Wrong Turn 6: Last Resort where Hobb Springs is being looked after under the watchful care of Jackson and Sally, a socially awkward couple who introduce a boy named Danny to the long lost family he's never known. Soon, Danny is forced to choose between his friends and his bloodline.

Wes Craven's 1977 shocker The Hills Have Eyes gets an update on the 20th as Alexandre Aja takes hold of the story. A stranded family are stuck in a barren US atomic zone. They soon discover, to their horror, that the wasteland is far from uninhabited. A band of bloodthirsty mutants prowls the area, and there is nothing they like better than fresh human meat. The terror doesn't end here as on the 27th The Hills Have Eyes II continues the flesh-crawling terror as members of a National Guard unit (Michael McMillian, Jessica Stroup and Daniella Alonso) stop at a deserted research camp. Picking up a distress signal coming from a mountain range, they set out to investigate, unaware that a tribe of vicious, cannibalistic mutants awaits their arrival...


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