Elkhart, Indiana – Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum

In northern Indiana there is a city called Elkhart.  Founded around 1832 the city is now home to most of the American RV and trailer manufacturers in the country.  They are also the source of many of the musical instruments sold around the world.  These two industries are what most people think of when they hear about Elkhart.

What they don’t realize is that it is host to a small but powerful little convention called Hall of Heroes Comic Con.  Each year they get some of the biggest names in the film industry from William Katt to Doug Jones, Jon Header to John Ratzenberger.  They host a hall with cosplayers and cosplay groups like the 501st and Starfleet, a cosplay contest on Sunday.  Local artist and vintage collectors load into the vendor hall. 

It’s a lovely little convention.  Not too overwhelming or over packed.  Great for first time and seasoned con-goers alike.  We will talk about this convention more later but to tide you over here is a photo from this year of my dad and I with one of my dear friends Doug Jones.  We had a blast.

What most people don’t know is this convention has a bigger purpose. 

When you walk in the hall the first three booths you see are for the Hall of Heroes Comic Con Merchandise which changes every year.  The Second is your standard information booth.  Ask anything about the convention and they will be happy to help you!

The third booth is for Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum.

My family is from the area and I never knew about this tiny but really cool place filled to the brim with over 80 years’ worth of superhero comics and memorabilia.

The Hall of Heroes Comic Con is the largest fundraiser the museum does every year to keep it up and going.  This year we went after we were done at the convention to check it out.

According to their website Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum totes one of the largest and most complete collections of Superhero memorabilia, comics, and art in the US.  The collection spans both DC and MARVEL comics as well as indie superheroes and even hosts a small arcade that you can play for free when you go to the museum!

The collection has copies of some of the most important and impactful comics in the comic book world including Amazing Fantasies #15 signed by Stan Lee featuring the first appearance of Spider-Man.  Captain America #1 and Sensation Comic #1 also grace the walls of the hall.  In the center are filing cabinets with over 65,000 comic book issues and comic magazines from the 1940s to the present.  You can even ask to look at anything they have in the collection.  A staff member would be happy to help you look at them.

If superheroes on the big or small screen are more your jam, then look no further.  From original screen costumes to actual props and set pieces you can find a little bit of everything here. The Hell Cycle from Ghost Rider and the 1965 Shelby Cobra that Iron Man crushed when testing his suit are both there (and you can take a photo on either of them for a small fee).  Original costumes from the 1979 Captain America film, pieces of Deadpool’s costume, the Adam West Batman show’s Batman and Riddler costumes are some of what is on display.  You can even seen one of the original screen tested Captain America shields signed by the cast and crew and a Green Lantern ring from the film.

Toys and collectables fill shelves, clustered together by hero.  Barbies and action figures.  Collectable statues, tabletop games, old coloring kits and even orange juice containers. Jewelry, thermoses and lunch boxes… if it had a superhero on it or it was made to look it then you can probably find it here.  The collection is extensive.

We only spent a small amount of time here but I managed to capture photos of everything in the collection except the EXTENSIVE comic collection…mostly because I wasn’t going to ask them to get out each of the 65,000 issues that they have in stock. 

Try your hand at a few of their arcade machines.  I played X-Men for the first time with my dad.  We got Professor X back safely!

There is even a small merch store as well as a section of used comics for you to peruse and purchase.  Donations are also welcome.

The museum is small but packed full and defiantly worth a stop in if you are ever in the area.

Tickets are $10, though they do run specials occasionally.

Check out their website for more information at: Hall of Heroes Superhero Museum

Follow their Facebook and Instagram for updates and information on the Museum.

For information about Hall of Heroes Comic Con you can follow their Facebook page.

March 2022: Theme Parks, Destinations, And Exhibitions

Why Theme Parks and Destinations? How are they different from conventions?  And how is this relevant to the idea of consuming all the pop culture in Ready Player One?… I mean…that is the point of this blog…isn’t it?

I know that I get a lot of questions like this every time I start struggling to work on this blog.  Yes, it was my idea.  Yes, the project has gotten a bit out of hand… (check out our article on Why we included THAT? for more on how things have gotten a bit off course). And yes, life has gotten super weird and crazy and has prevented me from continuing to dive into this headfirst.

