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 17 Movie: Misery
Another King thriller is on tap tonight. This is a good one. Not for the gore but the sheer terror of “this could be me”. Think about it. You have a freakazoid fan out there, you are somewhat famous and all the sudden it turns into a nightmare. We had all heard the stories of the stalkers out there. I might just become agoraphobic!
After seeing The Shining. Rob Reiner was immediately inspired to direct a movie based on a Stephen King novel.
The main character Paul Sheldon’s novels are published by Viking, the same publishing company that published Stephen King’s books at that time.
A video of When Harry Met Sally… (also directed by Rob Reiner) is visible in the general store.
The “guy who went mad in a hotel nearby” is a reference to The Shining, also based on a novel written by Stephen King.
Jack Nicholson was offered the role of Paul Sheldon but passed because he wasn’t sure he wanted to do another movie based on one of Stephen King’s novels after what he had experienced with Stanley Kubrick on The Shining.
One of Stephen King’s first typewriters had a malfunctioning “N” key, just like the one used by James Caan in the movie.
Stephen King had originally planned to release the novel under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman. While writing it, however, it was discovered that King was Bachman. King subsequently published the novel under his real name, and announced that Bachman had died from “cancer of the pseudonym.”
Stephen King was quite impressed with Kathy Bates’s performance in this film, so much so that he later wrote to more roles for her. The title role in his novel Dolores Claiborne was written with Bates in mind. King also wrote the script for The Stand. His original novel featured a (male) character named Ray Flowers. Upon hearing that Bates wanted to be involved in the mini-series, King re-wrote the part as a woman, just so Bates could play the part.
In 1991, Kathy Bates became the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Actress in a horror/thriller for her role as Annie Wilkes.
As of 2010 this is the only Stephen King adaptation to receive an Academy Award.
According to the director Rob Reiner, Annie Wilkes’ killing spree is loosely based on that of Genene Jones, a nurse who is believed to have killed as many as 50 children who were in her care over a two-year period.
Kathy Bates reportedly was disappointed that a scene was cut in which she kills a young police officer by rolling over him repeatedly with a lawnmower. Director Rob Reiner was afraid that the audience would laugh at it.
Annie (Kathy Bates) places a wooden block between Paul’s (James Caan) ankles and uses a sledgehammer to “hobble” him. In the book written by Stephen King Annie cuts his feet off with an ax. The scene was changed so that there wasn’t too much gore.
What is your favorite scary and/or Halloween movie? I would love to hear from you!
- 31 Days of Horror. Day 14: Cujo (robertforto.com)
- First Footage From Stephen King’s Bag of Bones Surfaces Online (dreadcentral.com)