The Dollar Babies
September 29, 2013 3:17 PM   Subscribe

The Dollar Baby (also sometimes referred to as the Dollar Deal) is a term coined by best-selling author Stephen King (Previously) in reference to a select group of students and aspiring filmmakers or theatre producers whom he has granted permission to adapt one of his short stories for only $1.

Because they cannot be commercially released, many of these films have eluded King fans for years. However, some teasers, trailers, making ofs, and websites about the films do exist and are available online, and are collected below:

The Boogeyman (1982) by Jeff Schiro (16 mm 29 minutes $20,000)
Disciples of the Crow (1983) by John Woodward (30 minutes)
The Woman in the Room (1983) by Frank Darabont (35 mm 32 minutes $35,000)
Last Rung on the Ladder (1987) by James Cole and Dan Thron (Super8 mm 12 minutes $1,500)
The Lawnmower Man (1987) by James Gonis (16 mm 12 minutes $5,000)
Cain Rose Up (1989) by David C. Spillers (8 minutes)
The Man Who Loved Flowers (1996)
Paranoid (2000) by Jay Holben (35 mm 8 minutes $3,000)
Night Surf (2001) by Peter Sullivan (DV 30 minutes $2,000)
Strawberry Spring (2001) by Doveed Linder (35 mm 8 minutes)
Rainy Season (2002) by Nick Wauters (24p HD 15 minutes $10,000)
Autopsy Room Four (2003) by Stephen Zakman (22 minutes)
All That You Love Will Be Carried Away (2004) by James Renner (26 minutes)
All That You Love (2004) by Scott Albanese (35 mm 15 minutes $23,000)
Stephen King's Gotham Cafe (2004) by Jack Sawyers
Luckey Quarter (2004) by Robert David Cochrane (35 mm 11 minutes $10,000)
I Know What You Need (2005) by Shawn S. Lealos (Mini DV 40 minutes $1,500)
La Femme Dans la Chambre (The Woman in the Room) (2005) by Damien Maric (Mini DV 13 minutes €10,000)
Sorry, Right Number (2005) by Brian Berkowitz (19 minutes $30,000)
Suffer the Little Children (2005) by Bernardo Villela (DV )
All That You Love Will Be Carried Away (2005) by Mark Montalto
Suppr. (Word processor of the gods) (2005) by Nicolas Heurtel (15 minutes)
Umney's Last Case (2006) by Rodney Altman (35 mm/16 mm 18 minutes $60,000)
Le croque mitaine(The Boogeyman) (2006) by Giuliano Dinocca
Tyger (Here there be tygers) (2006) by Leyla Everaers (16mm 10 minutes €3,000)
Je suis la passerelle(I am the Doorway) (2006) by Giuliano Dinocca
Popsy (2006) by Brian Haynes (24 minutes)
Lovecraft's pillow (2006) by Mark Steensland (10 minutes)
All That You Love (2007) by Natalie Mooallem (DV 15 minutes $)
Autopsy room four (2008) by Dave Gallant (7,02 minutes)
My Pretty Pony (2009) by Mikhail Tank - Completed (HD/SAG/$500/4.4 minutes)
Here There Be Tigers (2009) by Aaron Botwick & Joshua Meadow - Completed (16mm/$500)
Everything's Eventual (2009) by J.P. Scott - Completed (RED 4k / $45,000 / 78 minutes)
Popsy (2009) by Mattson Tomlin - Completed (9 minutes)
Cain Rose Up (2010) by Jeven Dovey - Completed
Flowers for Norma (The Man Who Loved Flowers) (2010) by Juan Pablo Reinoso - Completed
Cain Rose Up (2010) by Robert W. Livings - Completed
All That You Love Will Be Carried Away (2010) by Robert Sterling - Completed
The Boogeyman (2010) by Gerard Lough - Completed
Love Never Dies (Nona) (2011) by Peter Szabo - in production
The Things They Left Behind (2010/2011) by Pablo Macho Maysonet IV - Completed (Canon 7D / $10,000 / 43 minutes)
The Things They Left Behind (2013) by Guillaume Heulard & Stéphane Valette - Post-production
Hard Ride(Stationary Bike) (2010) by Paul J. Gitschner - Completed
Mute (2011) by D.J. Hartman - Completed
In The Deathroom (2010) by Damon Vinyard - Completed
Survivor Type (2011) by Chris Ethridge and Jayson Palmer - (HD/SAG/30 minutes)
The Boogeyman (2011) by John McGovern - Completed
The Boogeyman (2011) by Lewis A Beach and Seb Shaw - Pre-production. Estimated run Time: 1hr 45mins. website
One for the Road (2010) by Michael Floyd
That Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is In French (2010/2011) by Nathan Gathergood (Canon 7D/HDCAM/14 minutes)
Willa (2012) by Mikhail Tank (Watch Teaser)
Delver Glass (The Reaper's Image) (2012) by Matthias Greving (Germany)
You Missed Sonja (Rest Stop) (2012) by Paul Andexel | Director: Félix Koch (Germany) - completed (HD // 20 minutes)
The Man Who Loved Flowers (2012) Directed by Ranjeet S. Marwa - Completed
Survivor Type (2012) by Billy Hanson - Completed (Nikon D3100 / $15,000 / 31 Minutes) -
The Death of Jack Hamilton (2013) directed by Jamie Anderson / Truefoe Films / UK
Chirophobia (The Man Who Would Not Shake Hands) (2013)
Willa (2013), Screenplay by Sina Flammang, Cinematography by Adrian Campean, Directed by Helena Hufnagel
posted by SkylitDrawl (36 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well done Steve and all but what's the point if they can't be released? Are they just showreels?
posted by GallonOfAlan at 3:19 PM on September 29, 2013


