FIRST LOOK AT RIDING THE BULLET
Fango got an early peek at Mick Garris? upcoming Stephen King adaptation RIDING THE BULLET. The writer/director graciously screened about 20 minutes? worth of movie footage at his editing suite in Burbank, CA earlier this month.
The first thing we noticed about Garris? adaptation of King?s e-book aren?t the changes to the story, but his expansion of it. ?King?s entire story is in the movie,? Garris says, ?but the original thing only runs 50-odd pages. So I had to open it up.?
The first third of the movie, which Garris showed Fango, is entirely his invention, filling in the troubled background of the tale?s hero, Alan Parker. Per Garris, Parker is a death-obsessed college art student whose father committed suicide. Garris unspools a scene for Fango that reveals a stoned Parker, lying naked in a bathtub, razor blade poised in hand. The Grim Reaper himself then turns up to egg him on. Jonathan Jackson, who plays Parker, blows away the squeaky-clean image he fostered in Disney?s TUCK EVERLASTING, and displays an edgy range in this scene and others Garris previews.
It?s also fun to spot Matt (THE STAND) Frewer (replacing George Romero) as Parker?s critical art teacher (the actor also turns up in the new DAWN OF THE DEAD), and Garris adds that legendary comic book artist Berni (CREEPSHOW) Wrightson created Parker?s doodlings himself and also designed the Reaper. KNB EFX Group handled the ghoulish George Staub (David Arquette) and the film?s other gruesome gags. (Says KNB?s Howard Berger of Garris, ?I have not worked with a director like Mick in years. He cared about every aspect of the movie, and was a complete joy and gentleman every day of filming. I cannot wait to do another show with him. Mick is great!?)
Staub, who drives a certain Plymouth Fury that echoes a memorable ?80s King best seller, takes center stage in the next few clips that Garris unveils. The undead vehicular benefactor plays disturbing mind games with his tormented passenger and later stalks the lad in an abandoned amusement park populated be the ghosts of Parker?s past (as well as the titular Bullet ride). Garris points out the footage?s temp sound FX and score and promises that the final music by composer Nicholas (SLEEPWALKERS) Pike will add a further level of dread and tension to the movie. One change Garris did make to King?s BULLET (also featured in the EVERYTHING?S EVENTUAL collection) is the setting.
?King?s story is set in the present day,? Garris notes. ?I pushed RIDING THE BULLET?s action back to 1969. It was a tumultuous time for people in this country back in that era, with Vietnam and all the social and civil unrest. It adds a whole new undercurrent and layer of subtext to the movie.?
Garris will have RIDING THE BULLET completed by June, at which point the producers will begin shopping the film to distributors. Watch for a BULLET set visit in the pages of FANGORIA later this year.
Courtesy of Fangoria