Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Erik and I were lying in bed last night talking about the strange catching nature of vomiting (we're passing around a stomach bug), and he mentioned the story--I said I knew what he was talking about, then backed up to make sure.  Yep, we were both thinking of the pie eating contest story-within-a-story from...

That's where it broke apart.  Erik said Stand by Me; I said "The Body."  He knew the movie; I knew the novella.

This is par for the course for me, actually.  I did watch Stand by Me on TV once and was singularly unimpressed with it; the novella is worlds better.  But even larger than the list of movies where I prefer the book is the list of books that I've never actually seen the movie for.

I reread King's On Writing last year, and it prompted me to check The Shining out of the library.  I have yet to see the movie.  Part of me wants to, but more of me thinks "Redrum?  That's not in there.  And what the fuck is Jack doing holding an axe?  And his wife had a razor blade, not a butcher knife."

I suppose that the movie adaptation of "Apt Pupil"--incidentally from the same collection as "The Body", along with "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" (another movie I've never seen), and "Breathing Lessons"--soured me on movie versions of Stephen King works forever, though I will say that the TV version of "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band" was pretty good.  I've never seen Pet Sematary, either.

This isn't all about Stephen King movies, though.

There are a lot of films that everyone else has seen that I have not.  Which is kind of odd on the one hand, since I love movies, but not so much so on the other, since I grew up really poor, and so movies weren't exactly high on the list of things to spend money on.  Nor are they now, though every once in a while Erik and I will say "We should go see a movie!"  (We are inevitably distracted by the bookstore.)  And even with economics taken out of the picture, I'd far rather move though a novel at my own pace, with my own mental images, than be spoon-fed someone else's idea of, well, anything.

Last summer I bought Monster Hunter International and saw The Hurt Locker on the same day.  This year I bought Monster Hunter: Vendetta, but I have not been to see another movie in the theater since The Hurt Locker.  (I did manage to see both Zombieland and The Hangover on DVD, however.)

I should probably come up with a list of movies that most people have seen but I haven't...thing is, I can't even think of them.  I don't see it as a deficit of any sort unless I'm in a conversation where it comes up.  This happened a fair bit during Creative Writing, in fact.  When films came up as a point of reference for short stories, I was absolutely lost.

So, if we are ever hanging around in real life, you are far better off not asking me what I thought of any of the Alien films.


Dave said...

I have seen a lot of movies - just not at the movie theater. I suppose we could afford the expense but to be honest, I don't mind waiting to buy the DVD from Wal Mart and sitting at home watching for a lot less. Plus, we can pause the DVD when someone needs to get up to pee or grab a free snack. Don't even get me started with the rude behavior of fellow movie goers and their cell phones, and loud talking.

The Body. I need to read that.

Bob said...

I saw a lot of sympathy puking in the Navy, where it's common the first day or so of a cruise due to seasickness (not everyone is wise enough to take Dramamine or a Scop patch); the initial puker is usually set off by watching something moving, such as the privacy curtains in the berthing areas (they sway as the ship rolls), then once he starts, several other join in.

Be sure to visit Larry Correia's blog to see his Monster Hunter Halloween post, it's a riot.

AlanDP said...

You may notice that unlike just about every other Stephen King movie, "The Shining" is only "The Shining," not "Stephen King's The Shining." He refused to allow his name in the title because the movie was so different from the book.

The made-for-TV mini-series of the book that was made several years ago DID get his endorsement as being much more faithful to the book. In my opinion, it's vastly superior to the movie. But most movie fans will vehemently disagree.

Mattexian said...

David Brin's The Postman is a fine example of how badly the movie can deviate from the original text. The book was about rebuilding the remains of civilisation, the movie seemed to be a giant anti-"militia movement" scree of the mid 90's, that makes one wonder how the author could give his blessing to it, but he did.