Saturday-Frights-Halloween-Special-Ep-065

Saturday Frights Podcast Ep. 65 (Halloween Special IV)

What can you expect from the Saturday Frights Halloween Special IV? How about a visit to the Haunted Drive-In for a movie marathon? Furthermore, the Projectionist and myself are joined by a host of friends this time. All gathered to discuss that maestro of horror, Stephen King! We cover the likes of his books, film adaptations and even TV miniseries. Of course since we are at the Haunted Drive-In, you can expect plenty of surprises and vintage audio treats.
Halloween Special IV - King

For the Halloween Special IV, we are joined by I See Robots, Allison L. Venezio, Ashley Thomas aka The Nerdy Blogger, Rockford Jay, Gino Vega, and of course the Retroist. I ask you, what better time to discuss Stephen King than on Halloween?

As for what we cover on the Saturday Frights Podcast Halloween Special IV. It ranges from Cujo to the The Running Man.Pet Sematary and The Ramones – up to the author’s influence on the hit series Stranger Things. I think we have certainly thrown a wide net on King’s work. However I feel there is one movie in particular that managed to plant seeds of fear with more than one of us.
Halloween Special IV - Church

We hope you will listen and share your own King memories in the comments section!

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like for us to cover in the future, email them to me at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also contact me on Twitter and on Facebook.

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The Saturday Frights Halloween Special IV guests certainly deserve links to their spot on the internet!


Both I See Robots as well as the sensational Gino Vega can be found at the The Official Webpage of the IseeRobots Foundation!
Besides her work here on the Retroist you can also catch up on Allison Venezio’s work at Allison’s Written Words!
Ashley Thomas can be located in fact at her namesake – which just so happens to be The Nerdy Blogger!
Our newest intern at the Retrost Vault, I referring of course to Rockford Jay can be found on the Saturday Frights Facebook Page. Naturally!

Happy Halloween!

Ghost Stories - Cover

Ghost Stories Of An Antiquary – Volume II

Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II is an upcoming graphic novel. An Adaptation of four of M.R. James’ supernatural tales of terror. By the way of Leah Moore and John Reppion, under Self Made Hero in fact but published by Abrams Books. M.R. James has been cited as being an influence on the works of both H.P. Lovecraft as well as Stephen King.

Ghost Stories - M.R. James

The esteemed M.R. James – medievalist scholar as well as writer of ghost stories!

With it being October of course, what better way to celebrate the season than with some of James’ stories? Because with the second volume of Ghost Stories of an An Antiquary you get a nice selection from the author’s work.

With Number 13, illustrated by George Kambadais. We are introduced to a young man named Mr. Anderson. Who has arrived at the Golden Lion inn in Viborg, Denmark. A researcher who certainly uncovers something startling. Whilst checking on his fellow lodgers he discovers there is no room numbered 13 listed in the available rooms. Except if that is the case…why does Mr. Anderson pass a room marked 13? As well as the mystery of the singing and laughing from behind a door to a room that isn’t supposed to exist?

Next up in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II is Count Magnus! Illustrated by Abigail Larson it is the tale of one Mister Wraxall. A travel guide writer. Mr. Wraxall is visiting Sweden for research on an upcoming book. However the man instead learns of the bloody handed legacy of the titular Count Magnus. A fearsome man who it was rumored was to be on a ‘Black Pilgrimage’. In addition to causing enough fear to warrant three large padlocks on his place of rest. What might happen if those padlocks were to be opened?

Ghost Stories - Count Magnus

Some doors are not meant to be open!

Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad is the third entry. In addition this is a story by M.R. James that I know well thanks to a television adaptation. This story which is illustrated by Al Davison concerns Professor Parkins, who is on holiday. While the Professor might intend to spend time playing rounds of golf, he uncovers an odd item located in a burial site. What was once a Templar preceptory hides a whistle. Being an educated man and scorning of what some might deem superstitious. Parkins blows the whistles. Twice. Being a ghost story it shouldn’t surprise you that something answers the call, right?

Ghost Stories - Oh Whistle

Professor Parkins is going to learn to keep an open mind!

The last story presented in Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II is The Treasure of Abbot Thomas. Illustrated by Meghan Hetrick. In this tale we meet Antiquarian, Mr. Somerton, who follows the trail of a coded message. Which in fact is hidden within a stained glass window in the Abbey of Steinfeld in Germany. Furthermore the reason for this coded message is it is said to lead to a hidden treasure. Somerton and his trusted servant, Mr. Brown – are able to decipher the clues which lead to an abandoned well that once belonged to Abbot Thomas. A well that curiously indeed contains steps that lead down into the darkness…as well as a guardian.

It is the fourth tale that is very much like the writings of H.P. Lovecraft, friends. It is probably my favorite of them all. But each one does represent a wonderful type of ghost story by the way. If you find you need a little something to help you get into the spirit of the season. Ghost Stories of an Antiquary – Volume II comes out this Tuesday. Or instead you can order a copy for yourself by following the link to Abrams books.

Now that you now what to expect from Ghost Stories of an Antiquary. Why not watch the 1968 television adaptation for Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad?

[Via] Montague James

Lawnmower Man - Scream Factory

Scream Factory: The Lawnmower Man Collector’s Edition

The Lawnmower Man had an interesting cinematic journey. When it was first being advertised back in 1992 it in fact had Stephen King’s name attached to the film. Based on his short story from 1975. Problems arose however when King began to realize the movie had very little to do with his version of The Lawnmower Man.
Lawnmower Man - 1992 Poster

King’s The Lawnmower Man was first published in the May 1975 issue of Cavalier. Although I first read it in a copy of his 1978 Night Shift, a collection of his short stories. The King tales concerns a man who had a rather bad incident while mowing his lawn the previous Summer. Moreover this incident involved a neighbor’s dog chasing another neighbor’s cat under his lawnmower!

I think you can see why the protagonist might feel like letting the yard grow. Finally of course he needs to hire a service and that is when the true terror begins. A large and overweight man comes to mow the lawn and he has a peculiar way of taking care of the grass to say the least. In fact the story was adapted into the Marvel Comics magazine title Bizarre Adventures #29. Furthermore using King’s text and the legendary Walt Simonson’s artwork.
Lawnmower Man - Bizarre Adventures
Lawnmower Man -Walt Simonson
Lawnmower Man - Walt Simonson - Bizarre Adventures #29

I apologize, I got off on a tangent there. Stephen King apparently felt the 1992 film adaptation didn’t have anything really to do with his work. So he successfully sued to have his name removed from all advertising as well as the movie. It was upheld twice in court but New Line Cinema didn’t fix the issue until the third time the author brought them to trial. I found out that King won additional damages as well when the home video release featured his name. New Line was ordered to pay King $10,000 a day for every day they didn’t strike his name from the home media. In addition they had to forfeit all profits earned from those sales.
Lawnmower Man - Laserdisc

Be that as it may, The Lawnmower Man has become a cult film. One of those reasons of course is the then impressive CGI work for the virtual reality sequences.
Lawnmower Man

The story for the film concerns Dr. Lawrence Angelo (Pierce Brosnan) who is employed by Virtual Space Industries. The good Doctor is attempting to craft a software program that uses virtual reality and an experimental drug to boost a subject’s intelligence. In this case it is being tested on Chimpanzees – which of course goes wrong. Dr. Angelo is against the military aspects of his project in the first place and when things go wrong he decides to do research on his own. With the help of Jobe Smith (Jeff Fahey), a gardener who is slow-witted but has a gentle heart.

Obviously the movie wouldn’t be very interesting if everything went according plan. While Jobe is becoming much smarter, I would say super-humanly so as he learns Latin in just two hours. The man who quite frankly has been abused most of his life starts gaining disturbing abilities. Such as telekinesis and even telepathy. It turns out that Dr. Angelo’s former “boss” has secretly been administering the aggressive drug into Jobe’s treaments. As you can probably imagine this certainly doesn’t bode well for those who used to mistreat the young man.
Lawnmower Man - Mower
Lawnmower Man - Jobe loses it

So it becomes up to Dr. Angelo to confront his out of control creation in the wilds of cyberspace. Up for grabs is nothing short but the fate of the world itself! You’ll have to pick up the The Lawnmower Man: Collector’s Edition to learn who is victorious.
Lawnmower Man - Virtual Reality

This marks the first time the film has been available on Blu-Ray. Scream Factory has of course packed this two disc collector’s edition with all sort of extras:

Disc One – Theatrical Cut:

  • NEW 4K Scan Of The Interpositive
  • NEW Cybergod: Creating The Lawnmower Man – Featuring Interviews With Co-Writer/Director Brett Leonard, Actor Jeff Fahey, Editor Alan Baumgarten, Make-up Effects Artist Michael Deak And Special Effects Coordinator Frank Ceglia
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Brett Leonard And Writer/Producer Gimel Everett
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Original Electronic Press Kit With Cast Interviews And Behind-The-Scenes Footage
  • Edited Animated Sequences
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • TV Spot

Disc Two – Director’s Cut:

  • NEW 4K Scan Of The Interpositive With Additional “Director’s Cut” Footage From The Original
  • Camera Negative
  • Audio Commentary With Writer/Director Brett Leonard And Writer/Producer Gimel Everett
  • Conceptual Art And Design Sketches
  • Behind-The-Scenes And Production Stills
  • Storyboard Comparison

So prepare yourself for the coming of The Lawnmower Man on 6/20. In addition you can hop on over to Scream Factory and pre-order your copy today!

The Lawnmower Man demands you roll for initiative!


Lawnmower Man - D20

Apt Pupil - Novel

Remember The 1987 Apt Pupil Film…Wait, What?!

At first you might be thinking I’m joking about an Apt Pupil movie from 1987. In this case though I certainly am not. While there was of course the 1998 feature film by Bryan Singer. Starring the late Brad Renfro as well as Sir Ian McKellen. The fact of the matter is we came very close to a 1987 adaptation of Stephen King’s Apt Pupil.
Apt Pupil

Apt Pupil was a 1982 novella by King. Published in Different Seasons. The story concerns a young man named Todd Bowden, who has realized the terrible secret of Arthur Denker. This secret turns out to be that Arthur is in fact a Nazi war criminal known as Kurt Dussander. Soon Kurt and Todd’s friendship results in murder.

Both unknown to the other are stalking the homeless community in an attempt to rid themselves of nightmares. Things spiral out of control for both Todd and Kurt, thanks to not just the homicide but the web of lies and distrust the two spin.

Bryan Singer’s film in my opinion does a remarkable job of capturing the feel of the novella. The darkness of Kurt’s past of course as well as Todd’s acceptance and desire to feel the same. Some critics even made note that Singer’s adaptation managed to make King’s story even more darker by changing the ending. Having said that, I am in the camp that feels the ending doesn’t live up to the source material.

I was working at the Razorback Theatre back when Apt Pupil was released. I can tell you that it played to mostly empty auditoriums. It seems to have been mirrored in it’s theatrical run elsewhere as well. Regardless, as I’ve already mentioned in spite of the ending, I do like the film.

So imagine to my great surprise yesterday when I learned that there was a 1987 film adaptation. As much as I wish I could point you to a finished product at the present time there is none. Bear in mind, Apt Pupil wasn’t scuttled in the pre-production phase. Quite the contrary, as Director Alan Bridges had already been filming for ten weeks. I have read that nearly 40 minutes of footage had been shot.

So I’m guessing at this point you must be wondering why the film was never finished. It turns out the production company ran out of finances. And when after a year had passed Apt Pupil was ready to resume production, the actor who was chosen as Todd had aged too much to match the previous footage. Now who might you ask was the young man who becomes seduced by Kurt’s evil? Would you believe me if I told you it was Ricky Schroder from Silver Spoons?

I tell you it’s all true, friends. Now what about the role of Kurt Dussander? Before production began Apt Pupil had an embarrassment of riches in regards to the actors approached to the play the part. Salem’s Lot James Mason was asked to play the role but passed away from a heart attack before filming. Then you had the likes of Richard Burton, who I believe would have been amazing, but he died from a cerebral hemorrhage before signing on.

The actor who in fact played the role of the escaped Nazi war criminal was Nicol Williamson. Who I bet you film fans know best from his role as Merlin in 1981’s Excalibur!

So I will leave you with this. That 40 minutes of footage is of course not readily available. Although it has been said that Stephen King once saw the footage and thought highly of it. Perhaps in the future we shall be lucky enough to see what was filmed for 1987’s Apt Pupil?

Castle Rock

Castle Rock Series Promises A Stephen King Multiverse

The announcement of Hulu‘s Castle Rock series has made one thing rather clear. This is in fact a very good time to be a fan of Stephen King. In July we will have a film adaptation of The Dark Tower as well as It in September. It was just a few days ago that I shared the amazing piece of fan art inspired by that 1986 novel.

Read: Fan Transforms 1958 Stereo Unit Into Derry From Stephen King’s It

Castle Rock is an upcoming 10-episode series, furthermore it is an exclusive for Hulu. Produced by J.J. Abrams with show creators and writers, Sam Shaw & Dustin Thomason. Whom you might know from the criminally underappreciated Manhattan.

[Via] BD Horror and Trailer Clips

I’m not sure about you but I am totally digging the vibe of that teaser trailer. As to why this in fact looks to be a Stephen King Multiverse series, I will let the Hulu Press Release explain:
“A psychological-horror series set in the Stephen King multiverse, Castle Rock combines the mythological scale and intimate character storytelling of King’s best-loved works, weaving an epic saga of darkness and light, played out on a few square miles of Maine woodland. Castle Rock is an original suspense/thriller — a reimagining that explores the themes and worlds uniting the entire King canon, while brushing up against some of his most iconic and beloved stories.”

Of course, fans of Stephen King know of Castle Rock all too well. 35 works of King’s fiction feature or mention that fictional town in Maine. Starting with the Dead Zone in ’79 up to 2014’s Revival.
Castle Rock

J.J. Abrams went into a little more detail when appearing on a recent episode of The Tonight Show. As well as describing the surreal experience of watching 2005’s The Descent with the author in a movie theater.

[Via] The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon