Being a fan of both the written word and movies, and going further and being a fan of the horror genre’s for both movies and books, naturally one of my influences as both a writer and a filmmaker is Stephen King!
Stephen King, being the prolific writer that he is has written such novels as: The Stand, Four Past Midnight, Cujo, Gerald’s Game and Dolores Claiborne.
King has also had many of his books turned in to such classic movie masterpieces, as: It, Misery (One of two Stephen King movies that were made with Kathy Bates who also starred in Dolores Claibourne.) Some of Kings other classic novels that were made in to movies are The Stand, Salem’s Lot and a true masterpiece and his first book to be adapted to a movie, Carrie!
With all this information, you maybe asking what makes Stephen King so great? What makes his books so worthy of being turned in to a movie. My answer is simply this… Time and time again in both book and movie form, Stephen King’s works tend to tell a story in such an exciting way, and develop such an eerily entertaining and gritty and some times gruesome atmosphere of good Vs. evil that you almost must either watch the movie from beginning to end, or read the book from cover to cover!
Carrie is one of those titles that was like that for me in both the written form as well as the movie form! Watching Sissy Spacek’s portrayal of the tortured and betrayed out cast who was literally brutalized by people every where she went was almost more heart wrenching to see on the big screen then to read about it in novel form!
Now enough about the book huh? don’t get me wrong the book is great, but we are here to talk about the movie…
For me, what made this a totally awesome B movie was really a number of things. A few of them being:
A: Writer Lawrence B. Cohen’s chillingly entertaining adaption of Stephen King’s story. His story was so accurate that it was almost what I envisioned it would have been like when I was reading the story!
B: The almost endearing job that Sissy Spacek did when playing the brutalized out cast Carrie White. As well as the job that Amy Irving did playing the roll of one of the antagonists of the movie who not only turn in to a protagonist, but also becomes a living martyr when she changes sides and goes in to Carrie White’s camp!
C: Also I gotta say, William Katt’s portrayal of the jock who ends up finding in a girl he had probably teased and taunted all his life, not only a friend but a love interest is both endearing and anti climactic! In an effort to save time I will also say that the rest of the cast from P.J. Soles to Piper Laurie to Nancy Allen also did a bang up job.
Written by Lawrence B. Cohen (The Tommy Knockers) Directed by Brian De Palma (The Black Dahlia) and starring Sissy Spacek (JFK) Amy Irving (James Dean) Piper Laurie (The Faculty) Nancy Allen (Robo Cop Seires) and P.J. Soles (Hallowen)
Carrie tells the story of Carrie White (Spacek.) A teenaged girl who is a social pariah in town and an out cast at school due to being the daughter of a slightly unbalanced religiously strict mother.
Carrie also happens to have some very interesting powers, such as telekinesis (The power to move things with ones mind.) That and her own slowly unbalancing mind due to years of abuse from everyone around her leads itself to an explosively entertaining good time!
With in days of the prom an incident in the girls shower area involving the entire girls gym class mercilessly teasing and taunting Carrie, leads the entire class (sanz Carrie of course) in to having two choices, either they stay for extra calisthenics for several days or loose their prom tickets!
This is where the truest examples of a protagonist and an antagonist come in… Getting fed up and deciding that she would rather get back at Carrie then do the calisthenics and keep her Prom tickets Chris Hargensen (Allen) decides to leave giving up her tickets. Sue Snell (Irving) decides not only to stay, but feeling guilty decides not only to befriend Carrie by giving up the best night of her life and letting her boy friend (played by William Katt) take Carrie to the prom!
Now’s the question… Will Carrie have the night of her life? And will this night allow her to finally get passed her status as the out cast? the social pariah? Or will this night end in a disaster that no one will ever forget? I’ve already said to much… I best let you find out for yourself!
A few pieces that I have found out over the years since both reading the book and watching the movies that I thought that you would be interested in is.
1. Both Amy Irving and William Katt had both originally auditioned for Star Wars but ended up making it over to the Carrie camp when both Brian De Palma and George Lucas were holding casting sessions for both Carrie and Star Wars The New Hope at roughly the same time and place!
2. This also happened to be the first movie to be adapted from a Stephen King, which also happened to also be his first novel!
All in all folks I highly recommend that if you get a chance, you should watch it! You might like it.