Turner Classic Movies has a clever formula: Do an original documentary to jump-start a run of movies that taps into its vast library.
Enter "The Horrors of Stephen King," a very simple hour — premiering Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. — in which the horror maven takes a leisurely trip through his movie memories. Written, produced and directed by Laurent Bouzereau, the conversation (OK, monologue) is short on major headlines but a lot of fun nevertheless, offering both a fan's perspective and intellectual analysis about the underpinnings of horror movies.
On the latter point, King notes, the best horror will "assault your emotions, and overwhelm your reason and your logic." He then walks through various genres and subgenres, beginning with the fact that the first movie to scare him wasn't horror at all, but Disney's "Bambi."
Among the interesting footnotes, King thinks:
- David Cronenberg is "the greatest horror director of modern times."
- Stanley Kubrick screwed up "The Shining."
- Dee Wallace Stone deserved an Oscar nomination for the adaptation of his book "Cujo."
"Horrors" is produced by Amblin Television and will lead into five consecutive Mondays of classic (and not so classic) horror movies from the 1930s to the '60s, including "Frankenstein," "Freaks," "Cate People," "The Tingler," "House of Wax," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "Village of the Damned" and "Night of the Living Dead."
A lot of happy memories of misspent youth there, but not a single deer in sight.