Being a horror nut, October is my favorite month of the year. I can think of no better way for America to get in the macabre mood than catching, "A Night at the Movies: The Horrors of Stephen King." The brand-new special premieres Oct. 3 on Turner Classic Movies.
As the title suggests, it's an hour-long sit-down with our modern-day Edgar Allan Poe as he talks about his lifelong love affairs with scary movies, supplemented with clips and stills. The first one to freak him out? "Bambi." The one he was too frightened to finish upon an initial viewing? "The Blair Witch Project." His desert-island disc? Well, I'll leave that for you to discover.
Other shared memories include — but are in no way limited to — "Dementia 13," "Night of the Living Dead," "Freaks," "Cat People," "The Tingler," "The Changeling," "The Amityville Horror," "Near Dark," "Rosemary's Baby," "The Omen," "The Fly," "Jaws," "The Haunting" and the trio he calls the real "demon coasters" of fear: "Psycho," "The Exorcist" and "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre."
The most interesting segment has him discussing some of the movies made from his novels and short stories. He loves "Carrie" and "Cujo," but famously finds Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining" to be "extremely cold." He's also quite enamored of "The Dead Zone," calling David Cronenberg "the best horror director of modern times." Too bad time doesn't allow him to run through them all.
Along the way, he makes some interesting, surprising comments, such as not caring for werewolf movies ("too literal"), Bela Lugosi's Dracula ("he looks like a whacked-out concert pianist") and the slasher genre ("misogynist"). If you're a fan of King or celluloid terror in general, do set your TiVo. If you care to turn it into a pre-Halloween party, here's your drinking game: Take a shot every time he says "absolutely terrifying." Your liver will hate you and let you know it. —Rod Lott