We already wrote about the exclusives and originals coming to Shudder in August, and we also discussed the flicks that are being added to their film library…but what about the new collections? That’s a great question, and we have all the info on the Stephen King and George A. Romero Collections.
First let’s talk about the double whammy: The original Creepshow. This fun anthology was filmed comic book style, directed by Romero, and written by King. That kid in the wraparound story? That’s King’s son, who we now know as horror writer Joe Hill.
Creepshow featured actors such as Hal Holbrook, Adrienne Barbeau, Fritz Weaver and Leslie Neilsen, but it also included lesser-known (at the time) actors like Ted Danson and Gaylen Ross (Dawn of the Dead). Heck, Stephen King himself even starred in one of the stories, a creepy little tale called The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill. Creepshow was the perfect blending of two great horror icons, and it’s the perfect jumping-off point for the collections on Shudder.
Here are the films included in Shudder’s Romero Collection:
Land of the Dead – This fourth film in the Living Dead series, Land of the Dead deals with a zombie attack in Pittsburgh, where a feudal government exists. On a mission to gather needed supplies and some not-so-needed (but very wanted) luxury items, crew members observe some of the zombies actually appearing to exhibit intelligence. What will that mean for the humans fighting to survive?
Monkey Shines – When Allan is rendered a quadriplegic after an accident, his friend Geoffrey recommends a service animal, a monkey named Ella. Unbeknownst to Allan, Geoffrey has been dosing Ella with human brain cells in an attempt to make her more intelligent. The experiment backfires when Allan and Ella begin to communicate telepathically, and the monkey starts to act on Allan’s angry thoughts.
The Crazies – A small town in Pennsylvania is affected when a virus infects the water supply, causing the residents to either die or become extremely violent. Martial law is declared, and the townspeople are ordered to move to the local high school. A handful of them manage to escape, but will they be able to survive long enough to get out of town? Note that this is the original version of The Crazies, it was remade in 2010.
Season of the Witch – Unhappy housewife Joan is having recurring nightmares about her controlling husband, and seeks help from a new neighbor who is thought to be a witch. After the new neighbor gives her a Tarot card reading, Joan begins to pursue witchcraft herself, even casting spells to make her life more exciting.
For the Stephen King Collection, Shudder will add the following films:
Carrie – This well-known film was based on King’s first novel, and premiered in 1976. Sissy Spacek gives an amazing performance as teenager Carrie White. Carrie’s mother is a religious fanatic, and Carrie herself is a misfit, bullied and made fun of at school. What her classmates don’t know is that Carrie possesses the power of telekinesis, and they soon regret a plot to humiliate her at the prom.
Misery – Kathy Bates is a revelation in this excellent adaptation of King’s novel…and James Caan is pretty darn good himself! Writer Paul Sheldon has just ended his popular series of Misery novels, and is looking forward to writing about something else. Unfortunately, he gets into a car accident in a blizzard, and ends up being held prisoner by his “Number one fan”, the slightly crazy Annie Wilkes. And by “slightly crazy”, what I really mean is totally insane.
Salem’s Lot – David Soul is Ben Mears in this adaptation, which is in the form of a 1979 miniseries. Mears returns to his hometown to write a book about the creepy, supposedly haunted Marsten house, which has been rented by a man named Richard Straker. As it turns out, Straker is a vampire, and others in town are quickly turned as well.
Firestarter – When Andy and Vikki were in college, they participated in an experiment run by “The Shop” involving a drug called Lot 6 that has some interesting side effects: both of them ended up with telepathic powers. Andy can control people into doing things, and Vikki can read minds. The two marry and have a little girl named Charlene (Charlie, played by Drew Barrymore), who also has an interesting ability; she can start fires with her mind. The Shop wants to harness Charlie’s power, and Andy will do anything to protect her.
Firestarter: Rekindled – This two-part sequel to Firestarter ran on Sci Fi Channel (now known as Syfy) in 2002. Now an adult, Charlie is hiding out and trying to learn how to suppress her power. But, John Rainbird, who was nearly killed by Charlie when she was a child, wants revenge, and is intent on finding her.
Cat’s Eye – An anthology film released in 1985, Cat’s Eye tells three separate stories, with the connection between the three being a cat and a little girl (Drew Barrymore again). Quitters, Inc. and The Ledge are based on two Stephen King short stories from his collection Night Shift, and The General was written specifically for the film.
Needful Things – Leland Gaunt has moved to Castle Rock, where he opens an antique shop. The goods he sells are out of the ordinary; they are very specific to the people who buy them, and seem to possess magical powers. For example, Gaunt sells Polly a necklace that cures her arthritis. There is a catch of course, and for each precious item procured by the person who needs it, Gaunt demands the purchaser play a little trick on someone else in town.
There is something in these collections for nearly everyone, so be sure to check them out on Shudder in August.
What Stephen King and George A. Romero films do you wish Shudder would add in August? Tell us your favorites in the comments section.