FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS | BOOTH'S BLOG Who's There? Stephen King's The Tommyknockers Comes To Horror Channel
By James Whittington, Saturday 1st May 2010
Originally written in 1987, The Tommyknockers was Stephen King’s first real mixing of the horror and science fiction genres. Considering this followed the gritty realism of Misery, The Tommyknockers is a bit of a romp with an easy to digest premise that encroaches on a primal fear, that of not knowing who to trust. The book is set in Maine (where else?) where a long buried UFO is disturbed and emits a gas that infects the population of a local village. They are slowly transformed into creatures similar to those that had lived inside the spacecraft. Unfortunately those creatures had nasty habits and soon the townsfolk are killing each other.
Widely known as a subtle allegory of a period of Stephen King’s life (he was dabbling in substance abuse during the creation of the piece) The Tommyknockers transferred to the small screen in 1993 and like other King adaptations such as Salem’s Lot and It, this mini-series stays true to the source text whilst also injecting some of its own ideas.
To play the leads actors Jimmy Smits and Marg Helgenberger were chosen, a pair who were already established in shows such as L.A. Law and China Beach and brought with them a sense of credibility to the fantastical plot. The supporting cast was constructed from an eclectic mix of actors such as Robert Carradine, Traci Lords, E.G. Marshall and Cliff DeYoung. Mini-series stalwart John Power was given the job of directing whilst Lawrence D. Cohen, the guy who successfully transferred Carrie to the big screen way back in 1976 was put on script duties.
The serial wastes no time introducing us to the people of this small town where almost everyone has a juicy secret. There’s a postman (DeYoung) making “special deliveries”, a cop (Joanna Cassidy) with a crush and a poet (Smits) battling alcoholism and a lack of a new material. One local, Bobbi Anderson (Helgenberger) uncovers an alien craft and soon all hell breaks loose. Innocents start displaying incredible technical skills, building bizarre machines that can do anything, such as telepathic typewriters and others that can track missing persons. All the time whispers of The Tommyknockers begin to circulate and then death comes to the town…
Shot in a very cinematic fashion with subtle use of special effects to forward the narrative, The Tommyknockers is science fiction horror at its most intelligent. The cast play it perfectly straight with Smits in particular adding much pathos and depth to his far from perfect character. The build up to the alien presence and possession of people is measured, with director John Power making sure every ounce of tension can be wrung for the ever increasing extra terrestrial threat.
Fans of Stephen King won’t be disappointed with this interpretation of one of his most famous books. For those of you new to his work, tune in and watch a masterful, chilling and rewarding piece of television.
Stephen King’s The Tommyknockers starts on Friday May 7th at 16:00.
MORE FEATURES Wes Craven Season welcomes in 2018 on Horror
Posted on Friday 15th December 2017
Throughout January, Saturday nights at 9pm will be devoted to a Wes Craven Season as Horror Channel presents a retrospective of the late great genre director's career. Four of his supernatural shockers and scream-filled slashers will be broadcast, including the network premieres of serial killer chiller My Soul To Take, his macabre masterpiece The Serpent And The Rainbow, his diabolically electrifying Shocker and the goofy, gory satire The People Under The Stairs.
There are also network premieres for Franck Khalfoun's superior psychological horror Maniac, starring Elijah Wood as a scalp-loving serial killer, David S. Goyer's pulsating possession thriller The Unborn, starring Gary Oldman and Ham...SHARE: READ MORE The Evil In Us and P2 receive their UK TV premieres on Horror Channel in December
Posted on Wednesday 22nd November 2017
Christmas nightmares come early on Horror Channel, as the UK's primary TV destination for genre fans serves up the UK TV premieres of Jason William Lee's slick and stylish modern take on the zombie virus, The Evil In Us and Frank Khalfoun's boundary-pushing crime slasher P2, starring Wes Bentley.