And I would love to do that.  To rededicate myself to working and being attentive with this blog.  To posting on our social channels multiple times a day.  To not just reviewing the same stuff over and over…and, honestly, sounding like a broken record because I tend to really love a lot of what is referenced in the books.

In order to do that I had to figure out how to motivate myself to come back to writing.  You see…consuming the media isn’t the problem.  I’m a voracious reader.  I constantly have something on in the background be it a movie, TV show or an album.  I’m on TikTok and Instagram and Facebook DAILY… it shouldn’t be hard to get through the THOUSANDS of references, expanded universes, books turned films, endless music, and podcasts…and it isn’t.

Until I have to write about it.

And I’m not complaining.  This blog has been stuck in my head from the day that I started reading the book.  Page 62 ALONE had my head spinning.  I mean, the entirety of Stephen Kings works could (and is) entire blogs on its own.  And some of my favorite directors are listed as well.  So are some of my favorite TV shows, most watched films, and favorite books.  I get to watch some of the best actors in the world and even support some of my friends more readily than anything because they are in the industry.

But as much as I love the idea of the blog the back end isn’t always easy or glamorous.  The research to put up some semblance of Anorak’s Almanac was almost a month’s work, per book, and I’m still not completely done with it even though I have posted what is done.  The reworking of the blog to give more information, more details and change the rating system took several days to figure out.  And then the writing.

It’s not like I have a team of people helping me write.  Helping me consume the media and the write about it.  It just me.  One person.  Out in cyberspace.  Screaming into the void… or so it seems.

So, I had to make the revamp fun.  Something I wanted to do.  That would motivate me to keep writing, to start writing again.  To redo work I’ve already done (you will be able to see the old stuff in our archives). To redesign the blog. To create something that was continually motivating to me.

Which meant that this month I chose to focus on the world outside of the book.  And how mainstream some of the references have become.

Because we don’t live in the 1980s anymore, much to Halliday’s dismay, I’m sure.

And those of us that are geeks, that grew up with awesome people like my dad, that were introduced to these things at a young age…we aren’t shunned anymore.

Dungeons & Dragons play is at an all time high with public schools often having a CLUB to teach it.  Big ticket movies are showing again and again that superheroes are going to make bank.  STEM programs are becoming a main focus. And even THEME PARKS have capitalized on the craze by building newer parks, themed areas and bigger and better (and FASTER) rides to capture the thrill seeker in all of us.

And you know what?  I’m one of those thrill seekers.

I didn’t used to be.  In fact, I was almost always scared of roller coasters.  I went on one when I was 6 and I was so scared of it that I didn’t set foot on anther till I was 14.  And after that one I threw up in a trashcan at the end of the ride.

It wasn’t until I was 23 that a friend of mine decided I was being ridiculous and made me go on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.

I remember the whole experience.  I was terrified and anxious the whole line.  I tried to leave at least 5 times, but he kept me there and he even loaded first so I couldn’t just bail out the side and run away. Honestly, I almost cried I was in such a panic. But he knew I would love it…and knew I could do it. That I could conquer that fear.

If you know anything about this ride, then I’m sure you are probably laughing.  You might even be thinking about how insane I was being. And I can say that.  I let my anxiety get the better of me for so many years.  Because that ride…well…its really tame compared to most modern rollercoasters. 

I loved it.

I’m not going to say that this works for everyone… nor will I ever make fun of people who hate roller coasters because I used to be one.  But man…the minute I loved it I knew I had to try more.

So, we went again and again.  I think we rode that one about 4 or 5 times until I was comfortable and wasn’t panicking in line.

Then we went on Space Mountain.  The one in Disneyland is so much different (and better in my opinion) than the one in Disney World.  That was a BIG thrill for me because you can’t see the track.  And the technology in the ride makes it feel like you are going so fast when it only reaches about 35 miles per hour.

