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Stephen King

Future King

10 Stephen King Stories That Deserve Their Own Movie

Spend Father's Day with IFC's Stephen King Father of Horror Marathon.

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Photo Credit: Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

With 57 movies, TV shows and mini-series (and counting), Stephen King has never been shy about allowing his works to be adapted. Still, because the guy is such a prolific writer, there are dozens of untapped stories that could stand the big screen treatment. Before you catch IFC’s Father of Horror marathon, check out a few Stephen King tales that have the legs to go from the page to the silver screen — that is if Kathy Bates doesn’t beat them with a hammer first.

10. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Scribner

The best thing about this 1999 King book is its simplicity: A girl is separated from her family while hiking in the woods, and must survive with few provisions and little know how, all while fending off increasing hallucinations of an evil creature determined to kill her. With its relatable “girl vs. nature” story, and a few dark Stephen King flourishes, this could be a gripping tale about one woman’s fight to live at all costs.


9. The Monkey

Monkey Shines
Orion Pictures

“The Monkey” tells the story of a wind-up monkey toy that causes someone to die every time it claps it symbols together. A surprisingly understated story, considering it centers on a murderous stuffed marsupial, in the right hands it wouldn’t have to become the campfest its logline suggests. (Monkey Shines, anyone?) King himself adapted a version of this story for The X-Files episode “Chinga,” but we still feel like there’s plenty to mine here. One of the few stories left unadapted from Skeleton Crew, the Stephen King book of short stories that gave us The Mist, “The Monkey” is a tail, er, tale whose time has come.


8. Insomnia

Insomnia
Viking

Insomnia tells the story of a widower unable to sleep after his wife dies in a horrible accident. The longer he goes, the more strange visions he starts to see. From ribbons billowing out of people’s heads to little bald men in lab coats, his lack of sleep reveals another world to him. With the right director at the helm, this hallucinatory look at a man coping with grief could make for both a gripping meditation on loss, and a visual masterwork. Rob Schmidt, the director of Wrong Turn, tried and failed to get an adaptation going in 2007, so this one might have a steep hill to climb to make it to the big screen.


7. Gerald’s Game

Geralds Game
Viking

The story of a wife who’s left handcuffed to a bed after her husband dies during a sex game, this story would be a difficult adaptation. For one, the lead is naked for the entire movie. Then there’s the fact that she’s the only character for the majority of the book. Still, with its florid hallucinations, and tense escape scenes, this movie could be to S&M what 127 Hours was to rock climbing. Not one of King’s best novels, but with the right vision, it could be reworked into a taut thriller with a feminist twist. (An adaptation from the director of Oculus was announced in 2014, but things have been quiet of late.)


6. The Talisman

Talisman
Viking

Perfect for the blockbuster franchise treatment, this collaboration between King and horror icon Peter Straub was a stab at mixing the authors’ dark sensibilities with a more fantastical genre. The book tells the story of Jack Sawyer, a young boy who must travel across the country, and through parallel worlds, on a quest to save his mother from cancer. With wonderful fantasy iconography, all grounded by a boy’s personal journey to save his dying mother, this could be an epic story with real heart. Think Labyrinth, but with bloody murder instead of singing puppets. And thanks to the book’s sequel, Black House, which tells the story of a grown up Jack, there’s material here for multiple sequels.


5. N.

N
Marvel

A psychological horror story in the vein of H.P. Lovecraft, N. follows a group of disparate people who become obsessed with, and are driven insane by, a circle of stones in a random field which they believe are a portal to a monster in another world. A tense thriller mixed with some Lovecraftian cosmic horror of the unknown, this could be a fun, particularly dark movie about trying to maintain one’s sanity in the face of absolute terror.


4. The Regulators

Regulators
Dutton

The Regulators follows a young, autistic boy named Seth, who’s given the power to control his town by a demon. Thanks to his TV obsessions, this idyll suburban setting quickly transforms into a mishmash of cowboys and sci-fi silliness. With its dark, fantastical visuals, a big screen version of The Regulators has the chance to be a wonderland of pop culture references and unexpected scares.


3. Joyland

Joyland
Hard Case Crime

A more recent novel in the author’s canon, Joyland tells the story of a young man working at a carnival for the summer, where he must help a ghost solve her own murder. More a coming-of-age tale than an outright scare-fest, this novel has some weighty themes, mixed with enough horror pulp to make it a truly special film.


2. Doctor Sleep

Doctor Sleep
Scribner

Now this one is a no-brainer. A sequel to The Shining, this 2013 novel picks up in present day, following a grown-up Danny as he tries to protect a psychic girl from nefarious forces. While it would be intimidating to try to follow in the footsteps of auteur Stanley Kubrick, with the proliferation of remakes and sequels out there these days, it seems hard to imagine this won’t make it to the big screen at some point. Let’s just hope whoever helms it has their own vision, and doesn’t try to do Kubrick-lite. (Click here to see all airings of The Shining on IFC.)


1. The Long Walk

Long Walk
Signet Books

An early work written in 1979 under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, The Long Walk is without a doubt one of the author’s most original, dark and haunting stories. Set in the near future, the story follows a group of boys who’ve entered a walking competition, with a twist. If they stop for any reason, they’re shot. The last boy standing gets whatever he wants for the rest of his life. An early example of the dystopian game show genre that would go on to influence everything from King’s own The Running Man to The Hunger Games, The Long Walk mixes a fascinating collection of characters with a stripped-down story about the will to live at any cost. Stephen King adaptation all-star Frank Darabont has owned the rights for years, but has yet to move on them. Let’s hope that changes.

Honor scary dads this Father’s Day with the Stephen King Father of Horror marathon.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.