There are also network premieres for Adam Egypt Mortimer's deeply-cutting supernatural revenge chiller Some Kind Of Hate, Ruth Platt's astonishingly bravura art-house horror The Lesson, Travis Oates' powerfully disturbing thriller Don't Blink, starring Mena Suvari and Glen Morgan's gruesome Black Christmas, a remake of the classic 1974 seasonal slasher, starring popular scream queen Mary Elizabeth Winstead....SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel devotes November to Bloody Brits and rampaging sharks!
Posted on Thursday 19th October 2017
November on Horror Channel has a distinctive cutting-edge with a Saturday night prime-time Bloody British Season, celebrating the new wave of British horror movies that reinvigorated the UK horror industry in the early 2000s. There are 9pm network premieres for Neil Marshall's sensational werewolf debut feature Dog Soldiers (2002) (Saturday 11th), his monstrous all-female star cast follow-up The Descent (2005) (Saturday 25th), Christopher Smith's underground ghost train journey through hell, Creep (2004) (Saturday 18th), and Nick Hamm's psychologically gripping The Hole (2001) (Saturday 4th), with Keira Knightley in her first significant film role.
And the cuts get deeper with a Sharkmania Marathon...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel celebrates Stephen King's 70th year and goes Southbound this October.
Posted on 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...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel FrightFest announces line-up for Halloween 2017 event
Posted on Thursday 28th September 2017
Horror Channel FrightFest Halloween 2017 unleashes seven choice shockers for the 7th annual West End Halloween chillorama - a wits-end wallow in all things gruesome, gory and glorious.
This year, the all-day shocktoberfest is at the Empire Haymarket on Sat Oct 28, 2017 and embraces one world, one European and five UK premieres, spanning three continents.
From the emotional making of a low-budget slasher to zombie nightmares, Gothic horrors, an outrageously strange mind cult, a sci-fi alien action extravaganza, a comic strip creature feature and the last word in Killer Clowns, this year-s line-up is an eclectic mix of the quirky, unusual and extreme.
Alan Jones, FrightFest co-director sai...SHARE: READ MORE Drag Me To Hell, Starry Eyes and Black Sheep amongst nine prime-time film premieres on Horror Channel in September
Posted on Sunday 20th August 2017
Horror Channel has nine prime-time film premieres in September including the UK premiere of Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer's stunning contemporary occult tale of Hollywood ambition and possession, Starry Eyes.
There are also network premieres for Sam Raimi's ferociously terrifying Drag Me To Hell, Eli Roth's splatter sensation Hostel, Mike Mendes' ultimate B-Movie experience Big Ass Spider, Jonathan King's zombie sheep gore comedy Black Sheep, James Wan's creepy killer-doll horror Dead Silence, starring True Blood's Ryan Kwanten, Robert Longo's cyberpunk action thriller Johnny Mnemonic, starring Keanu Reeves, Bryan Bertnia's home-invasion chiller The Strangers, starring Liv Tyler and John Carp...SHARE: READ MORE Film Highlights for August: Frightfest Season
Posted on Monday 31st July 2017
To celebrate Horror Channel FrightFest 2017, taking place in London during the August Bank Holiday, Horror Channel is dedicating thirteen nights to past festival favourites. The channel will air the following six UK TV premieres: Luke Hyams's beastly X MOOR; David Keating's skin-crawling rural nightmare CHERRY TREE starring Anna Walton; Adam Mason's blood-freezing home invasion thriller HANGMAN; Jason Lei Howden's splatstick shocker DEATHGASM; Eli Roth's notorious post-modern celebration of the Italian cannibal genre THE GREEN INFERNO; and Gez Medinger & Robin Schmidt's intriguing existential horror AFTERDEATH.
The double bills, on every night from August 18th - 30th, starting from 9pm, also feature FrightFest...SHARE: READ MORE Horror Channel brings a true classic plus a quartet of contemporary chillers this July
Posted on Tuesday 20th June 2017
Horror Channel has five prime-time Saturday night film premieres in July including the UK premiere of Brad Parker's chilling disaster horror Chernobyl Diaries. The film is written and produced by Oren Peli, who first terrified audiences with his ground-breaking thriller Paranormal Activity.
There are also network premieres for Todd Lincoln's supernatural spine-tingler The Apparition, starring Tom Felton, Don Coscarelli's surreal cult classic Phantasm, David Jung's paranormal found-footage soul-shaker The Possession of Michael King and Andrew Paquin's murderous home-invasion debut Open House co-starring his sister Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer.
Which one will you be staying in for?
Our pr...SHARE: READ MORE Horror brings a Vincent Price classic to your screens this June plus 7 more premieres!
Posted on Friday 19th May 2017
Horror Channel has eight prime-time weekend film premieres in June including the UK premieres of Retreat, Carl Tibbets' 'menage a trois of terror' starring Thandie Newton, Cillian Murphy and Jamie Bell and R.D. Braunstein's smartly gripping I Spit On Your Grave 3: Vengeance Is Mine.
There are also network premieres for Jennifer Lynch's uncompromising and dark chiller Chained, William Malone's gruesome cyber thriller Feardotcom, starring Stephen Dorff and Natascha McElhone and Michael Reeves's highly acclaimed Witchfinder General, starring Vincent Price.
In a deadly virus catching month, other highlights are first channel showings for John Pogue's [REC] inspired scareline Quarantine 2: Termin...SHARE: READ MORE Look out Jack, Chucky's back! Everyone's "friend till the end" on Horror in May
Posted on Monday 24th April 2017
Horror Channel has eight prime-time weekend film premieres this May including the network premieres for Don Mancini's killer-dolls spin-off Seed Of Chucky (pictured), starring Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly and Billy Boyd, Xavier Gen's unsettling post-apocalyptic horror The Divide and the epic vampire-battling Daybreakers, starring Eithan Hawke and Willem Dafoe.
There are also UK premieres of Jose Manuel Cravioto's pulse-pounding thriller Bound To Vengeance and Mary Lambert's evil-spirited gripper Urban Legends: Bloody Mary. Other highlights are first channel showings for Stephen Kay's monster in the closet chiller Boogeyman, Jamie Blanks' teen slasher Urban Legend and Ryuhei Kitamura's mystery-man rampaging...SHARE: READ MORE 5 Things You Need to Know About 'Raw'
Posted on Friday 7th April 2017
Director Julia Ducournau's first-full length outing, Raw is a must-see.
The film, which centres on a young vegetarian university student who develops a taste for human flesh, is unlike anything you've seen in recent years. We caught up with Ducournau to discuss what you need to know about the ultra-realistic flick that has everyone talking.
1. It may not be as gory as you think
Its debut at the Toronto Film Festival last year garnered a wealth of media coverage, due to the films' seemingly graphic content resulting in paramedics reportedly being called after cinemagoers had fainted. When Julia heard the news, she was shocked. "I love mixing genres and I love balancing everything that I do, but I do no...
Posted on Tuesday 21st March 2017
Get ready for hooks, surgical knives and power saws as Horror Channel adds a cutting edge to April's schedule as the UK TV premiere of the Soska Sisters' See No Evil 2 heads up a season of contemporary slasher films.
The season also has the network premieres of Stewart Hendler's sadistically slick Sorority Row with Carrie Fisher, the darkly deranged Girlhouse, and Nelson McCormick's axe-crazy re-imagning of a stalk and slash classic, Prom Night.
See No Evil 2 on the 7th concerns a group of friends who pay a late-night visit to the city morgue to surprise Amy (Danielle Harris) on her birthday.
But the surprise is on them when the one-eyed corpse of brutal psychopath Jacob Goodnight (Glenn 'Kane' Ja...SHARE: READ MORE PICK OF THE WEEK
Sunday 24th December
Wednesday 27th December
Friday 22nd December