Stephen King 5-Movie Collection Blu Ray Review (Paramount)
The Stand (aKa Stephen King’s The Stand) is a 1994 television post-apocalyptic horror miniseries directed by Mick Garris (Sleepwalkers, Riding the Bullet, The Shining, Desperation, Quicksilver Highway, & Bag of Bones). It’s based on the 1978 novel of the same name by master of horror Stephen King (Castle Rock, Maximum Overdrive, Silver Bullet, Doctor Sleep, IT, Pet Sematary, The Outsider, The Dead Zone, & Creepshow) who also wrote the script for this. It was produced by Richard P. Rubinstein (Dawn of the Dead, Martin, The Langoliers, The Night Flier, Golden Years, Thinner, Pet Sematary, & Creepshow 1/2). George A. Romero was originally going to do this as a two part film but this mini series was developed before he could get started on the big project. The miniseries was shot in several locations & on 225 sets total for the production. Each episode got a $6 million budget plus an additional $3 million for development. They shot on 16MM to save on costs. It originally aired on ABC from May 8th to May 12th, 1994. It was was nominated for six Primetime Emmy Awards & it won two that night. It has been remade & it will be premier on CBS soon. On June 13th at a top-secret government laboratory a weaponized version of influenza called Project Blue is accidentally released. A U.S. Army soldier Charlie Campion (played by: Ray McKinnon from Mayans M.C., Sons of Anarchy, & Deadwood) escapes the lab & travels across the country where he unintentionally spreading the virus. Campion crashes his car into a gas station in Texas where Stu Redman (played by: Gary Sinise from Forrest Gump, The Green Mile, Of Mice and Men, & Apollo 13) & some friends are gathered. As Campion dies, he warns Redman that he had been pursued by a “Dark Man”. The next day, the U.S. military arrives to quarantine the town. The townspeople are taken to a CDC facility in Vermont. All but Stu succumb to the superflu, which kills 99.4% of the world’s population in two weeks. The scattered survivors include would-be rock star Larry Underwood (played by: Adam Storke from Mystic Pizza, Death Becomes Her, & Highway to Hell), deaf mute Nick Andros (played by: Rob Lowe from Frank & Jesse, The Outsiders, Wayne’s World, & Tommy Boy), Frannie Goldsmith (played by: Molly Ringwald from The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, & Riverdale), her teenaged neighbor Harold Lauder (played by: Corin Nemec from Stargate SG-1, Lake Placid vs. Anaconda, Boston Strangler: The Untold Story, & Drop Zone), imprisoned criminal Lloyd Henreid (played by: Miguel Ferrer from Robocop, Twin Peaks,Iron Man 3, & The Night Flier), & “Trashcan Man” (played by: Matt Frewer from Watchmen, Dawn of the Dead, Riding the Bullet, & Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace). The survivors begin having visions, either from kindly Mother Abagail (played by: Ruby Dee from American Gangster, Do the Right Thing, Jungle Fever, & Cat People) or from the demonic Randall Flagg (played by: Jamey Sheridan from Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Arrow, Whispers in the Dark, & The Ice Storm). The dreams counsel the survivors to either travel to Nebraska to meet Abagail, or to Las Vegas to join Flagg. Lloyd is freed from prison by Flagg in exchange for becoming his second in command. Larry escapes New York City with a mysterious woman named Nadine Cross (played by: Laura San Giacomo from Just Shoot Me, Pretty Woman, Animal Kingdom, & Sex, Lies, and Videotape). After escaping the CDC facility, Stu gathers a group of survivors which includes Frannie, Harold, & former college professor Glen Bateman (played by: Ray Walston from Of Mice and Men, The Sting, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, & Popeye). Nick barely escapes an attempt on his life in Arkansas & makes his way across the Mid-South where he meets Tom Cullen (played by: Bill Fagerbakke from Coach, SpongeBob SquarePants, Dumb and Dumber TV Series, & Jumanji TV Series). The two men travel into Kansas & they encounter the vicious Julie Lawry (played by: Shawnee Smith from the Saw franchise, The Blob, Summer School, & Who’s Harry Crumb?). The two men meet Ralph Brentner (played by: Peter Van Norden from The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear, Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment, The Accused, & The Best of Times) along the way & they go to Abagail’s farm in Nebraska. The survivors form a community called the Boulder Free Zone & begin restoring civilization. Flagg sets up an autocratic regime in Las Vegas with the intent of defeating the Boulder survivors using salvaged nuclear weapons. Tom, Dayna Jurgens (played by: Kellie Overbey from That’s Life & Outbreak), & Judge Farris (played by: Ossie Davis from Jungle Fever, Do the Right Thing, Bubba Ho-Tep, & The Client) help take charge against evil. Both factions finally meet up to battle each other in this chaotic war. Who will win this? Is it all over????
