Monday, October 25, 2010

The Monday Movie Meme

"Stephen King is dubbed "The King of Horror." The man has had his writing result in over 100 visual productions - shorts, TV episodes, mini-series and full features. If you have never seen a Stephen King production, you must have worked very hard to avoid them. Not all of his stories are horrific. But most of them are. And all of them are great character studies. Elements of the mind are far more scary than creatures. But he likes to create terrifying creatures too. Just to cover all the bases. If the world was to be banned of all King productions save one, which would you save for posterity - to represent the only visual adaptation of his work for the future generations to see? Here is our choice - a unanimous decision. Share your selection on your blog, linking back here at The Bumbles. And don't forget to visit your fellow participants!"

In terms of filmmaking, my choice would probably be The Shawshank Redemption. But when it comes to an excellent story that should be preserved, even if only on film, it must be The Stand.

The Stand

The Stand offers a varied and all-star cast playing out a mix of King's strongest talents: horror and character study.

First, the source material: The Stand is rumored to be King's favorite of his own novels. I think it's also his longest novel, and is broken down into three sections. As far as the tv adaptation, the acting is very good, the story is riveting, and the background music will scare you silly or break your heart (the music from the traveling scenes is some of the loneliest I've ever heard).

The story begins with a superflu that escapes the government lab where it's being developed and spreads around the world in a matter of weeks. Ninety nine percent of the population is wiped out, and the story then focuses on the surviving few in the (former) United States. Small groups of survivors begin banding together, drawn by their dreams either to Boulder, Colorado and the kindly old woman there, or Las Vegas, Nevada and their visions of the Dark Man. Once assembled into the two camps, they engage in the final showdown between good and evil.

The idea of a pandemic wiping out most of the world's population is so within the realm of possibility that it immediately boosts the tension. Was it just last year that we were all worrying if there would be enough flu vaccine to go around? In true King fashion, he preys on those fears that lurk and linger in the back of our minds.

Dividing the cast between camps of good and evil, King shows how human nature can lead basically good people to do terrible things, and the effects of unrequited love, rejection, jealousy and fear. Most of the characters' behaviors are believable, which makes the story all the more frightening.

2 comments:

  1. I haven't seen The Stand. I'm thinking of joining NetFlix, though, and I'm sure I could watch it.

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  2. I've never seen or read The Stand either. I feel like I've missed out. Is the mini-series cheesy now or does it hold up? I know it had an all star cast.

    Oh - and please rent Stand By Me soon - that is one of the best movies ever. I saw your comment elsewhere that you've never seen it!!!

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