Saturday, March 18, 2006

DVD: Stephen King's Riding the Bullet

Genre: Horror
Director: Mick Garris
DVD released: April 19, 2005
Cast: Jonathan Jackson, David Arquette, Barbara Hershey
Verdict: 1/2

Don't be fooled by the hype on the DVD box and the blurb from Stephen King – Riding the Bullet is one of the truly awful adaptations of his work. Based on King's first "e-book" (Weren't those supposed to make traditional books obsolete about five years ago?), it's also a rare King adaptation for which I have not read the source material. Any true King fan knows the best of his books (think Thinner and Pet Sematary) can become quite dreadful movies because the supernatural elements so often just don't translate well to the screen, and a movie lacks the inner dialogue that King does so well. So, I may still read the story, despite this abomination. The tale finds a young man, Alan (Jonathan Jackson), hitchhiking to get to his ailing mother and encountering demons of various sorts, such as David Arquette, along the way. It's set in the usual Maine and relies on what, to me, is one of the most boring King devices – nostalgia-laden flashbacks to childhood circa the 1960s. The ghosts that appear along the way just look like the devices of cheap, stupid horror films. The climax presents Alan with a choice affecting his and his mother's mortality, but the bigger plot surprise would be if any viewers care or are still watching that far into the film. // DVD notes // Don't know about the extras because I couldn't get it back to Movie Gallery fast enough.

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