Well done Steve and all but what's the point if they can't be released? Are they just showreels?

Essentially, yes. Student projects to add to their resumes and get real jobs when they graduate.
posted by Etrigan at 3:20 PM on September 29, 2013


I like reading King, but with some exceptions (Shawshank?) his work has produced many if not mostly terrible films (Maximum Overdrive for instance).
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:33 PM on September 29, 2013


Frank Darabont got the rights to produce Shawshank Redemption based on the strength of his own Dollar Baby project, which King apparently loved.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:35 PM on September 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


I like reading King, but with some exceptions (Shawshank?) his work has produced many if not mostly terrible films (Maximum Overdrive for instance).

Most of which he has little to do with -- as with films in general, the story is less important than the combination of story, writing (yes, they're different), casting, photography, etc. etc.

So we can blame King for Maximum Overdrive (which he directed), but not for The Lawnmower Man; nor can we give him credit for The Shining.
posted by Etrigan at 3:38 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Nice.

His short stories are of course his best stuff.
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on September 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


I like reading King, but with some exceptions (Shawshank?) his work has produced many if not mostly terrible films (Maximum Overdrive for instance).

Stephen King has probably had more good films made from his books than anyone else, even if they are vastly outnumbered by terrible adaptations. Carrie, Salems Lot, The Dead Zone, Stand By Me, The Running Man, Misery, It, Shawshank Redemption, Dolores Claiborne and The Green Mile are all at least good, if not great.

It is a bit strange though that the one unequivocally great adaptation (The Shining) is the only one he seems to really hate.
posted by dng at 3:52 PM on September 29, 2013 [7 favorites]


This is a huge amount of research. Incredibly well done post!
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 3:54 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Because it's great and it isn't really his anymore, would be my guess. Given the adaptations he does like some of his objections are just weird ("There must be a boiler! Without a boiler it is worthless!" etc...)
posted by Artw at 3:54 PM on September 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Awesome. This gives me new hope for my stage musical version of Cujo.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:02 PM on September 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


nor can we give him credit for The Shining.

Considering he hates the film, I'm sure he's delighted to hear that.
posted by dobbs at 4:25 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I should have finished my thought lest I seem to be a meh-er. I do look forward to going through these, and I'm glad that SkylitDrawl did the hard work of collecting all the links.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:28 PM on September 29, 2013


dng: King hating the movie makes sense though. In this interview in the Telegraph King said: "Jack Torrance was as autobiographical as I've come to a character," he says. "At the time I wrote the book, I was drinking a lot. I didn't think of myself as an alcoholic, but drunks never do."

In the book, Jack Torrance is a basically good man with some serious issues. These issues are made worse by a bad situation and they allow him to be possessed by an external evil; however, he ultimately finds redemption with the help of his son. In the movie, Jack Torrance is already a bad man, he's just hanging onto a facade of normalcy, and when tempted he falls into and is completely lost within an external evil. Can't be a pleasant thing to see a character you identify with yourself made into a monster.
posted by Grimgrin at 4:59 PM on September 29, 2013 [19 favorites]


It is a bit strange though that the one unequivocally great adaptation (The Shining) is the only one he seems to really hate.

Not strange at all. The Shining is not a 'Steven King movie'. It's not an adaptation. It's a Stanley Kubrick movie that uses the book as source material. In this case, the movie
can't be faithful to the book, because the film is about 20,000 fathoms deeper.

Dollar Babies! There must be a BILLION of em!
We go dancing nightly in the attic while the
Moon is rising the sky;
If I'm too rough, tell me, I'm so scared your little
Head will come off in my hands!

 
posted by Herodios at 5:03 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Carrie, Salems Lot, The Dead Zone, Stand By Me, The Running Man, Misery, It, Shawshank Redemption, Dolores Claiborne and The Green Mile are all at least good, if not great.

The Running Man is more on The Lawnmower Man side of in-name-only movies. It was very...TV miniseries. 80s TV miniseries at that. But I agree that the others are solid films.
posted by zardoz at 6:47 PM on September 29, 2013


It's closer to its source material than Lawnmower Man, at least in general plot and theme, even if it is through the filter of 80s Arhnold movie*.

That's not hard though, Lawnmower Mam was literally a spec script they attached The name to, with no other connection.

