2019 is a red-letter year for Stephen King. We’ve already seen Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer’s Pet Sematary and we’ve got IT: Chapter Two coming in September with Doctor Sleep to look forward to in November. We’ve also got new seasons of Mr. Mercedes and Castle Rock in the works, not to mention remakes of The Stand, Salem’s Lot, and The Long Walk in various stages of production.
The folks at The Alamo Drafthouse are getting in on the action, celebrating the films of Stephen King in a series they’ve dubbed “King-Sized Summer”! Here’s what’s going down at the boutique cinema chain’s flagship location in Austin, Texas and other select cities.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is celebrating the master of horror Stephen King with a curated selection of cult and classic adaptations, beginning in July through the highly anticipated release of IT: CHAPTER TWO. Kicking off with a month of Terror Tuesday programming in Austin and culminating in nationwide screenings of four films in all Alamo Drafthouse cities, audiences will be able to experience a “King-Size Summer” of terror on the big screen once again.
The lineup includes an Alamo Drafthouse-wide re-release of CREEPSHOW, MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE, THE RUNNING MAN, and STAND BY ME starting in August, along with select screenings of additional classics like CARRIE, PET SEMATARY, THE MIST, and more!
“We’re crazy with anticipation for IT: CHAPTER TWO, so to ease the wait, we’re revisiting some of our favorite Stephen King adaptations,” said Sarah Pitre, senior director of programming and promotions.
“These screenings will provide a chilling countdown to the final chapter of one of his most beloved works of fiction. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to build up our fear tolerance before we’re scared out of our minds by IT: CHAPTER TWO!!”
From terrifying classics (CARRIE) to anthologies (CREEPSHOW), coming of age dramas (STAND BY ME) and sci-fi dystopias (THE RUNNING MAN) Stephen King adaptations have captivated audiences for decades.
CREEPSHOW (Alamo Drafthouse-wide)
The seminal 1980s horror anthology to end all seminal 1980s horror anthologies, CREEPSHOW is pop-art splatterfest that’s oozing with senior citizen zombies, bad dads, furry beasties, disco dance-offs, cockroach war-zones, and Stephen King turning into a plant.
MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE (Alamo Drafthouse-wide)
MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE is the ultimate Stephen King retreat into total excess, a savage glimpse into the horror maestro’s deepest id and weirdest whims. King directs King! A plastic Green Goblin steals the show! Prepare to be THUNDERSTRUCK! Wheeling between high-octane action, gruesome bloodletting, and goofball humor, this is an explosive oil pyre of F-U-N.
THE RUNNING MAN (Alamo Drafthouse-wide)
Based on a novella by Stephen King (as Richard Bachman), this violent and legitimately funny sci-fi action romp is an underrated classic of the ‘80s.
STAND BY ME (Alamo Drafthouse-wide)
Based on Stephen King’s novella, Rob Reiner’s film about the sadness that comes with the end of childhood innocence still maintains an emotional resonance decades later. Entertaining, moving, beautifully shot and naturally acted STAND BY ME is one of the most unpretentious looks at that too-often used buzz term of “coming of age.”
CARRIE (Brooklyn, Yonkers)
Thanks to Stephen King and Brian DePalma, prom was transformed from a symbol of happiness to a violent hellscape of death. With DePalma’s bag of stylized tricks and King’s knack for pulpy shocks, CARRIE is a special kind of horror masterpiece that only comes along once every two-thousand years.
CHRISTINE (Austin, Brooklyn)
CHRISTINE is John Carpenter’s go-for-broke assault on coming-of-age sentimentality in the form of a killer car movie. Adapted from Stephen King’s novel and feeling like it’s set one town over from Haddonfield in HALLOWEEN, this brooding hellraiser plays out like a greatest hits compilation from Carpenter and King’s respective careers.
THE DARK HALF (Austin)
Based on King’s meta-fueled novel and directed by horror legend Romero (DAWN OF THE DEAD), THE DARK HALF is a smart and overlooked creeper from the pre-SCREAM era.
THE DEAD ZONE (Austin)
A super-powers team-up between director David Cronenberg (THE FLY) and Stephen King seems like an impossible dream. But it happened. And it’s GREAT.
No matter what script you start with, any film with the star of PATTON, the star of APOCALYPSE NOW, and the star of E.T. – all directed by the guy who did CLASS OF 1984 – is gonna turn out pretty wonderful. What a bonus, then, to have it be a whackadoo Stephen King adaptation.
THE GREEN MILE (Austin)
Based upon the Stephen King serial novel, the Academy Award nominated THE GREEN MILE is a dense and enthralling film that’ll lead to introspection and the thought of what it means to lead a truly fulfilling life.
THE MIST (Austin)
A wonderful blend of slimy creature-feature horror, paranoia, and commentary on the inherent terror of just being inside a grocery store. It’s also a total gem, and one of the meanest Stephen King adaptations ever put to film. Featuring scenery-chomping performances by the likes of Tom Jane and Marcia Gay Harden – as well as acid-spiders, a giant squid, and spindle-legged beasties that would have made Salvador Dali scream with delight – THE MIST never shies away being a nasty little piece of nightmare-fuel.
PET SEMATARY (Austin, Brooklyn)
The original adaptation of Stephen King’s meditation on grief, scripted by King himself and directed by Mary Lambert, is heartbreaking, horrific, and a touch campy. Complete with a theme song from the Ramones, PET SEMATARY sums up how we all really feel about death – it’s “no fair.”
SLEEPWALKERS (Austin, San Francisco)
Filled with gory carnage, jaw-dropping special effects, and a constant barrage of insanity, SLEEPWALKERS is the ultimate WTF party in Stephen King’s filmography. It’s a blast.
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Are you a fan of the films of Stephen King? Are you looking forward to attending some of these “King-Sized Summer” screenings? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! You can also carry on the convo with me personally on Twitter @josh_millican.