Then…the big kahuna.  California Screaming (now called The Incredicoaster) at California Adventure.  A steel roller coaster made to look like an old wooden pier roller coaster with a single inversion…ONE.  That was so scary to me.  It launches from 0-55 MPH in 4.5 seconds and has a drop of 108 feet during the course of the 1 minute and 20 second ride.  And the inversion? A simple vertical loop.  Nothing crazy.

But I got off of that ride and that was it. 

I was hooked.

Which brings us to today.

As I started to get back into the blog and do the revisions, the tweaking, the redesign and try to get myself back to the level of material I wanted to be creating for you…I knew I had to figure out something that I would love.

So, I looked at the month of March 2022 in my life.

And there it was.

My grandmother turns 80 in February.  In March, my whole family is going to Disney World to celebrate with her.  Almost 30 people all together at a theme park.

That’s when it hit me.

Theme parks.

Theme parks…

Theme parks. 

I forgot how many theme parks have acquired the rights to nerdy properties.

From the obvious Disney acquisition of MARVEL and Lucasfilms to the less well known Six Flags having access to DC Comics.  To the very odd little ride at Universal surrounding ET…and the debunked Back to the Future Ride…. even international parks, cruises and exhibitions have access to specific properties from Star Trek to Battlestar Galactica to Sesame Street to an unlicensed World of Warcraft based park in China.  There are a LOT of parks that have connections to Ready Player One.

And isn’t that the point of the book?

That so much of the world is completely immersed in the world of OASIS. That most of that world is based in the world that Halliday loved.  That video games, 1980s pop culture, and technology reign supreme.

We just aren’t quite there yet.

But themed events, destinations, and things like theme parks are getting us one step closer.

So, this month…it’s all about the theme parks.

We will discuss parks both in America (where I’m from) and parks that are international.  We will take a look at other things that you can do to immerse yourself into worlds you may love like local museums, exhibitions, events and cruises. 

Conventions are for another day…though I am going to one in March!  Because these events deserve their own month to talk about attending, cosplay, etiquette and actually going to one of the biggest board game conventions in the world.  And that in and of itself is a month of material on its own.

So, until then lets look at the parks you can go to if you want to get your fix of thrill rides and immersive experiences…all with a dash of nerdy pleasure on the side!

REPOST: Army of Darkness, created by Sam Rami: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Ash has been transported back to the Middle Ages by the powers of the Book of the Dead.  When he arrives, he is taken prisoner by Lord Arthur, suspected of being part of Henry the Red’s army.  After all his weapons are confiscated, he is thrown into the Pit, the wiseman rightfully returns his chainsaw as he is attacked by more of the dead he had just escaped from.

As he climbs from the pit victorious yet again, Ash is told the only way for him to get home is to go and retrieve the Book of the Dead for Lord Arthur.  They set out on a quest of the Book.  Arthur and his men leave Ash with the simple words to get the book and save them all from ultimate destruction.

Will Ash remember the spell?  Will he be able to retrieve the book?  Or will an Army of Darkness fall upon the land?

General Information:

-Genre: Comedy Horror

-Creator: Sam Rami

-Length: 81 minutes

-Rating: R (mild sex and nudity, moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild alcohol use, moderate scary and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), STARZ (with subscription), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Bruce Campbell, Embeth Davidtz, Marcus Glibert, Ian Abercrombie, Richard Grove

-Page of Reference in RPO: 177

Review (contains spoilers):

I’m really not sure what to say about this.  Its basically 80 minutes of one-liners.  With a general plot (I guess?) holding it together.  There isn’t a lot of continuous dialogue, the majority of the film is absolutely ridiculous, and the whole thing is just plain silly.

I enjoyed it overall but am quite glad it at least had enough money in the budget for some killer effects (for the time) and lots of explosions otherwise I’m not sure I could have made it through the film.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

REPOST: Evil Dead II, created by Sam Raimi: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Two Michigan State University students decide to take a long weekend at a remote cabin in the woods.  When they arrive, the cabin is more rustic than they had anticipated and as they explore the property, they find a variety of different items that leave them less than comfortable.  As they settle in for the night things begin to go haywire after listening to the recording of the cabin’s former owner reading from the Book of the Dead.

During the night the dead arise…and our valiant students must fight the oncoming spirits or die trying.