* Not a BAD filter, as such. See also Total Recall which manages to be a PKD psycho Sci-do thriller AND 100% Arhnold.
posted by Artw at 7:01 PM on September 29, 2013


It was very...TV miniseries

Fucking spider.
posted by Artw at 7:02 PM on September 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've an idea for the only story from Different Seasons that's not been made into a movie, but alas it's not on the list. It would a hard one to make though, if you know the story.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:08 PM on September 29, 2013


Still wishing for a Paul Greengrass-directed movie version of The Long Walk.
posted by mannequito at 7:20 PM on September 29, 2013


The one Stephen King movie that totally kicks ass (and has not been mentioned in this thread) is the first Creepshow.

The Crate is epic!
posted by KokuRyu at 7:29 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


DO NOT WATCH THE SECOND CREEPSHOW.
posted by Artw at 7:35 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


zardoz: " It was very...TV miniseries. 80s TV miniseries at that."

Ugh, John-Boy with a pony tail. Though I still like the first half with the kids.
posted by the_artificer at 7:43 PM on September 29, 2013


DO NOT WATCH THE SECOND CREEPSHOW.

U scared, bro?

But really, Creepshow 2's second segment is based on one of the best Stephen King short stories.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:52 PM on September 29, 2013


And makes it awful.
posted by Artw at 8:34 PM on September 29, 2013


I think it's safe to say the King movies produced for movie theaters were generally good, and the ones made for TV are best forgotten.
posted by evil otto at 8:42 PM on September 29, 2013


I dunno, they're mostly bad but the mini-series are often a guilty pleasure of mine.

Under the Dumb proved unwatchable though.
posted by Artw at 8:48 PM on September 29, 2013


And makes it awful.

Probably true. I forget.

I just like Creepshow 1's beach scene.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:49 PM on September 29, 2013


Creepshow 1 is amazing, no doubts there.
posted by Artw at 8:49 PM on September 29, 2013


As a writer King does this really amazing thing where he eases you into a narrators unreliability. 1408 is genius at it. He does it a lot, but it's obviously best in his short stories.

It makes the ending of The Shining really sweet too.

But this is so hard to represent on film. I think that's why a lot of his films adaptations fail. Also because they suck.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:53 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


WRT what Grimgrin says above about The Shining, King specifically objected to the casting of Jack Nicholson, saying that no one would really believe that he was a man that meant well and had a tragic flaw (which, really, wasn't his alcoholism, but the fact that Jack Torrance's father had been severely abusive when he was a child, and he'd inherited that rage); Nicholson was already starting to transition into the frenetic mugging that he'd ride to fame and fortune in things such as Batman. What's the most iconic single image from the film? Nicholson sticking his grinning face through the hole he'd just made with the axe in the door, shouting, "Here's Johnny!"

In fact, the film (even more than Kubrick's other films) seems more like a collection of striking images with the barest sketch of a narrative connecting them: the axe, the hedge maze, Danny riding his trike through the halls, the ghostly twins, etc. It's very easy to miss, for example, that Danny is supposed to have psychic powers, let alone a rich inner life. That's one reason why I found the conspiracy theory around the film so amusing; really, there's much less there than meets the eye.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:26 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think the problem is that, let's be honest here, most of King's actual plots are kind of silly. When you get to see one of his plots condensed into two hours, that silliness pops out in a way that it doesn't when you're reading a book over the course of a week. And nothing kills horror faster than silly.
posted by Pyry at 9:42 PM on September 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I always thought it was a testament to his storytelling abilities that he can take a really simple, ridiculous idea (cartrunk to another dimension, evil reincarnation semetary, possessed dog, killer clown from outer space) and make it so compelling you can't stop reading or, when you do, fall asleep.
posted by mannequito at 1:35 AM on September 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


1408 is genius at it.

(shiver runs down my spine)
posted by evil otto at 11:48 AM on September 30, 2013


Autopsy Room Four is one of my favorites. I remember listening to it 10 or 11 years ago, and I remember exactly where I was in my car. I'm pretty wimpy when it comes to operating/autopsy rooms, and this story was touch and go- I had to stop the tape a couple of times- but I was really happy to make it through to the great ending.
So, I clicked on the YouTube link above, and watched it for a solid 10 seconds before I had to close the screen.
posted by MtDewd at 12:51 PM on September 30, 2013


I'm with Halloween Jack on The Shining It's a lot of imagery connected very thinly by the narrative. Fantastic imagery, sure, but this is not my favorite King adaptation.

The Shawshank Redemption, Stand By Me, a lot of the short story adaptations are good -- but I guess this is true of a lot of written story film adaptations: novels tend to be too big for film and you end up with either an overstuffed movie or something that just borrows the name.

Maybe this is why I'm really dreading the Dark Tower adaptation.
posted by linux at 4:49 PM on September 30, 2013


Dark Tower adaptation: I'll watch _only_ if they come out with more than 1 part per year. I'm tired of waiting far too long between releases.
posted by Goofyy at 5:08 AM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older Pet condoms, because it just makes sense.   |   Fat in the Fifties Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments