[Editorial] Heeere’s Johnny!: 10 Things You May Not Know About The Shining

Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining turns 40. The film is widely considered one of the best Stephen King adaptations to ever grace the big screen. Horror fans from all across the world love this film, and for good reason, too. It delivers the foreboding, atmosphere, and frights that we loved in Stephen King’s novel. Stanley Kubrick took Stephen King’s novel and created his own work of genius. It’s no secret that Stephen King hates Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining. Throughout the years, there has been talk of conspiracy theories surrounding The Shining. I have compiled a list of ten things you may not know about Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

1. Stanley Kubrick Didn’t Even Read The Screenplay Stephen King Wrote

According to Stanley Kubrick biographer, David Hughes, Stephen King wrote an entire screenplay draft for The Shining. Kubrick didn’t even bother looking at, which makes sense as he once dubbed King’s writing weak. Kubrick chose to work alongside Diane Johnson on the screenplay because he was a fan of here book, The Shadow Knows. The pair worked on the script for eleven weeks. Stephen King’s hatred for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining may have started with the screenplay.

2. Stanley Kubrick Still Had Questions For Stephen King

Stephen King used to tell this story at some of his book readings. According to King, Stanley Kubrick called him at seven in the morning to ask a question about death. Kubrick asked, “I think stories of the supernatural are fundamentally optimistic, don’t you? If there are ghosts then that means we survive death.” King asked him about hell, how did that fit in? There was a long pause, then: “I don’t believe in hell.” It seems the two were still on talking terms during the filming of The Shining.

3. Stephen King Was “Disappointed” In Stanley Kubrick’s Adaptation

Stephen King went public with his disdain for Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation during an interview with Playboy in 1983. King said, “I’d admired Kubrick for a long time and had great expectations for the project, but I was deeply disappointed in the end result. Parts of the film are chilling, charged with a relentlessly claustrophobic terror, but others fell flat.”

He didn’t think Jack Nicholson was a good fit to play the role of Jack Torrence. Stephen King said, “Jack Nicholson, though a fine actor, was all wrong for the part. His last big role had been in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and between that and the manic grin, the audience automatically identified him as a loony from the first scene. But the book is about Jack Torrance’s gradual descent into madness through the malign influence of the Overlook—if the guy is nuts to begin with, then the entire tragedy of his downfall is wasted.”

4. Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining Had An Original, Different Ending

Film endings usually get changed in post-production, but Stanley Kubrick changed the ending of the film after it’s opening weekend. The film version is lost, but pages from the original screenplay still exist. The scene takes place after Jack dies in the snow. Ullman visits Wendy in the hospital. He tells her, “About the things you saw at the hotel. [A lieutenant] told me they’ve really gone over the place with a fine tooth comb and they didn’t find the slightest evidence of anything at all out of the ordinary.” He encourages Wendy and Danny to stay with him for a while. The film ends with text over black, “The Overlook Hotel would survive this tragedy, as it had so many others. It is still open each year from May 20th to September 20th. It is closed for the winter.”

Roger Ebert said Kubrick made the write decision to change the ending. According to him, “Kubrick was wise to remove that epilogue … it pulled one rug too many out from under the story.”

5. Most Of The Shining Set Burned Down

Near the end of shooting, a fire broke out and destroyed multiple sets. The still photographer said, “It was a huge fire in there one night, massive fire, we never really discovered what caused that fire and it burned down two soundstages and threatened a third at Elstree Studios. It was an eleven alarm fire call, it was huge.” It cost around $2.5 million to rebuild one of the soundstages. Stanley Kubrick famously laughed in front of the wreckage.

6. Jack Nicholson Improvised The “Heeere’s Johnny” Line

Jack Nicholson is responsible for the famous “Heeere’s Johnny” line. It is the only line from The Shining to make it into the AFI’s Top 100 Movie Quotes. While filming the bathroom scene in which Jack chops through the door with an axe, Nicholson shouted out the famous Ed McMahon line from The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The catch phrase made the scene more emotional, and it stayed in the film. Behind-the-scene footage shows Jack Nicholson gearing up for the iconic scene.

7. Room 217 Was Switched To Room 237 At The Request Of The Timberline Lodge

In the novel, most of the spooky events take place in Room 217, not Room 237. Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, which was used as the hotel’s exterior for some shots, is to blame for this swap. The Timberline Lodge’s management asked for the room number to be changed so that guests wouldn’t avoid Room 217. There is no Room 237 in the hotel, so that room number was chosen. The website of The Timberline Lodge notes, “Curiously and somewhat ironically, room #217 is requested more often than any other room at Timberline.”