Pet Sematary is a 1989 horror film directed by Mary Lambert (Pet Sematary II, Tales from the Crypt, Urban Legends: Bloody Mary, & The Dark Path Chronicles). It’s based off the novel from the master of horror Stephen King (IT, Castle Rock, The Mist, Mr. Mercedes, & 11.22.63) who also wrote the screenplay. It’s the first time that he adapted his own work for film. Bruce Campbell was the original choice for the role of Louis Creed. George A. Romero bought the film rights in 1984 for $10,000 with producer Richard P. Rubinstein (Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside, The Stand, Golden Years, & The Langoliers) & he was the original director for the feature when it was first developed but he had to drop out when the production got delayed to work on another movie.The Ramones worked on music for the film since Stephen King referenced them in the source material. The budget was $11.5 million & it grossed $57.5 million at the box office. A sequel (II), a documentary (Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary) & a brand new remake have been made following this original production. Louis Creed (played by: Dale Midkiff from Nightmare Weekend, Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct franchise, The Crow: Salvation, & The Magnificent Seven TV Series), a doctor from Chicago takes the job of the director of the University of Maine’s campus health service so he can spend more time with his family. He moves to a large house near the small town of Ludlow with his wife Rachel (played by: Denise Crosby from The Walking Dead, Ray Donovan, 48 Hrs, & Eliminators), their two young children Ellie (played by: Blaze Berdahl from DC Super Friends & Ghostwriter / Beau Berdahl from Strong Island Boys & Noel) & Gage (played by: Miko Hughes from New Nightmare, Kindergarten Cop, Full House, & Apollo 13) with their cat Church. They already start out with bad luck when they arrive there. They meet their new neighbor Jud Crandall (played by: Fred Gwynne from The Munsters, My Cousin Vinny, Car 54, Where Are You?, & Fatal Attraction) who has lived in the community his whole life. After getting to know them, Jud tells the family about the legend of pet sematary & walks them down the path of it. Louis & Rachel have a disagreement about discussing death with the children. She tells him the full story about her dying sister Zelda (played by: Andrew Hubatsek from Blue Steel & Human Resources) from spinal meningitis. Louis Creed faces his first serious situation at his new job when student Victor Pascow (played by: Brad Greenquist from Ali, The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer, Star Trek franchise, & The Chair) is rushed in after being fatally injured in an automobile accident. He loses the patient but something strange happens. Pascow is still talking to Louis. Church is found dead but Jud decides to help Louis avoid telling his daughter about the tragic death. He takes him to a secret location & tells him that he must bury his own pet. Louis does it without asking why & Church shows up the next day like nothing ever happened. Church is not the same cat as before. Louis confronts Jud about the secret location & what really happened to Church there. Jud tells him about the power of the ancient burial ground where the animal was buried. Months later, Gage is killed by a speeding truck & the family is a mess over it. They go away to Chicago to get their minds off of everything. Jud tells Louis about a story that involves a human in the same spot Church was resurrected & pleads with Creed to not do the same thing with Gage. Remembering what he did with Church, Louis stays home & decides to do the same for his young son. Desperate to get their life back to normal, he opens up a world of disaster for everyone around him. What will happen next? Can he make this unholy magic work to fix it all????
Pet Sematary is a 2019 horror film directed by Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer (Starry Eyes, Holidays, Absence, & Scream TV Series). It’s based off the 1983 novel by master of horror Stephen King (IT, The Stand, Doctor Sleep, & Castle Rock) & a remake of the 1989 film. It was written by Jeff Buhler (The Midnight Meat Train, Nightflyers, ABCs of Death 2, & Jacob’s Ladder). It was produced by Mark Vahradian (Transformers franchise, Red 1/2, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, & Deepwater Horizon), Steven Schneider (Insidious franchise, Paranormal Activity franchise, Split/Glass, & The Lords of Salem), & Lorenzo di Bonaventura (G.I. Joe franchise, The Meg, Replicas, & 1408). Juan Carlos Fresnadillo was the original choice for director when the project was first started. It had a $21 million budget & it grossed $112.4 million worldwide at the box office. Louis Creed (played by: Jason Clarke from Terminator Genisys, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Zero Dark Thirty, & Brotherhood), a doctor from Boston moves to the small town of Ludlow in Maine with his wife Rachel (played by: Amy Seimetz from Stranger Things, You’re Next, The Killing, & Alien: Covenant) plus their two young children Ellie (played by: Jeté Laurence from Sneaky Pete, The Ranger, The Snowman, & Gotham) & Gage (played by: Hugo Lavoie & Lucas Lavoie). Exploring the woods, Ellie with her mother Rachel stumbles across a funeral procession of children taking a deceased dog to a cemetery called Pet Sematary. She meets her new neighbor Jud Crandall (played by: John Lithgow from Dexter, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Cliffhanger, & Raising Cain) there. He warns them that the woods are dangerous. At the university hospital, Louis tries his best to save student Victor Pascow (played by: Obssa Ahmed from The Long Dark & The Expanse) but it’s too late. He starts having dreams & hallucinations of the dead kid. On Halloween, the family cat Church is killed by a truck. Jud takes Louis to the Pet Sematary, then farther to an ancient burial ground to bury Church. The next day, Church comes back but he’s not the same animal as before! Ellie wants nothing to do with the cat but she feels bad later on when he goes missing. She gets distracted when she sees Church at her birthday party & a unforgettable tragedy occurs. Dealing with heavy grief, Rachel & Gage go away to family to have a distraction from reality. Rachel is tormented by memories & visions of her dead sister Zelda (played by: Alyssa Brooke Levine from Un monde à part). Pascow tries to warn them about what’s going to happen. They end their vacation quick to get back home before it’s too late. Louis is home alone for now & he decides to take matters in his own hands. What will happen next with this painful decision????
