Best of Stephen King

Stephen King is one of the most prolific horror writers of our times. In the hands of different filmmakers, his work has been turned into some brilliant work. Other times, it has been downright dreadful. 

In order, here are my favourite movies and television programs based on the work of Stephen King:

  1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  2. The Green Mile (1999)
  3. Stand by Me (1986)
  4. Carrie (1976) 
  5. The Shining (1980)
  6. Misery (1990)
  7. The Dead Zone (1983)
  8. Hearts in Atlantis (2001)
  9. Salem’s Lot (1979) – TV movie
  10. The Stand (1994) – TV mini-series
  11. Dolores Claiborne (1995)
  12. Storm of the Century (1999) – TV mini-series
  13. The Mist (2007)
  14. Haven (2010-2011) – TV series
  15. Apt Pupil (1998)
  16. 1408 (2007)
  17. Secret Window (2004)
  18. It (1990) – TV movie
  19. Silver Bullet (1985)
  20. Needful Things (1993)
  21. Sometimes They Come Back (1991) – TV movie
  22. Cujo (1983)
  23. The Dark Half (1993)
  24. Christine (1983)
  25. Firestarter (1984)
  26. Rose Red (2002) – TV mini-series
  27. The Shining (1997) – TV mini-series
  28. Dreamcatcher (2003)
  29. Pet Sematary (1989)
  30. Kingdom Hospital (2004) – TV series 
  31. Riding the Bullet (2004)
  32. The Langoliers (1995) – TV movie
Favourite Stephen King quotes:
  • It’s better to be good than evil, but one achieves goodness at a terrific cost.
  • People want to know why I do this, why I write such gross stuff. I like to tell them I have the heart of a small boy… and I keep it in a jar on my desk.
  • The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings – words shrink things that seem timeless when they are in your head to no more than living size when they are brought out.
  • We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.
  • You can’t deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants.

Best of Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Scary, witty, funny and poignant, Buffy the Vampire Slayer  tells the story of Buffy, a girl who wants to be normal but struggles with a powerful destiny. It is truly a groundbreaking television program — well written and directed — it uses the supernatural occurrences as metaphors for its coming of age story lines. Buffy the Vampire Slayer has also spawned a whole generation of similar programs with supernatural coming of age stories. 

In order, here are my favourite episodes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer:

 #1: Hush, Season 4, Episode 10 (1999): 

The Gentlemen, evil creatures from a fairy tale, first steal the voices of everyone in Sunnydale and then seek to kill them by removing their hearts.

A truly creepy and frightening episode, as the victims are unable to cry out for help.

Can’t even shout, can’t even cry
The gentlemen are coming by
Looking in windows, knocking on doors
They need to take seven and they might take yours
Can’t call to mom, can’t say a word
You’re gonna die screaming but you won’t be heard.

 #2 Innocence, Season 2, Episode 14 (1998): 

After Buffy loses her virginity to Angel, Angel loses his soul from experiencing a moment of true happiness and lashes out with cruelty. 

The story becomes a metaphor for the experience of growing up and the feelings around discovering your sexuality. 

Angelus: You got a lot to learn about men, kiddo. Although I guess you proved that last night.

#3 The Body, Season 5, Episode 16 (2001):

Buffy must deal with the unexpected death of their mother.

A truly heartbreaking depiction as the audience also experiences Buffy’s numbness and shock at losing someone close.  

Buffy: She’s cold. 911 Operator: The body is cold? Buffy: No, my mom!

#4 Restless, Season 4, Episode 22 (2000):

Buffy, Willow, Xander, and Giles have nightmares in which they are pursued by the same mysterious figure.

One of the most fascinating and realistic depictions of how surreal, comical and horrifying our dream worlds are like.

I have no speech, no name. I live in the action of death. The blood cry, the penetrating wound. I am destruction, absolute, alone.

#5 Once More, with Feeling, Season 6, Episode 7 (2001): 

Everyone in Sunnydale is under a spell that causes them to burst into full musical numbers through which they reveal their innermost secrets.

I wonderful mash-up of two seemingly disparate genres — musical horror — that works with unexpectedly fun and poignant results. 

Sweet: What a lot of fun
You guys have been real swell.
And there’s not a one
Who can say this ended well.
All those secrets you’ve been concealing.
Say you’re happy now
Once more with feeling.
Now I gotta run.
See you all
In Hell.

#6 Passion, Season 2, Episode 17 (1998): 

As Jenny Calendar searches for a way to restore Angel’s soul, Angel steps up his torment of Buffy and her friends with tragic results.

This is one of the most tragically unsettling episodes in the series — revealing a world where no one is safe.

Angelus: Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping…waiting…and though unwanted…unbidden…it will stir…open its jaws, and howl. It speaks to us…guides us. Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. the joy of love…the clarity of hatred…and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we’d know some kind of peace. But we would be hollow. Empty rooms, shuttered and dank. Without passion, we’d truly be dead.

# 7 Normal Again, Season 6, Episode 17 (2002): 

Buffy realizes that she is in a mental asylum and that her whole life has all been really playing out in her delusional mind … or has is it?

The episode focuses on Buffy’s desire to lead a normal life away from all the supernatural drama and violence. Here, she has to make the difficult choice of which reality she wants to stay in.

Buffy: I was in an institution. There were doctors, and nurses and other patients, they told me that I was sick… I guess crazy. And that Sunnydale and all of this, none of it was real.  Xander: Oh, come on, that’s ridiculous! What, you think this isn’t real just because of all the vampires, and demons, and ex-vengeance demons, and the sister that used to be a big ball of universe-destroying energy? 

 #8 The Wish, Season 3, Episode 9 (1998):

Cordelia thinks that Buffy is the cause of all her problems and wishes that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, plunging Cordelia into an alternate Universe where vampires control the town.

This episode is a fun and twisted take on It’s A Wonderful Life.

Giles: Cordelia Chase. What did she wish for? Anyanka: I had no idea her wish would be so exciting! ‘Brave new world.’ I hope she likes it.

 #9 Killed by Death, Season 2, Episode 18 (1998):

While hospitalized with a severe flu, Buffy battles a demon that sucks the life out of sick children.

Next to Hush, this is the most creepy and terrifying episode in the series.

Ryan: He comes at night. The grown-ups don’t see him. He was with Tina. He’ll come back for us. Buffy: Who? Ryan:

#10 Tabula Rasa, Season 6, Episode 8 (2001): 

Willow casts a spell that accidentally causes everyone to forget who they are.

This is a very funny episode, as each person has to re-invent and re-discover themselves with comic consequences.

Giles: [now under the impression he and Spike are father and son] What did I name you, anyway? Spike: [reads a label in his coat] “Made with care for Randy”. [horrified] Randy Giles!?  Why didn’t you just call me “Horny Giles”, or “Desperate-for-a-Shag Giles”!? I knew there was a reason I hated you!

Best Scary Television Series of All-Time

I remember when I was a little child, I would sneak into the house and watch the Canadian supernatural soap opera series Strange Paradise, despite my mother telling me I was too young to watch something that scary. This started my love of watching scary television shows, including Kolchak: The Night Stalker

Here are my favourite Scary Television Series of all-time:

  1. The X Files (1993-2002)
  2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996-2003)
  3. Dexter (2006-Present)
  4. Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
  5. The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)
  6. True Blood (2008-Present)
  7. Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955-1961)
  8. The Walking Dead (2010-Present)
  9. Night Gallery (1969-1973)
  10. Fringe (2008-Present)
  11. Supernatural (2005-Present)
  12. Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974-1975)
  13. Carnivàle (2003-2005)
  14. Angel (1999-2004)
  15. Haven (2010-2011)
  16. The Outer Limits (1963-1965)
  17. Medium (2005-2011)
  18. Millennium (1996-1999)
  19. The Dead Zone (2002-2007)
  20. American Gothic (1995-1996)
  21. The Others (2000)
  22. FreakyLinks (2000-2001)
  23. Happy Town (2010)
  24. Goosebumps (1995-1998)
  25. Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1991-1996)
  26. Eerie, Indiana (1991-1992)
  27. The Gates (2010)
  28. Kingdom Hospital (2004)
  29. Ghost Whisperer (2005-2010)
  30. Bedlam (2011)
  31. Harper’s Island (2009)
  32. Point Pleasant (2005-2006)
  33. Wolf Lake (2001-2002)
  34. Strange Paradise (1969-1970)
Ones I have not seen, but have heard good buzz around include:
  1. One Step Beyond (1959-1961)
  2. Ghost Story (1972-1973)
  3. The Sixth Sense (1972)
  4. The Evil Touch (1973-1974)
  5. Tales of the Unexpected (1977)

100 Best Musicals of All-Time

I have always loved a good musical since I was a child.  My mom collected movie musical soundtracks and I would like to sing along. Today, I still like to sing and I often find songs running through my head throughout the day.

Here are my favourite movie musicals of  all-time:

  1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  2. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 
  3. Cabaret (1972) 
  4. Moulin Rouge! (2001) 
  5. The Sound of Music (1965) 
  6. Chicago (2002) 
  7. An American in Paris (1951)
  8. West Side Story (1961)
  9. My Fair Lady (1964)
  10. Funny Girl (1968)
  11. A Star Is Born (1954)
  12. Top Hat (1935)
  13. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
  14. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
  15. 42nd Street (1933)
  16. All That Jazz (1979)
  17. Gigi (1958)
  18. The King and I (1956)
  19. The Band Wagon (1953)
  20. Swing Time (1936)
  21. Oliver! (1968)
  22. The Music Man (1962)
  23. On the Town (1949)
  24. Mary Poppins (1964)
  25. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
  26. South Pacific (1958)
  27. White Christmas (1954)
  28. Dreamgirls (2006)
  29. Oklahoma! (1955)
  30. Gypsy (1962)
  31. Guys and Dolls (1955)
  32. The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964)
  33. Funny Face (1957)
  34. Shall We Dance (1937)
  35. Wonder Man (1945)
  36. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
  37. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
  38. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
  39. Show Boat (1936)
  40. Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
  41. Brigadoon (1954)
  42. State Fair (1945)
  43. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
  44. Victor Victoria (1982)
  45. High Society (1956)
  46. The Gay Divorcee (1934)
  47. Damn Yankees! (1958)
  48. Jailhouse Rock (1957)
  49. Fame (1980)
  50. Anchors Aweigh (1945)
  51. Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
  52. Stormy Weather (1943)
  53. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
  54. Carousel (1956)
  55. Pal Joey (1957)
  56. Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
  57. Hair (1979) 
  58. Sweet Charity (1969)
  59. Annie Get Your Gun (1950)
  60. Show Boat (1951)
  61. The Inspector General (1949)
  62. Porgy and Bess (1959)
  63. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
  64. Hello, Dolly! (1969)
  65. The Muppet Movie (1979)
  66. Royal Wedding (1951)
  67. Yentl (1983)
  68. Mamma Mia! (2008)
  69. Grease (1978)
  70. Kiss Me Kate (1953)
  71. Hairspray (2007)
  72. It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)
  73. Easter Parade (1948)
  74. Hans Christian Andersen (1952)
  75. Calamity Jane (1953)
  76. Follow the Fleet (1936)
  77. Babes in Arms (1939)
  78. Carmen Jones (1954)
  79. Rent (2005)
  80. Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
  81. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
  82. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
  83. Bells Are Ringing (1960)
  84. Anything Goes (1936)
  85. Tommy (1975)
  86. Evita (1996)
  87. The Pajama Game (1957)
  88. Jumbo (1962)
  89. Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
  90. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)
  91. A Chorus Line (1985)
  92. Nine (2009)
  93. Viva Las Vegas (1964)
  94. Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
  95. The Producers (2005)
  96. Godspell (1973)
  97. Words and Music (1948)
  98. Babes in Toyland (1961)
  99. Mame (1974) 
  100. Xanadu (1980)

Honourable Mention:

  1. Doctor Dolittle (1967)
  2. Camelot (1967)