8. Jack Nicholson Wrote A Scene For The Shining

Not only did Jack Nicholson deliver one of the most famous lines of the film, he actually wrote an entire scene. He connected with Jack Torrence on a deeper level. He understood why Jack Torrance berated his wife while he’s trying to write.

Jack Nicholson explained the scene best in an interview with The New York Times. Nicholson said, “That’s what I was like when I got my divorce. I was under the pressure of being a family man with a daughter and one day I accepted a job to act in a movie in the daytime and I was writing a movie at night and I’m back in my little corner and my beloved wife Sandra, walked in on what was unbeknownst to her, this maniac—and I told Stanley about it and we wrote it into the scene.”

9. The Shining Has Inspired Several Conspiracy Theories

There are several conspiracy theories surrounding Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. In fact, there is a documentary, Room 237, that talks about the many conspiracy theories. One theory is that Kubrick helped to fake the moon landing and The Shining is his confession. Fans probably got the idea from Danny Torrance’s shirt. A second theory claims that the film is truly about the genocide of Native Americans. Another theory reads the film as a story about the Holocaust and concentration camps.

Stanley Kubrick’s personal assistant during the filming of The Shining, Leon Vitali, has since denied these theories. Vitali said, “I was falling about laughing most of the time.” He added, “There are ideas espoused in the movie that I know to be total balderdash.”

10. Stanley Kubrick May Have Typed All Of The “All Work” Pages

No one really knows if Stanley Kubrick actually typed 500 pages of “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” He didn’t go to the prop department with this task. It is rumored that he used his own typewriter to make the pages. The typewriter had a built-in memory, so it could have turned out the pages on its own. But of note, the individual pages in the film have different layouts and mistakes. People claim that the director probably individually prepared each and every page. We will never know, though. Kubrick never addressed it before he died.

[Editorial] Happy Mother’s Day: 10 Moms In Horror Movies

Edith Brennan – Mama (2013)

On the day that their parents die, sisters Lilly and Victoria vanish in the woods, prompting a frantic search by their Uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain). Five years later, the girls are found alive and well in a decaying cabin. Lucas and Annabel welcome them into their home to try and reintroduce the children to some semblance of normalcy. Annabel discovers that someone or something still wants to tuck them in at night. Mama is a great mother, it’s just that she’s dead and very scary.

Laurie Strode – Halloween (2018)

Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) suffers from PTSD stemming from a vicious attack from crazed killer Michael Myers on Halloween night 40 years ago. first run in with Michael Myers. Locked up in an institution, Myers manages to escape when his bus transfer goes horribly wrong. Laurie now faces a terrifying showdown when the masked madman returns to Haddonfield, Ill.–but this time, she’s ready for him. Laurie has been training for years, even going so far as to training her daughter. Will Laurie exact revenge?

Mary Brady – Sleepwalkers (1992)

When newcomers Mary Brady (Alice Krige) and her son Charles (Brian Krause), settle into town, the local residents do not suspect that they’re shape-shifters looking to feed on the town’s virgin girls. Though they normally maintain a human form, they can transform into human-sized bipedal werecats, their natural form, at will. They have powers of both telekinesis and illusion. Mary has to protect her son from cats, their only weaknesses. Cats can see through their illusions and can inflict fatal wounds on them with their claws. Sleepwalkers is one of the best horror movies of the 90’s.

Morticia Addams – The Addams Family Values (1993)

Morticia Addams has been around for decades, first on the small screen, and the big screen years later. She is the matriarch of the Addams family, a wife and mother of three children. She’s an independent woman. She’s in a mutually respectful relationship with her husband Gomez. Morticia’s also a witch. She is relationship goals.

Other Mother – Coraline (2009)

The Bedlam is the main antagonist in Coraline, best known as the “Other Mother” to her victims. She’s a shape-shifting entity who can transform into any child’s mother, trying to lure kids into the other world and eventually keep them captive. She creates beautiful things to entice and lure her victims. After a while, she convinces the children to let her sew buttons into their eyes, consuming their lives and stealing their souls.

Norma Bates – Psycho (1998)

Norma Bates was the domineering mother of Norman Bates. After Norman murdered her, he stole his mother’s corpse and mummified it. He began to act as though she was still alive and would hear her speak to him. He also believed that she was responsible for several murders that took place on the motel property. Norman developed a murderous split personality based on her.

Sue Ann – Ma (2019)

Ma is about a lonely woman, Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer), who befriends a group of teenagers and decides to let them party at her house. Just when the kids think their luck couldn’t get any better, things start happening that make them question the intention of their host. Sue Ann likes to be called Ma, and she struggles with social rejection, peer pressure, and bullying. All of that trauma leads to violence.