General Information:

-Genre: Horror Comedy

-Creator: Sam Raimi

-Length: 84 minutes

-Rating: R (for mild sex and nudity, severe violence and gore, moderate profanity, and some frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Bruce Campbell, Sarah Verry, Dan Hicks, Denise Bixler, Richard Domeier, John Peaks, Lou Hancock, William Preston Roberston, Ted Raimi, Snowy Winters

-Page of Reference in RPO: 177

Review (contains spoilers):

Basically, the comedy version of Evil Dead.  Less characters, comical take on horror…generally great.  Not sure where the next movie is going to go.

Overall, solid.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

REPOST: Evil Dead, created by Sam Raimi: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Five Michigan State University students decide to take a long weekend at a remote cabin in the woods.  When they arrive, the cabin is more rustic than they had anticipated and as they explore the property, they find a variety of different items that leave them less than comfortable.  As they settle in for the night things begin to go haywire after listening to the recording of the cabin’s former owner reading from the Book of the Dead.

During the night the dead arise…and our valiant students must fight the oncoming spirits or die trying.

General Information:

-Genre: Supernatural Horror

-Creator: Sam Raimi

-Length: 85 minutes

-Rating: X/NC-17 (for extreme horror violence and gore, some moderate sexual content, mild language, mild use of alcohol and smoking, some intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library!

-Main Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeMannicor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly

-Page of Reference in RPO: 177

Review (contains spoilers):

 So… I’m glad I finally watched this.  As a horror buff I’m surprised I had never delved into the series.  This one was a fascinating look into what was considered inappropriate when the film came out.

For today’s standards we would find this film tame but for the times it was completely unique. I can see why it earned the rating NC-17/X.  Between the dark story line, the insane amount of violence and the sexual content its unsurprising that Evil Dead became one of the first mainstream films to earn this rating.

To be honest I found the whole film slightly comical.  Wonderfully done with what they had available at the time.  I can see how this became an influence on later films and one I’m glad is now in my repertoire.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

REPOST: Silence of the Lambs, based on the novel The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris: a Film Review

Synopsis:

A new serial killer has popped up.  “Buffalo Bill” has killed five victims when we enter the scene. A young trainee agent is sent to speak with the notorious Hannibal Lecter, a psychologist who is committed to an asylum for the criminally insane after murdering and eating several of his patients.  The agent who sends here on this mission is hoping that she may be able to recover some information that will help the FBI capture Buffalo Bill.

As our trainee, Clarice, begins to seemingly befriend Lecter a senator’s daughter is abducted by Buffalo Bill and the hunt is on.

As Clarice works with the Behavioral Analysis Unit and begins to decipher the clues from both Bill and Lecter himself, she gets deep into the hunt for the killer.  But will she come out of this the same?

General Information:

-Genre: Psychological Thriller

-Creator: based on the book The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

-Length: 118 minutes

-Rating: R (sex and nudity, extreme violence and gore, moderate profanity, realistically intense scenes dealing with stalking and murder)

-Where to Watch: Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, iTunes, YouTube, or find it at your local library

-Main Cast: Jodi Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Brooke Smith

-Page of Reference in RPO: 172

Review (contains spoilers):

A decent psychological thriller that sadly doesn’t stand the test of time cinematically in the horror genre.  Or maybe I just watch too many films and true crime items and am just desensitized to the whole idea.

While the story line is well thought out and provocative and both Jodi Foster and Anthony Hopkins give stunning performances in their rolls as Agent and Serial Killer, the cinematography and the designs are thourally 1990s or even 1980s.  which works overall for the idea and the general feel of the film.

Yet when viewed through the lens of modern film which has managed to not only push the agenda when it comes to blood and gore but also on the desensitization of the film goer this just doesn’t seem to hold up anymore.

I remember watching this when I was younger and it frightening me.  But now having literally spent a good portion of my adult life fascinated by serial killers and the inner working of their mind I don’t find this to be a real psychological thriller any longer.

It is intense in places and leaves one feeling slimy when you connect with Lecter…which sadly happens a few times because he is able to showcase a human side even while you know he is manipulating Clarice for some nefarious reason or another. But honestly I’ve been more on edge during an episode of Criminal Minds or the first Saw movie that I was the entire time re-watching this film…

Maybe I will find the book more difficult to get through at my age.

