Constant Reader: Constant Hatred a Film Blog
Hello, ladies and gentlemen! My name is Paul Workman, and I am known as The Man of Constant Hatred! An ironic nom de plume, I assure you. I run a podcast and YouTube channel both named Drinking Age Movies, where, week by week, I discuss the impact of films from 21 years ago. This will be my last in-article plug. I promise.
At some point, probably within my 1,000th viewing of "The Shawshank Redemption", it dawned on me that there are films I don't get to cover on my platforms, because I made myself beholden to a gimmick. Stephen King is a writer I find utterly fascinating, both artistically and personally, and not being able to cover some of the films he inspired began to really bum me out. So, I moved to Derry, and bugged the crew of the public radio station to give me a platform. They were reticent at first, telling me that my face was too ugly for radio. But I persisted, and was paid off in blog posts on their website.
In all sincerity, King has been a great influence on me and my tastes. I blame the film and TV adaptations of his works for setting up my deep love for horror cinema. When I was young, before I began reading his books, I had seen films such as "Pet Sematary", "Cujo", and "Carrie". I loved "Stand By Me", based on Stephen King's novella, "The Body", so much, I listened to its soundtrack on repeat, until I memorized every word of every song. Due to my love of all things Jack Nicholson, I owned a VHS copy of "The Shining" that I nearly wore out.
I really loved the two ABC made-for-television miniseries "IT", a terrifying look a childhood trauma, and "The Stand". At the age I watched "The Stand", it captivated me to no end! I hadn't seen such a sprawling epic since I watched all five "Planet of the Apes" films in a day long marathon when I was 10 (I had an unhealthy addiction to movies even then). Which brings me to 1997. ABC releases a miniseries adapted from "The Shining" starring Steven Weber from the Sitcom "Wings" and the kid who played Uh-Huh from "The Little Rascals" movie! I love "Wings"! I love "The Little Rascals"! I love the Kubrick film!
I record each episode, because I am 13, and they run past my bedtime. I watch each one, and I become confused. Where is "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?" Why is Tony more than a talking finger? What is this whole plot about the boiler? My dad says to me, "You should really read the book." FINE DAD, GEEZ! GET OFF MY CASE!
My parents buy me the novel, which has the poster from the miniseries as the cover, because my sister and I are going to visit my aunt in L.A. for a week, and I love reading on trips. I spend the entire trip devouring this book. And my real obsession with Stephen King begins. I start scouring flea markets for used hardbacks, settling for paperbacks in most cases so I can read the stories in the meantime. "Misery", "Needful Things", "The Dark Half", "Night Shift", and my absolute favorites, "The Dark Tower" Series! Through the remainder of middle school and all throughout high school, I read all I can. King is put beside Bradbury, Crichton, and Melville as the top of my literary heroes.
As a weird film kid first, he begins to open my eyes to the filmmakers that choose to adapt his works. Through "Misery" and "Stand By Me", I discover Rob Reiner who made two films I consider perfect: "This is Spinal Tap" and "The Princess Bride". With "The Dark Half" and "Creepshow", I am given the gift of George A. Romero, the man who created the modern zombie subgenre with "The Night of the Living Dead". Then there is Frank Darabont. Darabont wrote and directed the film adaptations of "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" and "The Green Mile"!
Stephen King helped expand my movie literacy, as well as my imagination (which was an accomplishment). His touch on the book world is undeniable, but his influence on the world of film, I would argue, is just as deep. I would like to look at that influence. Discuss the people who choose his work, and how they choose to adapt it. See how these films have shaped the landscape of cinema, if at all, and why they are, or aren't, still relevant today.
I don't want to spend too much time dwelling on book versus movie. I think the crew at Derry Public Radio already does a fantastic job at that. I would like to focus on the celluloid world. Maybe I'll focus primarily on the film, maybe I'll focus on filmmakers. Maybe I'll just do a review or two. Whatever catches my mind. I hope all of you Constant Readers out there enjoy.