Silver Bullet is a 1985 horror film directed by Daniel Attias (The Sopranos, The Wire, Six Feet Under, House, & Big Love). This was Attias’s only full length studio feature film in his entire career. He is a veteran television director & he has worked on almost everything possible when comes to that type of the work which includes Miami Vice, Wolf, 21 Jump Street, Northern Exposure, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Deadwood, Heroes, Lost, CSI: Miami, Alias, The Walking Dead, True Blood, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, True Detective, Ray Donovan, The Americans, Homeland, & various others. He also directed a TV movie in 2007 titled Zip. Daniel Attias came back to the world of Stephen King in 2018 to direct Hulu’s Castle Rock. Speaking of the legendary Stephen King (IT, Creepshow, Castle Rock, The Stand, Pet Sematary, & Maximum Overdrive) this film is based off his Cycle of the Werewolf novel. He also wrote the screenplay for Silver Bullet. It had several changes & differences from the original book. It was produced by notorious film producer Dino De Laurentiis (Red Dragon, Army of Darkness, Year of the Dragon, & King Kong) & his wife Martha (Hannibal TV series, King Kong Lives, Silver Bullet, Cat’s Eye, & Firestarter). Don Coscarelli (Phantasm franchise) was the original director but left the project due to creative differences. The budget for the film was around $7,000,000 & it ended up making $12,361,866 at the box office for Paramount Pictures. Tarker’s Mills, Maine is where all this takes place. It’s during spring & the year is 1976. Mysterious murders & deaths are happening all over in this small rural town all the sudden. The town wants to carry out their own brand of justice on this vicious serial killer led by gun shop owner Andy Fairton (played by: Bill Smitrovich from Ted 1/2, Iron Man, Manhunter, The Phantom, & Millennium). Sheriff Joe Haller (played by: Terry O’ Quinn from The Stepfather 1/2, Lost, Millenniumm, Alias, Young Guns, The Rocketeer, & Primal Fear) & his only Deputy Pete Sylvester (played by: David Hart from In the Heat of the Night TV Series) try to stop the locals from taking out their frustration on the wrong person & they want to handle everything themselves but it ends up being a bloody mess. Reverend Lester Lowe (played by: Everett McGill from Twin Peaks, The People under the Stairs, Dune, Heartbreak Ridge, & Under Siege 2: Dark Territory) tries to stop all the violence & wants everyone to settle down before even more damage is done! Curfews are put in place to prevent anymore disasters around there. The annual fair & fireworks show is also cancelled. The Coslaw family have their own backyard party & invite Uncle Red (played by: Gary Busey from Lethal Weapon, Under Siege, Point Break, & Predator 2). He gives Marty a custom made wheelchair & motorcycle hybrid that that ends up being called the Silver Bullet. Marty has a confrontation with a werewolf & barely escapes after wounding the monster. He tells his sister about his dangerous encounter. The two curious siblings who love to fight Marty (played by: Corey Haim from The Lost Boys 1/2, Watchers, Crank: High Voltage, License to Drive, & Dream a Little Dream 1/2) & Jane Coslaw (played by: Megan Follows from Reign & Matt and Jenny) decide to do their own investigation on these strange events going on in their community. They dig deeper & find out who has been causing chaos in their little quiet town. It’s something more than a man, it’s a beast with uncontrollable desires that leads to destruction. A deadly game of cat & mouse starts between the three. No one seems to believes them. Can they stop this evil before it’s too late? Never trust anyone!!!!
The Dead Zone is a 1983 thriller film directed by David Cronenberg (The Fly, Scanners, Shivers, Videodrome, & Crash). It’s based on the 1979 novel of the same name by Stephen King (Castle Rock, Maximum Overdrive, Silver Bullet, Doctor Sleep, IT, Pet Sematary, The Outsider, & Creepshow). It was written by Jeffrey Boam (Lethal Weapon 1/2/3, The Lost Boys, The Phantom, & Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). It was produced by Dino De Laurentiis (Silver Bullet, Sometimes They Come Back, Firestarter, Cat’s Eye, Maximum Overdrive,& Army of Darkness) & Debra Hill (Halloween franchise, Escape from New York, The Fog, Adventures in Babysitting, & Escape from L.A.). The Sheriff Bannerman character also showed up in Cujo. The project was originally developed at Lorimar Film Entertainment. It was remade into a television series from 2002 to 2007. The budget was at an estimated $10 million & it grossed an estimated $20.8 million at the box office worldwide. In the town of Castle Rock, John Smith (played by: Christopher Walken from Batman Returns, The Deer Hunter, King of New York, & True Romance) is a schoolteacher that’s in love with his colleague Sarah Bracknell (played by: Brooke Adams from Shock Waves, The Unborn, Sometimes They Come Back, & Days of Heaven). After having a headache following a ride on a roller coaster, Johnny politely declines when Sarah asks if he wants to spend the night with her. As he drives home through stormy weather, he has a car accident that leaves him in a coma. He awakens under the care of neurologist Dr. Sam Weizak (played by: Herbert Lom from Pink Panther franchise, Ten Little Indians, Count Dracula, & Asylum). He finds that five years have passed & Sarah is now married with a child. Johnny soon discovers that he now has the psychic ability to learn aspects of a person’s life through physical contact with them. As he touches a nurse’s hand, he has a vision of her daughter trapped in a fire. He also sees that Weizak’s mother who was thought to have died during World War II is actually still alive & that a pushy reporter’s sister committed suicide. Johnny’s mother has a heart attack & dies after being visited by Johnny in the hospital. As news of his “gift” spreads, Johnny is asked by Sheriff George Bannerman (played by: Tom Skerritt from Alien, Top Gun, Poltergeist III, & Poison Ivy) for help with a series of murders. He sleeps with Sarah after reuniting with her. Having a change of heart about the murders, Johnny agrees to help Bannerman & through a vision at the crime scene he discovers it’s someone close to Bannerman’. Deputy Frank Dodd (played by: Nicholas Campbell from Naked Lunch, Cinderella Man, A Bridge Too Far, & The Omen) is trapped in the middle of it. A disillusioned Johnny now barely able to walk & moves away to attempt to live a more isolated life. He takes on tutoring jobs for children & working from home until a wealthy man named Roger Stuart (played by: Anthony Zerbe from American Hustle, The Matrix franchise, Licence to Kill, & See No Evil, Hear No Evil) implores him to come visit & tutor his son Chris (played by: Simon Craig from Kung Fu: The Legend Continues). They form a friendship, but Johnny soon receives a vision of Chris & two other boys falling through the ice of a local pond then drowning due to wearing heavy hockey equipment during a practice. Johnny attends a rally for Greg Stillson (played by: Martin Sheen from The Departed, Badlands, Firestarter, & Apocalypse Now), a superficially charismatic third-party candidate for the United States Senate. Johnny shakes Stillson’s hand & has a vision of him becoming president then ordering a preemptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union that results in a nuclear holocaust. Johnny is forced with a hard decision but he must stop this evil man with power. What will he do? Can he change the future again????
Stephen King is my all time favorite author, I’ve seen every film or television show based off his work. Yes, it’s always hit or miss with his material because sometimes the adaptation doesn’t work & changes too much. You have to compromise a little or all of them would have been 6 hour miniseries like The Stand. Honestly, most of them work better as shorter feature films. This 5 film collection has a little bit of everything in it. Everything from the apocalypse, zombies, a psychic, & a brutal werewolf all roaming around in Stephen King’s twisted world. The Stand is the definitely the most ambitious television Stephen King miniseries from back in the day. It’s kinda scary because it’s very relevant to the current situation going on right now in the world. It’s still one of the best from the master of horror but I would have loved to see it as the original double feature like they originally planned because it doesn’t hold up as good as I hoped. Stephen King himself worked on the script & it’s a great adaptation from the book but It could have been better in some spots. It has it’s fair share of changes but it works better for this version. Stephen King veteran & Masters of Horror creator Mick Garris is behind the camera for every episode for this epic apocalyptic story. This is his best work as far King material goes, he always knew what to do with the horror author’s work when it came to turning into a film. It starts out very strong & it has a great finale but it drags towards the middle. Some of the episodes & moments feel more like filler than a build up towards everything. Don’t get me wrong, “The Plague”, “The Dreams”, “The Betrayal”, & “The Stand” all have their bright spots but 6 hours is a large amount of time to keep someone fully entertained. I personally think it does work better if you watch each episode & digest the material a little bit rather than binging the whole thing like I did on this review revisit. As far as television goes, this has some of the best acting performances of all time in it. Gary Sinise, Rob Lowe, Jamey Sheridan, Miguel Ferrer, & Ruby Dee really stand out in this. It has one of the strongest supporting casts of all time when it comes to being a miniseries which includes Ray Walston, Laura San Giacomo, Corin Nemec, Ossie Davis, Matt Frewer, Bill Fagerbakke, Shawnee Smith, & Molly Ringwald. Besides that impressive list, it’s loaded with all kinds of crazy cameos from Kathy Bates, Ed Harris, Sam Anderson, Patrick Kilpatrick, Sherman Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Stephen King, Mick Garris, Tom Holland, John Landis, Sam Raimi, & Joe Bob Briggs. The Stand brings you back to when a movie or miniseries was made for television that it actually just as important as something hitting theaters at the same time. Randall Flagg is one of King’s darkest villains & that alone makes The Stand worth seeking out. Despite it’s flaws, it’s still a high quality production with lots of replay value within those 6 hours. It’s kinda a time capsule from when it was made. Take it back to the early 90’s & enjoy this wild ride from Mick Garris. Pet Sematary is one of the best Stephen King adaptations ever made! The fact that this was the first film that King himself wrote into a screenplay from his own work tells you something. He was very hands on with this project & made sure it was done in Maine. Yes, it had differences from the original novel but King keep it close to it. I love how they went with a small & more unknown cast with this. It really sold the overall story & elevated the production value for it. Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, & Brad Greenquist were great in Pet Sematary. Miko Hughes gives one of the best child performances that I’ve ever seen in my life & he is very creepy towards the end. That role is very re-memorable & stands out from most of the other evil kids in cinema history. Fred Gwynne was amazing & it’s easily his greatest performance. Jud was my favorite part of this whole experience, I really enjoyed the character. He was the reason this all happened in the first place. I won’t lie, I couldn’t stand Ellie & I disliked Berdahl twins annoying performances but besides that I thought the whole cast were perfect for this. The special effects & music really added to everything, at the time it was exactly what this featured needed. As times goes on, I actually appreciate this version more & more especially after seeing the remake this weekend. If you want to know more about this film plus it’s production, you need to check out the Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary documentary. As far as this release goes, it’s huge upgrade compared to all the others. I am so glad that Paramount gave a catalog title like this proper treatment. Now let’s talk about the remake. The original Pet Sematary is one of my all time favorite Stephen King adaptations so I was very skeptical about this remake when it first announced. I really enjoyed Starry Eyes so I thought it had potential to be really good so I gave it a shot & seen it in theaters on it’s opening week. For the most part, I thought Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmyer made it their own film rather than your typical shot for shot remake. The only thing I wish they didn’t change was the ending. I hated the new ending with a passion for this & it almost ruined the whole film for me because it was cliche & just flat out ridiculous. The cinematography stood out here with some creepy visuals & the production design was top notch. I thought the original Church was creepier & his presence was felt more there. They tried too hard with the new cat but I guess it could have been worse. The two main changes that I didn’t even think came close to the 1989 film was Victor Pascow & Zelda. Those characters changed the entire atmosphere in their moments for that feature but they were nothing special in this version. That really hurt the overall production for Pet Sematary. Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, & Amy Seimetz were great in this. Jeté Laurence was an huge improvement when it came to the Elle role. The Hugo Lavoie twins were disappointing as Gage & the new twist made that character very plain. It had some nice dark moments & it’s very different from the source material at times so it’s not as predictable. Besides the awful finale, I had lots of fun with this new adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel. It had a great flow to it & it always entertaining from start to finish. The 1989 film is far superior but this remake is still worth viewing. Silver Bullet is hands down one of the best werewolf films ever made. It’s also one of the better adaptations from horror master Stephen King. The source material & the dialogue are top notch here. The main cast & the supporting characters elevate the already great words written for this. Especially Everett McGill, Corey Haim, & Gary Busey. I think it’s some of their best work & it still holds up after all these years. It features many familiar faces like Lawrence Tierney (Reservoir Dogs), James Gammon (Major League 1/2), Robin Groves (The Nesting), Leon Russom (The Big Lebowski), Kent Broadhurst (The Dark Half), James A. Baffico (Dawn of the Dead), William Newman (Monkey Shines), Graham Smith (Trick or Treat), & Paul Butler (Golden Years). It switches tones from a family drama to a gruesome werewolf film with slasher tendencies. The director delivers enough gore to make any fan of the genre happy with the end results. The music & special effects bring back memories from my favorite time in horror, the 80s! This has everything that a fan would want & expect from this type of feature. The family has great chemistry in this. This is a very fun & entertaining film that moves at a good pace. The editing is on point, there’s never a dull moment in this. It’s small town environment adds to the atmosphere for this brutal situation where you don’t know who to trust. The Dead Zone is one of the best Stephen King inspired films ever made & it’s definitely the highest quality one produced by Dino De Laurentiis. David Cronenberg was a hired gun here & The Dead Zone is very different from all his other films. It doesn’t feel like it’s from him but that’s kinda what makes it so great because he stepped outside his comfort zone here & let Stephen King’s work show up on the screen. Plus it was one of the best casts he ever got to work with especially at the time. It plays out like an anthology film because Johnny