Rating:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

REPOST: IT: Chapter Two, based on IT by Stephen King: a Film Review

Synopsis:

27 years have passed since the Loser’s Club fought Pennywise.  They have since gone their separate ways, now adults, some married and some not…life went on after the dark events that summer in Derry, Maine.

But it has begun again.  And as Mike Hanlon calls up his old friends the Loser’s Club finds that they may have done so much more than simply move on from their childhood.  They seem to have forgotten everything from that summer…and honestly most of their lives in Derry. All but Mike, who stayed…who became Derry’s historian…and who kept watch incase Pennywise rose again in the strange 27-year cycle of the past.

As children and adults go missing, the Losers much rise again to fight that which haunts the tiny New England town.  They must regain their memories in order to fight off the killer clown.  Will they be able to dig up their pasts?  Will they be able to end the nightmare?  And if they do…what will the cost be?  In the end will it be worth it?

General Information:

-Genre: Supernatural Horror

-Creator: based on IT by Stephen King

-Length: 165 minutes

-Rating: R (for supernatural violence, severe violence and gore, severe language, alcohol use and smoking, LGBT+ violence and slurs, mild nudity and sexual innuendos)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library (like I did)

-Main Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Isaiah Mustafa, Jay Ryan, James Ransone, Andy Bean, Jaeden Lieberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sphia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, Jackson Robert Scott

-Page of Reference in RPO: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

A wonderful continuation of the story started in IT: Chapter One.

First I must commend the casting agent on a job well done.  It is rare in the film industry to find children and adults that look like they could be the same person but they did this FLAWLESSLY! One of the best casting jobs I’ve seen in a long time.  Even the IT miniseries (which did a decent job) didn’t get it done THIS well.

And while I did enjoy the fact that the first movie stood alone and if you didn’t know the story you could watch it independently and not need the continuation of the story, I absolutely love the way this story was written.  There are just enough “flashback” style moments in the film but they are new and fresh information.  Not tired flashbacks from the first film which is nice because then you can watch them back to back without a lot of déjà vu.

There are a few good jump scares in this one and the overall dark and intense quality of the themes are incredibly well done.  I chalk this up to utilizing as many practical effects as they could.  I enjoy that they didn’t rely on doing everything in post-production.  I really do believe (having worked in the film industry myself) that films that rely completely on CGI tend to fall flat.  Practical effects are the way to go…filling in what you cannot possibly do (like a giant clown or 300 rows of teeth in a distended mouth) is what CGI should be used for.

The changes in the story (like Audra not showing up and getting captured by Pennywise) are enjoyable and keep a more consistent story.  The moment Beverly realizes Ben is the one who wrote the poem is much more satisfying that in the miniseries.  And the overall pacing is more consistent than the other film. 

Timing is everything in a horror film.  Using just the right choreography, lighting and musical beat in with the blocking is what makes or breaks a film.  And this one really got it right.

Overall, wonderful.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

For the review on IT by Stephen King:

Review on It (miniseries)

Review on IT: Chapter One

REPOST: IT: Chapter One, based on IT by Stephen King: a Film Review

Synopsis:

In 1986, young Georgie Denburough is out in a storm playing with a paper boat that his older brother, Bill, had made for him.  As he follows the boat along it gets swept into a drain.  Georgie reaches into the drain to try and get the boat when he is confronted by a clown.  A clown deep down in the sewers.  When he reaches for the boat again, the strange creature rips his arm away and drags the poor boy down into the sewers.  Georgie becomes one of the first missing children that would haunt the town of Derry, Maine over the course of the next year.

Summer has finally come for Derry, Maine.  Kids are out of school.  Bullies have free reign of the streets and the “Losers” are trying to stay out of trouble.  As the mysterious disappearance of more kids continues a small group of kids come together, tormented by the local bully as well as a far less tangible but far more dangerous force lurking in the shadows.  This group, known as the Losers’ Club, discover that each have been visited in the last year by a strange clown.  This clown…a force that knows who they are and where they live…is far beyond everything that even their scariest nightmares could have imagined.