Xenomorph Queen – Aliens (1986)

Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is at it again. This time facing off against the Xenomorph Queen and her colony. Aliens is arguably the best film in the series, and rightfully so, given the storyline, cast, and the Xenomorph Queen. Ripley encounters the queen in the egg chamber. Things get off to a bad start when Ripley burns one of the queen’s newly hatched babies with a flamethrower. The queen is enraged and pursues Ripley and her team. The group narrowly escape the explosion that consumed the colony. But mama’s not done yet. The queen escapes with the group, and tries to exact her revenge. She falls short on her revenge tour, though.

Margaret White – Carrie (1976)

Margaret White (Piper Laurie) is simply insane. She’s super religious and very superstitious. Too bad her daughter, Carrie, has telekinetic powers. Margaret assumes her daughter is evil, so the fanatically pious mother abuses the poor girl. Carrie gets revenge on her mother in grand fashion.

Pamela Voorhees – Friday the 13th (1980)

Pamela Voorhees is the ultimate boy mom. She will do anything for her boy. She slays in her mom jeans. To top it off, she delivers some of the best dialogue in horror cinema. Her voice is elegantly eerie. You can feel her pain and anger, as it reaches a tipping point. Revenge never looked so friendly.

8-Bit Horror: Scary NES Games

Nostalgia is a word that has been thrown around a little too much lately. When people think nostalgia, it’s usually in regards to the 1980s. It’s the decade of hair metal bands, horror movies, and video games. Most, if not all of us, look back on the 1980s with fondness. You no longer had to go down to the Arcade to play your favorite video games. The Nintendo Entertainment System revolutionized the gaming industry for the better. The Atari was great, but come on, Nintendo changed the game forever. When the Nintendo first dropped it was priced at $199.99, which was pretty steep in 1985.

It can be argued that the Nintendo dropped in the middle of the Golden Age of Horror cinema. Nintendo capitalized on horror’s popularity amongst adults, teens, and kids alike. From ghosts, vampires, and sharks to slasher films, Nintendo jumped on the horror franchises to make fun and enjoyable games for the whole family. Let’s face it, not much is scary in 8-Bit, but the following eight games come pretty damn close.


Ghosts ‘n Goblins

You can find Ghosts ‘N Goblins on Nintendo Switch Online. It’s a wonderful game that plays like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Castlevania. The level of difficulty isn’t that high, but as you progress, the game gets a bit harder. It’s fun for all types of gamers, whether your a seasoned pro or a beginner.

Description:

The beautiful princess is kidnapped. Her lover, the Knight in shining armor, armed with five different weapons to fight the enemy, sets out to rescue the beautiful princess. The Knight, aided by your skill, must pass through seven different guarded gates, fighting and destroying demons, dragons, giants and zombies. There are hidden characters, too! Some friends, some foes. Ghosts ‘N Goblins is exciting… challenging you and the Knight to rescue the princess, amid great danger, escaping Hades, land of the enemies!


Castlevania

Who doesn’t like hunting vampires? Castlevania is one of the more popular horror games. It’s popularity is in the same stratosphere as Metroid, but not quite Mario or Zelda status, yet. The game was the first of many that have spanned several gaming platforms. It has also spawned a Netflix series. Castlevania is known for being a hard game to play. The gameplay is good, but the level of difficulty is can take its toll on a gamer.

Description:

Castlevania marked the beginning of Konami’s acclaimed series, one that is still going strong today!

As vampire hunter Simon Belmont, you must fight your way through Dracula’s castle teeming with ghosts, goblins, demons and other supernatural creatures. Six challenging levels await before you finally confront the Count himself.

You’ll need your wits and weapons to survive because when you finally meet Dracula, you know he’ll be going for the jugular. So keep your courage up and your stake sharp!


A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street was the coolest horror franchise in the 80s. Its commercial success was a game changer for horror, and it hasn’t been replicated since. The series was interwoven into 80s pop culture and people wanted to cash in on Freddy Krueger’s success. A Nightmare on Elm Street is fun for the most part. You play as high school teens trying to find and burn the bones of Freddy Krueger before he kills you in your dreams. It’s not as odd as Friday the 13th, but it’s still a little wonky. It’s a great collector’s item if your a fan of Springwood Slasher.

Description:

Something frightening has been happening on Elm Street lately. It seems that with each waking day another gruesome discovery is made… another neighborhood teen has mysteriously passed away into the dark stillness of the night. Everyone says it’s “natural causes,” but it seems as if something (or someone) has been picking them off one by one in their sleep. It’s a horrible nightmare come true… and this nightmare has a name; Freddy Krueger.

It’s up to you and your remaining friends to search Elm Street for his bones, which have been scattered about, then collect and burn them in the High School furnace. If you can just stay awake long enough, you might be able to end Freddy’s reign of terror for good. You had better hurry though, it’s getting late and you can feel your eyelids getting heavier and heavier by the minute.

