Stephen King DVD Collector Set

Stephen King DVD Collector Set
The latest repackaging of author Stephen King’s novels turned celluloid is almost as strange as the stories from which they are culled. The collection finds four relatively unrelated films — other than the King connection — slip-cased together, presumably in an effort to push the ugly (The Dark Half) with the bad (Needful Things) and the good (Misery, Carrie). In general, the lack of an obvious correlation is questionable when factors such as release dates or premise would be a stronger (read: any) justification for the pairings. Still, there are no true bombs and the talent runs decidedly high. Misery’s (1990) tale of a writer (James Caan) held hostage by a rabid fan (Kathy Bates) is haunting. Director Rob Reiner produces a very real, creepy scenario devoid of otherworldly nonsense. Brian De Palma’s cinematic take on Carrie (1976), the first King novel modified for the big screen, finds Sissy Spacek as a telekinetic teen terrorised by the town she eventually crushes, and features some of modern film’s most memorable, horrific images, namely a blood-soaked Carrie White ravaging a gymnasium of screaming colleagues. Slipping down the ranks, the weak links are 1993 entries The Dark Half and Needful Things, yarns of a writer terrorised by his pen name personified and a small-town store run by Satan (you can guess the selling price for peoples’ "needful thing”), respectively. Even strong director/actor teams of George A. Romero/Timothy Hutton and Fraser Heston/Max von Sydow fail to overcome execution that feels cartoon-ish and a suspension of disbelief that is, well, nonexistent, much like the bonus material. Only Misery and Carrie host trivialities such as trailers and a pointless documentary per. While this collection seems like little more than a fancy box intended to gussie up warehouse overstock, with a reasonable price tag it could become a needful thing. (MGM)