has to deal with so many different people & situations in The Dead Zone. My favorite section was the Castle Rock killer, it kinda had a Psycho vibe to it with the son & the mother. The script has some changes from the original source material but it manages to stay pretty faithful to the book. This is one of my all time favorite Christopher Walken performances & I think the John Smith role had so much more potential for other films besides this one. Martin Sheen was pure evil in this & he was a great villain. You actually hated Greg Stillson when it was over. This had a great supporting cast that included Herbert Lom, Tom Skerritt, Anthony Zerbe, & Brooke Adams. Plus it had a few familiar faces & regulars from other Cronenberg projects. It’s a high quality thriller with some horror elements in it. It has aged better than most older King films to be honest so the replay value is very strong. My personal favorites from this collection would be the original Pet Sematary, Silver Bullet, & The Dead Zone here but the other two are worth having in your collection also. This set will save you some room on your shelves or wherever you put your movies plus it’s the very first tome that The Dead Zone is available on blu ray here which a big deal, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentations from the 5 discs in this Stephen King set from Paramount Pictures! The Stand: This 1080p (1.33:1) transfer is newly restored from the original camera negative with enhanced visual effects. Let’s be honest, The Stand is never going to look amazing especially considering how it was shot but this blu ray release is a major improvement over the previous DVD release but it’s the television version not the extended cut that was on that home video release so you will have to hold on to that one if you want that cut of The Stand. The Stand doesn’t hold up like others from the same time but I will say that the visual effects look better now then it’s original broadcast. It has a few different audio options which includes English: Dolby Digital 2.0, German: Dolby Digital 2.0, & Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0 on the blu ray. It sound a little better than the previous DVD but it’s not going to blow your speakers away or anything. It has it’s standout moments here & there for it’s 6 hour run. All of the dialogue is very clean & the music has a nice boost to it. It also has English SDH, German, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, & Swedish subtitles. Both video & audio are an upgrade compared to the past but don’t expect reference quality here. This is probably the best it’s ever going to get for The Stand as far as quality goes. Original Pet Sematary: This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer is from a brand new 4K restoration. It is a major improvement over every Pet Sematary release in the past! I also want to mention in case you are curious, it does have a separate 4K release. I will say that the new blu ray included with this release blows the original disc away in every possible way so whatever format is your preference this new 30th anniversary edition is worth adding to your collection ASAP! I thought the original HD presentation wasn’t anything special to be honest but Paramount went all out for this re-issue. So that’s at least one good thing about the remake being made, it got us a top notch transfer for this Stephen King classic. It’s damn near like watching it for the first time because it looks so much better now. I love technology because an old catalog title like this can be resurrected into primo condition. It’s loaded with a variety of audio options which includes English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Czech: Dolby Digital 2.0, German: Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0, Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono, French: Dolby Digital 2.0, Italian: Dolby Digital 2.0, Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0, Hungarian: Dolby Digital Mono, Portuguese: Dolby Digital Mono, & Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1 on this release. It’s never sounded better! All the dialogue is crystal clear, all the creepy moments are boosted, & the awesome music for the film is elevated here. If you still only own this on the old Blu Ray, VHS or DVD, you desperately need to upgrade this feature right now because this is the definitive version. It also has various subtitles which includes English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Hungarian, Korean, Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Romanian, Russian, Swedish, & Thai. Paramount kills it again when it comes to the technical aspects. Pet Sematary Remake: This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks amazing on blu ray. The cinematography & production design really stand out when it comes to the visuals on this release. It’s loaded with a huge variety of audio which includes English: Dolby Atmos, English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 ,Czech: Dolby Digital 5.1, German: Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1, French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1, Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1, Japanese: Dolby Digital 5.1, Hungarian: Dolby Digital 5.1, Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1, & Russian: Dolby Digital 5.1 on the UHD. It’s also packed with various subtitles which includes English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean, Malay, Mandarin (Simplified), Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Slovenian, Swedish, Thai, & Turkish. It’s one of the best technical releases from last year. Silver Bullet: This 1080p (2.35:1) transfer is definitely better than past releases & it’s a pretty big upgrade compared to those from back in the day. I reviewed the Umbrella Entertainment blu ray from last year plus the Scream Factory release & it’s same as this one right here. I’ve owned Silver Bullet in various different formats including VHS & DVD, this is a major improvement. It’s the best it’s ever looked so far on home video. This is a catalog title so yes the transfer is a little older but I am very happy that it gets a revisit from the great folks at Paramount. It has the same audio as the Umbrella Entertainment & Scream Factory releases but it has an additional French mono audio track. The English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is better than expected especially for a late 80s horror flick. The dialogue is crystal clear, all the madness is elevated, & the music actually sounds great here. The score from Jay Chattaway (Maniac, Vigilante, Missing in Action 1/3, Invasion U.S.A., & Maniac Cop 1/2) really shines on this track & it adds to the high definition presentation experience with this. It also includes English, English SDH, & French subtitles. This one takes you back to the 80s & shows you when horror dominated the industry. The Dead Zone: This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer has been digitally remastered & it looks better than the Via Vision version that I just reviewed on here. It’s definitely an upgrade over my older VHS & DVD copies but still don’t expect reference quality with this release. It has a English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 which actually sounds way better than all the past home video releases & it’s a major improvement. All of the dialogue is crystal clear, all the chaos is elevated, & the music has a killer boost to it. It also includes English, English SDH, & French subtitles. As you can see, this is very solid Technical home video release & Paramount Pictures is killing it like always in that department. Very impressed with the overall set!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from Paramount! The Stand: It has an older “Audio Commentary” with director Mick Garris & writer Stephen King. They have a few guests pop up every once in awhile like actors Rob Lowe, Ruby Dee, Miguel Ferrer, Jamey Sheridan, & editor Pat McMahon during this 6 hour chat about the epic television production. Stephen King chats about how he came up with the book. He goes through his inspirations for it & what he was going through at the time. Mick Garris talks about how he got the gig & his involvement in the project. They go over changes made from the original source material. They bring up last cast & other actors considered for roles. They point out all the crazy cameos in this. They discuss the visual & special fx. They mention all the locations that they used for The Stand & each important one from the series. They have all kinds of stories about making this. They break down the story & episodes featured here. This is a great inside look into the production of this epic tale from the master of horror Stephen King. It’s full of knowledge & it gives you the history of it all. Honestly, there’s never a dull moment here & that’s amazing considering that this is a 6 hour audio track. “Making Of” is a little over 5 minutes.It has interviews with Stephen King, Mick Garris, Steve Johnson, San Giacomo, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, & others. It has some behind the scenes footage from the shoot. They chat about adapting the epic story into a television event. They talk about Stephen King. They focus on the visual & special fx from it. It’s a quick promotional piece for The Stand. Original Pet Sematary: It has an “Audio Commentary” with director Mary Lambert. She chats about the Monkey’s Paw tale that inspired the original story. She talks about author & screenwriter Stephen King. She brings up that they find the perfect house for the film but they had to move a tree to the location to make it work exactly like it was supposed to. She mentions the characters & what makes everything happen in this story. She talks about the locations, special effects, & cast. She says looks can be deceiving when comes to the bad & good angel of the story between a few characters. She mentions the influences of both of them & how it caused all these problems. She chats about some changes from the book & how difficult Cats were to train for the film. She thinks being friends with The Ramones helped her get this job since King was a huge fan of them. She brings up a earlier film that she directed before this & some similar tones it had. She mentions the editing & the people who put the movie together. She goes over various scenes & she has some nice stories about a variety of things here. She is still very passionate about this production & it really shows. She is soft spoken but gets excited when she’s chatting about the overall production.The UHD disc actually has all the new extras on it but the archival features are only available on the blu ray disc that’s also included in the set. “Pet Sematary: Fear and Remembrance” is brand new & it’s a little over 7 minutes. It has interviews with directors Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer, actors Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, John Lithgow, & various members of the new production. It’s shows footage