This plot is parallel of the film series, a spin-off.


Friday the 13th

Jason Vorhees gives Freddy Krueger a run for his money. You play as camp counselors who are trying to protect campers from Jason Vorhees. Great premise, right? But no, the game developers dropped the ball. The game isn’t that fun. I know. What a waste, huh? It’s very difficult and it doesn’t really make any sense. But it makes for a great collector’s item. If you don’t have this in your horror stash, then you should get it.

Description:

It’s a pretty typical summer at Crystal Lake. There’s a group of happy children staying in the Camp. You and your six Camp Counselor friends are watching over the kids while enjoying the lake and the wilderness. The days are bright and sunny. The nights are cool and clear. And Jason is on a rampage. It’s up to you to stop him, but it’s not going to be easy. You must first fight your way through forests filled with man-eating wolves, caves covered with blood sucking bats and hordes of mindless zombies everywhere you turn. You must also help any friend who is in danger, or else you can just kiss them goodbye. And hiding in a cabin or staying adrift in a canoe won’t keep you safe – Jason will find you anywhere. The only way to survive this summer is to challenge Jason face to face, and destroy him. 

This plot is parallel of the film series, a spin-off. 


Ghoul School

Ghoul School is a pretty good game. Great story with a blood-soaked ending. It’s one of the first survival horror games ever made. I feel like it would have been better on the SNES or N64. It definitely would have been more successful.

Description:

While taking the usual shortcut home through the cemetery from Cool School High, Senior Spike O’Hara found a strange, glowing skull. He put it in his backpack to show to his anatomy teacher the next day, which happened to be Halloween Eve. When Dr. Femur wanted to keep the skull for a special study, Spike was concerned because it appeared that the skull was bigger than it was the day before. Little did anyone know that the skull had begun transmitting its message to the realm of the dead. The ghouls had begun their assault…

Ghosts/demons have taken over Cool School High. They have turned the teachers and football team into demons. To make matters worse, they have kidnapped Samantha Pompom, the head cheerleader. The player assumes the role of Spike O’Hara as he tries to defeat the ghouls and rescue Samantha. He will have to explore more than 200 rooms and defeat a large number of enemies. There are items and weapons throughout the game that O’Hara can find to defeat the ghouls, though many of these items are well-hidden.


Beetlejuice

It’s showtime! I love the video game as much as I loved the film. The game is just like the film, except you have to go through eight horrific levels. But your still trying to scare the city folks out of your house. It’s a fun game.

Description:

It’s showtime…starring me…The Ghost with the Most! How’d you like to help me scare those city folks out of your house…and their wits!?! We’ll scare our way through eight horrific levels, including the Graveyard (it’s so nice this time of the year) and the Ghoul House. And run into (and away from) Killer Giant Beetles, Legs Without Heads and Deadly Scorpions. Wait ’til you get a load of the weirdos in the Afterlife Waiting Room! Just remember, one wrong move and you’re food for the Sand Worm.


Maniac Mansion

Maniac Mansion is a pretty fun game. Feels more like a computer game, though. You play as a three interchangeable player team rescuing Sandy from the evil doctor’s house.

Description:

The Edison mansion has always been a creepy old house on the edge of town. There have been rumors of strange experiments going on and of odd creatures living amongst the Edison family. There is even a story that a meteorite once crashed near the home nearly 20 years ago. More immediately, a girl named Sandy has gone missing from the local high school and her boyfriend Dave swears that he saw Dr. Fred abducting her. Dave knows that he cannot do it alone and will need help from two other students if he has any hope of infiltrating the mansion and rescuing Sandy.

Players start by choosing two students to accompany Dave to the Edison mansion, and can then switch between these three characters at will. Most actions are carried out by selecting verbs on the screen and applying them to an object (such as “OPEN Door”). Each character maintains a separate personality and may have a different way to solve a problem from his classmates. Thus many of the puzzles can be overcome in different ways depending on the character being used. If any one of the kids are captured by the Edisons, they are thrown into the dungeon and must be rescued themselves by any character who still has their freedom.


Monster Party

Monster Party is a horror game with low-rent Universal Studios monsters. It was a pretty obscure game when it released, and it still is today. Not many people talk about this horror game. You play as a young boy, Mark, who wields a baseball bat. He encounters Bert, a monster, who needs Mark’s help in saving his planet. Mark must face off against evil monsters. The monsters are so cool and creative.

Description:

You are a young boy with a baseball bat named Mark. On your way home from a baseball game, you encounter a monster named Bert. Bert needs your help in saving his planet from the evil monsters. You learn how to fuse with Bert and become a monster fighting gargoyle. You’ll spend most of the game attacking bad guys by swinging your bat at them or volleying their fire.