As Bill and the rest of the Losers follow the clues, they will be led down the path closer to Pennywise.  Will Bill find his little brother, Georgie, alive and well as he fervently believes?  Or will all of them have to face their darkest nightmares at the hands of a terrifying clown?

General Information:

-Genre: Supernatural Horror

-Creator: based on IT by Stephen King

-Length: 135 minutes

-Rating: R (for supernatural violence, severe violence and gore, severe language, mild sexual innuendo, mild mentions of abuse, some smoking)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, YouTube, DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library (like I did!)

-Main Cast: Jaeden Lieberher, Bill Skarsgard, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sphia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Wyatt Oleff, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Nicholas Hamilton, Jackson Robert Scott

-Page of Reference in RPO: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

Yay.  A real horror film.  As a horror buff I can give credit where credit is due.  While the 1991 version with Tim Curry was perfectly fine (this hurts to say because Tim Curry is a FANTASTIC actor…one of my favorites in fact), it lacks the more modern horror moments.  “Child’s play” as a friend once said, compared to this film and its sequel film.

While I was hesitant at first with the more modernization of the timeline (the book has their childhood in the mid-1950s) I was quite impressed with how this little change really worked with the overall feel of the film.  It definitely allowed for some of the more classic horror tropes to be utilized but also paid a wonderful homage to the real rise and birth of modern horror films.

From practical effects to an honestly terrifying Pennywise the Dancing Clown, this was the film I was hoping for when I watched the 1991 miniseries.

And no offence to Mr. Curry….But Bill Skarsgard’s performance, from costume to makeup to mannerisms, was the clown we should all be absolutely terrified is under our beds.

The story seems to follow the book (and the miniseries) fairly closely with small nods to the miniseries.  The big exception is that Georgie is missing and Bill still thinks he is alive.  It is his desire to find his brother, alive and well, that sends the Loser’s Club down the rabbit hole and into the depths of the horrors that lurk in the Derry sewer system.

I do think this choice was much more believable especially for the 1980s.  the idea that the kids are building a dam in a small creek just doesn’t seem to fit in a world where there are arcade games, movies and a robust set of Television shows.  Going out on an adventure like in The Goonies or fighting demons like in Nightmare on Elm Street or Gremlins is MUCH more convincing than what happened in the book (which was believable and fine for the mid-1950s).

This change in time also allowed for larger conversations and allusions.  Beverly’s abusive father became worse (from physical and mental abuse to actual alluded sexual abuse).  Eddie’s mother is even more neurotic and a bigger hypochondriac (now we may diagnose her with Munchausen’s by Proxy).  Richie’s deep dark secret is covered by his humor and foul mouth (also something that was easier to do in both a theatrical release and in the 1980s).  Bill’s stutter isn’t as pronounced but still there, apparent and more natural.  The rest of the group is just as well.  They join together and make a great team.

Honestly, this is a real horror film.  And if you didn’t know or weren’t familiar with the book is a complete movie on its own.  Which cannot be said of the mini-series.  Very well done and will be one that I will be watching again.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Review on IT (novel) by Stephen King

Review on IT: Chapter Two

Review on IT (miniseries)

REPOST: IT, based off IT by Stephen King: a Mini Series Review

Synopsis:

Based on the novel by Stephen King, IT brings the horror to life on television.

The Lucky Seven have finally found friendship and comradery in each other only to find out that they have all been visited by the same entity: a bizarre and terrifying clown named Pennywise.  He can take on their deepest fears and as they begin to uncover the mystery behind these visits they discover that the clown is also responsible for the rash of murders in the area, including their leaders younger brother.  They follow Pennywise deep into the sewers to kill the creature and seem to be successful.

27 years later the murders begin again. The group returns with help from the only member to remain in their small hometown.  As their memories return they must face their deepest fears to fight IT again and this time hopefully rid the world and their lives from the haunting and dangerous presence.

