Monday, September 30, 2019

WUH: Stephen King Extras

As in Extra Special! Along with my own ramblings on a handful of films that didn't get the full treatment on previous episodes (Creepshow, Children of the Corn, Maximum Overdrive, Stand By Me, etc.) there is an interview with horror film journalist and filmmaker Jerry Smith regarding his Dollar Baby Deal.

Friday, September 27, 2019

WUH: Special Report on Full Circle (1977)

I love a good detective story (just think of all those Murder, She Wrote references on the show) and I love to hear behind the scenes tales about my favorite movies. When I discovered Simon Fitzjohn on Twitter I was immediately intrigued by the work he was doing to track down the rights for the film Full Circle (more commonly known in the States as The Haunting of Julia). After watching one particularly intriguing video on his YouTube channel (which mentioned Prince Charles of all people) I decided to ask Simon if he had done any podcasts so that I could have a listen and get more information on his quest. When he said he hadn't I immediately invited him to appear on Wake Up Heavy. After some months we finally got the chance to sit and have a talk and it was illuminating.

Also check out this episode from February about Mia Farrow and her genre films.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

WUH: Stephen King 1984-87


Were there signs of King slowing down over the next four years? Heck no! Remember what I said about 1980-83 being over saturated? Well that may have been premature. King published six novels, one novella, one collection of short stories, and the Bachman book Thinner. The previous four Bachman books were also re-released as an omnibus, which we will get to in time.

Eight movies were released during this time with many of them being adaptations of short stories, or novellas. I.e. Hollywood was really digging deep to provide movie goers with their King fix, but they were mining some of the lesser works.

Of the books published during that time these titles have been brought to the screen: Cycle of the Werewolf as Silver Bullet (1985) IT (1990 & 2017/2019), and Misery (1990). The Talisman is currently in the development stage, and Hulu is supposedly bringing The Eyes of the Dragon to their platform as a series.

My interest in King may have started to wane during these years, but, like so many of the things that brought me great pleasure when I was young, my love for all things King has returned with renewed fervor.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

WUH: Stephen King 1980-83

The years 1980 through 1983 might possibly be the most over-saturated in terms of Stephen King output. During this time five novels were published and five movies were released, and if you didn't know who King was you must have been living under a (Castle) rock. Ha ha. And lest we forget we also got the collection Different Seasons, as well as two novels published as Richard Bachman: Roadwork and The Running Man. That's EIGHT books in three years people!!

To one extent or another all of the books published in those years have been adapted to screen: Firestarter (1984), Cujo (1983), The Dark Tower (2017), Christine (1983), and Pet Sematary (1989). Three of the stories from Different Seasons have been adapted, with the fourth ("The Breathing Method") due in 2020, AS WELL AS the Bachman books The Running Man (1987) and Roadwork forecast from the producers of IT.

1983 was pure King Heaven for this 14 year old, with the acquisition of my first hardcover and seeing a King film in the theater for the first time. And to this day the books and movies from this time period are among my favorite horror stories, not just of King's but in general.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

WUH: Stephen King 1974-79

Stephen King shot out of the gate with the publication of Carrie in 1974. Though the hardcover didn't sell all that well the paperback rights were acquired for a whopping $400,000.00, of which King received half plus royalties. The paperback went on to sell one million copies in its first year.

Over the next five years King followed up with 'Salem's Lot, The Shining, The Stand, and The Dead Zone in quick succession. That's six novels in six years, plus the short story collection Night Shift in 1978 AND the books Rage and The Long Walk written under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. Whew!

In 1976 Brian DePalma brought Carrie to the big screen. The movie was a critical and commercial hit, and since King's books were selling like gangbusters Hollywood came a callin'. 'Salem's Lot was turned into a TV mini-series in 1979, The Shining was made into a movie by Stanley Kubrick in 1980 (and later a TV mini-series, written by King and directed by Mick Garris), The Stand became another mini-series directed by Garris, and The Dead Zone was made into a movie in 1983 by David Cronenberg and a TV series in 2002 that ran for six seasons.

Not all King adaptations are created equally, and some can cause division (and derision) among fans of the books. In my opinion things start out very strongly with DePalma, Kubrick, and Cronenberg at the helm of their respective films. In this episode I talk at length about three of my favorite King stories.