Every year we have a tradition in the Forto house where we celebrate the greatest month of the year, October, with scare your socks off, hide under the covers, turn on all the lights, sleep with one eye open, fright fest, movie marathon every night of the month! We call it 31 Days of Horror.
31 Days of Horror. Day 12 Movie: The Dark Half
The Dark Half is one of the best King book to movie adaptations, at least in my fandamonium opinion. I love King and I love George A. Romero, the director of this movie as well as one of my all time faves, Night of the Living Dead, among others of course.
How could they go wrong: mash up two of the greatest horror minds of all time and put them in a box and they come up with something like this. Sure, it is true to form with most of King’s book adaptations for film, it is to appeal to a mass audience. It has a big name cast, a bit of CGI (when it was still in it’s infancy) as well as a bit of television type drama. But the Dark Half still rocks!
Shot in 1991, not released until 1993.
In the prologue of this Stephen King adaptation, Thad Beaumont wants to become a writer and is shown writing stories. The title of his first typewritten story is “Here There Be Tygers”, which is also the real title of the first short story King wrote in his career. The story can be found in King’s “Skeleton Crew” anthology.
When he is confronted by a class member to sign the book written by his pen-name, he declines, and claims it’s not his book. The photo on the back of the book is, in fact, Stephen King himself.
In total 4,500 Cut Throat Finches were used for the sparrows in the film. The birds would consume 100 pounds of birdseed and 15 gallons of water on a daily basis during the production.
All of the shooting locations for the film were around the Pittsburgh, PA area. They were chosen for their close location to director ‘George A. Romero”s home in Pittsburgh.
Villain George Stark’s name is a homage to infamous serial killer Charles Starkweather.
Approximately 2,000 finches were released into the sets of the Beaumont house for the shooting of the films finale.
The film’s release was delayed for two years by bankruptcy problems with the films distribution company.
According to author Stephen King the story of this film was part autobiographical as it was inspired by the events that led to him revealing his own writing pseudonym of ‘Richard Bachman’.
John Hurt and ‘Michael Gough’ were considered for major cameos.
According to director George A. Romero star Timothy Hutton was quite difficult to work with at times, Hutton even quit the film for a few days during the production.