'From a Buick 8' Coming to Theaters

by Paul William Tenny

There's a note on Scifi Wire that another of Stephen King's books, From a Buick 8, is being adapted for the silver screen by Tobe Hooper (director) and the writing duo of actors Johnathon Schaech and Richard Chizmar (who?). There is basically no other information out there about this like when it might start filming or who has signed up for the cast, so rather than just leave this at a heartless and boring blurb, I'll also point you to this op-ed written by the man himself about violence in movies.

In the movie of the same name, it's what the main character (played by Viggo Mortensen) turns out to have. It's also true of American movies in general, which were in love with the knife and gun long before James Cagney (although the act of violence Cagney is probably best remembered for is the one he commits with a grapefruit). The discussion of how much all this make-believe bloodshed has influenced American behavior — not to mention the distrustful way in which Americans view the world — started long before Cagney used Mae Clarke's nose as a juice squeezer. It's a question worth mulling over, it seems to me...although I must mull quickly, because I have tickets to a showing of Jodie Foster's new movie, The Brave One. This is the film New York Times critic A.O. Scott summed up as ''a pro-lynching movie that even liberals can love.''

Do I have my own history of violence?

I know King has written on this subject before. He has a book out there (kind of old) about a kid that goes on a rampage killing in his school (aptly called Rage I think) which is something that has given him fits internally over the years as school shootings become more and more publicized by the 24-hour news networks that turn tragedy into entertainment.

Have you ever thought about how they take news events and basically turn them into on-the-fly miniseries? All drama, you know, who shot who, why did he do it? We'll have that in five minutes if you just stay tuned, and if you're really lucky, we'll show you 1 minute of a press conference even though we've got 10 minutes of it on tape. That way just when things are slowing down, we can replay that sucker and keep you over the commercial break.

Come back for more, end it on a high note with more suspend, like if you just stay tuned we'll scare the shit out of you with an "expert" that will talk about how this could happen in your town.

Always ratcheting up the drama, playing all the angles, get the best ratings, out fear-monger the guys on the other channel. Heck, maybe even sell it on DVD.

Anyway, King's op-ed which I'm sure has nothing to do with what I just ranted about can be had on Entertainment Weekly's website, where he writes every now and again on whatever crosses his mind.
in Film


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Rage was one of King's books published under the pen name Richard Bachman before someone blew his identity. It was the only one not re-published in the trade paperback collection Bachman Books. As usual, a fantastic character study.

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