General Information:

-Genre: Supernatural Horror

-Creator: based off IT by Stephen King

-Length: 192 minutes (original) or 187 minutes (DVD/Blue-Ray) split between two episodes

-Rating: TV-PG (episode 1), TV-14 (episode 2) (for mild nudity and sexual remarks, violence and gore, mild profanity, some alcohol and mild drug use, some intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (rent or buy), iTunes, DVD, Blue-Ray, or find it at your local library (like I did!)

-Main Cast: Harry Anderson, Dennis Christopher, Richard Masur, Annette O’Toole, Tim Reid, John Ritter, Richard Thomas, Tim Curry

-Page of Reference in RPO: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

So…

*blinks*

That was…not remotely scary.

Its supposed to be…I think.  Or at least I remember it being scary… but it was made for TV so maybe I am mistaken.

It could also be that I’m watching it 30 years out from its production.

And it was just…very tame.  Sure there was blood and gore.  The possessed fortune cookies were pretty cool.  IT’s actual form was pretty well done.  But as for scares.  It fell quite flat.

I wouldn’t approved it for young children, but older kids would find this ok…at least by todays standards.  Its campy and over the top (though Tim Curry’s performance was amazing as usual) with very few jump scares or creepy music.

Overall it was disappointing to watch as an adult.  Even one who is terrified of clowns.

Rating:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

(and only because Tim Curry does a great job as always)

For the review on IT by Stephen King:

For the review on IT: Chapter One: https://guntersgamesandgold.com/?p=512

For the review on IT: Chapter Two: https://guntersgamesandgold.com/?p=524

IT, by Stephen King: a Novel Review

Synopsis:

Jumping between the past and the present, the Losers Club has been tasked with defeating a strange force that has caused the local children of Derry, Maine to hallucinate, have incredibly terrifying nightmares and to even go missing.

When Bill Denbrough begins to have nightmares of a mysterious figure, often taking the shape of a clown with a red balloon, things begin to go sideways in his life. His younger brother Georgie is found dead…his arms ripped from his body… when he goes out to play in the rain. Bill begins to realize that the creature in his dreams is what has caused Georgie’s death.

As his small group of friends spend the summer doing what kids do they join together over these nightmares, which have been plaguing all of them. When they discover the cause they do everything in their power to end it.

Ans things seem to have gone well, the creature appearing to disappear.

That is until another sting of vicious child deaths occur in Derry. The Losers Club must face all of their fears, and look into the face of IT again… this time will they defeat the alien force and come out alive? Or will they have to sacrifice everything they hold sacred to save the children of Derry, Maine?

General Information:

-Genre: Psychological Thriller, Horror

-Author: Stephen King

-Number of Pages: 1,138 pages

-Main Characters: Bill Denbrough, Ben Hanscom, Bev (Beverly) Marsh, Richie Tozier, Eddie Kaspbrak, Mike Hanlon, Stan Uris, Pennywise/IT, Henry Bowers, Vic Criss, Belch Huggins, Patrick Hockstetter, Peter Gordon, Moose Sadler, Gard Jagermeister, Georgie Denbrough, Eddie Corcoran, Adrien Mellon, Will Hanlon

-Where to Read: support local booksellers (many can order items that may not be in stock), get or rent the audiobook (on something like Audible or Libby), or look for it at your local library!

-Page of Reference in RP1: 63

Review (contains spoilers):

I just honestly can not with this book. It is WAY too long. You could cut about 400 pages out of the middle and it would be the same story.

There are so many moments in this novel where I feel like King was just putting stuff in to be disgusting. It wasn’t scary… it wasn’t terrifying. It was just disgusting.

This is one of the books I absolutely cannot stand. It is full of homophobia, misogyny, excessive abuse particularly sexual and abuse towards children. And most of the descriptions of these items ARE NOT NECESSARY to build the characters or move the story forward. It is just signature King.

As I have read more of his works I am finding that there is a consistent and excessive need to add in sexual encounters and moments that do nothing to the plot, often come out of no where, and are often incredibly degrading to women.

This books is no different.

The movie (particularly the newer two part film duology) are BEYOND better than this 1100 page novel. I wish I could get the 45 hours of my life back that I listened to the audiobook. Thankfully I was able to do other productive things while listening.

Do not recommend.

Rating:

Rating: 1 out of 5.