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Maine Man Mangled: The Worst Stephen King Adaptations

Carrie

Stephen King is one of the world’s most successful contemporary authors. Selling over 350 million books since his career began, King has seen the vast majority of his stories adapted for both the big and small screen. It all started in 1976 when King’s first novel Carrie was adapted by director Brian De Palma. CARRIE starred Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie and a then unknown John Travolta, and saw outcast Carrie turn the tables on her tormentors at her high school prom thanks to her newfound telekinetic powers. Since the film’s success, numerous other stories by the author have come to life and most have been lucky enough to follow in Carrie’s footsteps. This week we see things come full circle as CARRIE receives the remake treatment courtesy of BOYS DON’T CRY director Kimberly Peirce. Chloë Grace Moretz (KICK ASS)  will be stepping into Spacek’s rather big shoes, with Julianne Moore (BOOGIE NIGHTS) taking over from Piper Laurie as Carrie’s overbearing mother.

The big question is which side will the film land on? Successful works include THE SHINING, MISERY, STAND BY ME and THE GREEN MILE. However, for every SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION there is a mediocre counterpart. What follows below are what I consider to be some of the worst book-to-screen adaptations of the great author’s work.

Mangler

 THE MANGLER (1995) dir. Tobe Hooper

THE MANGLER is based on the Stephen King short story of the same name from collection Night Shift. The film starred horror icon Robert Englund as Bill Gartley, the owner of the titular laundry press. When accidents involving the machine start happening, police officer John Hunton (Ted Levine) is called in to investigate. As he delves further into the goings-on he discovers that the mangler has developed a bloodlust thanks to a nasty demon which has decided to inhabit it. With director Tobe Hooper having previously created THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and POLTERGEIST, you could be forgiven for expecting better things of THE MANGLER; unfortunately the film is completely over-the-top and is void of any tension or suspense. The silliest part of the film has to be when the the machine detaches itself and becomes mobile, stalking our ‘heroes’ through the warehouse. The even worse part is that it somehow managed to spawn an equally rubbish sequel THE MANGLER 2 which changed the mangler from laundry press to deadly computer virus.

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5 Comments

  1. romeo garcia

    November 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    What???? Christine,the night flier,maxium overdrive??..C’mon!!!-…..Christine is one of the best movies of john carpenter,the Night Flier is a great vampire flick and Maxium…Is very entertaiment movie…so c’mon!!!

  2. Joe Boyko

    November 29, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Wow… I understand this is your list based on your own opinions but how
    you managed to exclude ‘The Langoliers’, yet for some reason put up
    ‘Christine’ escapes me.

  3. DougK

    November 29, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Yes, they had a lot of nerve butchering “The Lawnmower Man” and then putting SK’s name on the poster.
    At least he can console himself with the fact that it’s also been done to authors he’s admired, like HP Lovecraft. Ever see “HP Lovecraft’s From Beyond?” It’s as if a pervert passed out after overdosing on LSD and dreamed this movie. No resemblance whatsoever to the short story.

  4. APrince66

    November 30, 2013 at 2:54 am

    Maximum Overdrive is a guilty pleasure flick for me

  5. Gr3asy Rider

    December 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Maximum and Christine only belong on this list if you are not a fan of awesomeness.
    Some of the craptacular TV adaptations would fit on this list more appropriately.

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