Tag Archive: Stephen King

Go Find My Tinfoil Hat!

Room 237 (2013)


Most movie fans are familiar with the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name; and many consider it to be one of the greatest horror movies of all time.  What you may not know is that there is a small percentage of the population who believe that this movie is more than just a movie, and is filled with a much deeper message.  There are nine different theories explored in this documentary, and they are as diverse as the enthusiasts who present them.  Some of the theories presented are out there… like, way out there; and all are based in visual clues, some of which only appear for a few seconds in one scene. Here are some examples:

Throughout the Overlook Hotel there are pictures of Indians, so therefore this movie is about the plight of the Native Americans.

There is a prominent maze in this movie, which doesn’t appear in the book, so this must be Kubrick’s homage to the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.

There are several scenes with people walking, writing or speaking backwards, so that can only mean that you have to watch the movie backwards.  This leads to a new interpretation of the movie.

Danny is wearing an Apollo 11 sweater at one point, so this can only mean that this is Kubrick’s way to tell the world that he filmed the faked moon landing.

Finally, the number 42 seems to be pretty predominant throughout the film. According to one person, this refers to 1942, the years the Nazis began the holocaust. So… there is that too.

Alex’s Thoughts:  I love The Shining. Love it.  There is all sorts of symbolism in this thing, and I’m sure there are still things that I have not picked up on yet.  But personally, I can’t come up with a single running theme in this movie, as there is just too much crazy going on.  I know Stanley Kubrick was a certified genius, so I’m sure this movie is about something, and there are probably specific reasons he diverged from King’s book, but I can’t quite nail them down.  I guess that is the sign of a good movie, in that it keeps you thinking about it, even thirty years after its release.  As a documentary goes, this is by far the best out there, but if you like The Shining, Room 237 will hold your attention and make to want to watch the source material again!  And as far as the theories, based on that fact that I am writing this, I can’t really judge other peoples opinions. Alex Rates This Movie 6/10

Tim’s Thoughts: The Shining is an iconic film, obviously, and there is a ton of bizarre imagery throughout the entire film, and yes, Kubrick was such a control freak that it’s hard to take any of it as coincidence. That being said, this film, while entertaining gives too much credence to too many theories. It’s more interesting to focus on one or two. Instead we range from a few credible ideas, all the way to the most ridiculous theories you can imagine. The director undercuts the entire film with one line that I will paraphrase: It doesn’t matter if Kubrick meant for this movie to mean anything, people are going to attach their own ideas, and meanings. To me that instantly cheapens all of the ideas for what this movie could possibly stand for. With that rationale I could insist that this is Kubrick’s elaborate and desperate attempt to get his wife to make him 42 ice cream sandwiches. After all, 42 is predominately featured, and Halloran did offer Danny ice cream. It’s that silly. All of those gripes aside, I enjoyed most of this, and I think that fans of Kubrick, or the Shining should check it out. Just be ready to sift through the nutjobs.  Tim Rates This Movie 7/10

room237 door

View the IMDB entry for this movie here.

View the IMDB entry for this movie here.


Maximum Overdrive (1986)

As the tail of a rogue comet passes past Earth, strange things start to happen to the machines of the planet. First it’s just innocent things, like electronic signs start cussing, but it isn’t long before the situation gets a bit more severe: lawn mowers chopping people up, cars running people over and pop machines shooting cans of carbonated death at little leaguers.  Before too long  this electronic plague spreads to the Dixie Way truck stop.  It’s there where an electronic knife goes berserk and cuts a waitress, but luckily our hero/ convicted felon/ short-order cook Billy (Emilio Estevez) helps the poor woman out.  It’s soon after a video games kill someone, that they realize they are in a world of shit, as all of the semi trucks in the lot spring to life and begin to circle the truck stop.

Tensions inside run high, and people are scared, but Billy does his best to keep everyone calm, especially a hitch-hiking girl he just met whom he beds faster than you can say “promiscuous”.  So now it’s the truck stop workers and a few truckers against an army of diesel chugging possessed machines.  Luckily the owner of the place is a nutjob and has a ton of firepower in the cellar.  After blasting a few trucks with a RPG, they are confidant they can just wait in out until this whole thing blows over, as the trucks are eventually going to run out of fuel.

The next morning a few new vehicles show up: a bulldozer and a jeep with a mounted machine gun!  After blowing away half of the survivors, the jeep sends a message via Morse code: “fill us up with gas or die!”  Seems pretty simple, but after being slaves to the trucks for a few days, they’ve had enough and decide to make a break for it, in hopes of getting to a small island with no cars allowed.  Will this motley crew make it to the safety of the island, or will a giant mechanical shark eat their boat?  According the epilog, the do make it, and the whole thing was a plot by aliens who were hiding in the comet’s tail.  Really… it sort of seems odd and unnecessary for us to know that?

Alex’s Thoughts: While not a great movie, it does have some pretty good parts to it. It trods along just fast enough to keep you watching, but just barely.  There were some interesting scenes and although the technology is dated, there are some good kills as well.  It would be hard to make this and interesting movie today, as I doubt there would be many survivors with all of the technology we have now.  People’s cell phones would explode against their faces, or their iPod ear buds would choke them.  This might be a movie that only appeals to Stephen King fans, or fans of AC/DC, as their music is playing the entire movie, but that isn’t a bad thing.  Alex Rates This Movie 6/10  

Tim’s Thoughts:I disagree with Alex, I think this could be ripe for a remake, but it would need a lot of fixing, first of all the rules don’t make a lot of sense. Some cars have a mind of their own while others are fine. Also sprinklers aren’t really mechanical, at least not the kind that were in this movie. I understand that a lot of this is done for aesthetic,  but it just crowds the screen. I like the movie better than King’s original short story, and wouldn’t mind seeing him convert this screenplay into a full on novel. You can tell he’s trying to establish characters, and watching this movie with one of his books in mind makes this a much more interesting watch. he draws several characters together and mixes them into a melting pot of tension and suspense, or at least that’s what he’s trying to do. In his writing, King usually does a very nice job fleshing out characters and motivations, and jamming people who don’t mix well into terrible and traumatic situations. Unfortunately he doesn’t quiet pull this off, but I think he comes close. Also there is something to be said for some of the iconic images in this movie, you can ask nearly anyone my age about the movie with the killer Green Goblin truck and they will know what I am talking about. I like this more than most, and really respect the effort that was put into it. Also Emilio Esteves always gets a pass from me, he was the Mighty Duckman, and more importantly the Repo Man….. Tim Rates This Movie 8/10

“C’mon over here, Sugar-buns. This machine just called me an asshole!

View the IMDB entry for this movie here