from the remake. They all talk about their experience with the original film & book. They tell personal stories from it that’s connected to their real lives. It’s basically a feature to promote the new film with some appreciation for the first film. “Pet Sematary: Revisitation” is brand new & it’s almost 10 minutes. It’s an interview with director Mary Lambert. She chats about how she got the job. She talks about the first time that she met Stephen King. She says that it was up to him on who directed this film. She brings up how important Miko Hughes performance was & how it made the film. She mentions working on the brand new restoration for this release & how it’s the best it’s ever looked especially compared to all the other releases. “Galleries” is brand new & it has all kinds of photos from the production. “Stephen King Territory” is a little over 13 minutes. It’s hosted by author & screenwriter Stephen King. It brings up the novel was on the shelf for years & King originally didn’t want to publish it. King tells some personal stories & how they inspired the book. He talks about the setting & the Maine locations. It has interviews with director Mary Lambert, actors Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, Brad Greenquist, & producer Richard P. Rubinstein. They chat about the source material & their experience on the production. “The Characters” is almost 13 minutes. It has interviews with director Mary Lambert, writer Stephen King, actors Dale Midkiff, Fred Gwynne, & Brad Greenquist. It goes into detail about each main character from the film & the actors who played them. Mary Lambert brings up that Dale Midkiff & Denise Crosby auditioned together originally. Their chemistry was there from the start & it helped them get the roles. She says it was very difficult to cast the children for this. She mentions that the cats weren’t easy to work with but they all had certain tricks or things they were good at. They bring up the performances. They chat about the production. They talk about Fred Gwynne writing children books besides acting. “Filming the Horror” is a little over 10 minutes. It has interviews with director Mary Lambert, actors Dale Midkiff, Brad Greenquist, & others. Mary Lambert recalls the day & what she was doing when she first got the offer for the feature. She chats about her collaboration with Stephen King. She said he was always available to consult when it came to creative aspects. They bring up the author’s cameo in the film. They chat about some of the death scenes & how they were put together. They talk about being surprised how much success it had & that it still holds up after all these years. Pet Sematary Remake: “Alternate Ending” is a little over 9 minutes. This was so much better than the crappy ending they used in the actual film. I am shocked that they didn’t go with this one instead. “Deleted and Extended Scenes” which includes Daddy’s Nervous Too, Your Kids are Lucky, I Wanted Her to Die, She Didn’t Come Back the Same , It’s Not Real, I’m Leaving in the Morning, & Did You Miss Me Judson?. “Night Terrors” is almost 5 minutes, it features three of the main characters facing their fears which includes Louis, Rachel, & Ellie. “The Tale of Timmy Baterman” is a little over 3 minutes & it’s an extended story from Jud. “Beyond the Deadfall” is broken down into 4 parts. “Chapter One: Resurrection” is almost 17 minutes. It has interviews with directors Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer, actors Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz, Jeté Laurence, & various members of the production. They chat about their love for the original novel. They bring up the original film. They talk about their experience, working together, & the changes with this version. “Chapter Two: The Final Resting Place” is almost 13 minutes. It has interviews with various cast & crew members from the production. They chat about filming in Canada & how it still looked like Maine. They talk about various locations including the house & the road for the feature. They say it was a struggle choosing from two different homes for it. They go over the production design especially the actual Pet Sematary & mention how detailed it was for being put together in such a short amount of time. They bring up that a real Pet Sematary was near where they filmed everything. “Chapter Three: The Road to Sorrow” is almost 14 minutes. It has interviews with various cast & crew members from the production. It takes you behind the scenes on the 5 different cats that played Church. It shows them training & filming their scenes. It shows you the Pet Sematary location & the top notch production design for it. They chat about the big change from the book & movie in this remake. They talk about the difference it makes compared to them & how it plays out. “Chapter Four: Death Comes Home” is a little over 18 minutes. It has interviews with various cast & crew members from the production. They go into great detail about the special fx & the characters that go through changes during the film. They talk about the Zelda role. They mention how she is used more in this version compared to the book & the original film. They chat about dealing with death. They bring up that they changed the ending the last minute & on the set while they were filming. Unfortunately, both Silver Bullet & The Dead Zone are bare bones here. This set is loaded with all kinds of bonus material & it’s a must own for any Stephen King fan. Add this to your collection ASAP, it’s available everywhere right now!!!!