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“Great party, isn’t it?” The ghosts are all calling this party a big success. Congrats to Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) for pulling it off. Especially with his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and son Danny (Danny Lloyd) constantly nagging him about “please don’t kill us.” Pfft. Family, am I right? The Shining is a pretty big example of Stephen King adaptations, one commonly derided for not being too close to the book. Did Stanley Kubrick’s lack of faithfulness stop it from being covered on the show? You’re damn right it didn’t!

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 125 – The Shining (1980)

Based on the massive bestseller by Stephen King, The Shining isn’t too faithful to its source material. While the book heavily relies on knowing the madness behind Jack Torrance, Stanley Kubrick’s film is more external. It shows the madness for what it is. Presenting the irrational haunts in a rational fashion. This dichotomy is what creates the conflicts of the Torrance family as they fall apart. The Shining isn’t subtle, but the scares are just as big as Nicholson’s wails of “DANNY!” Plus, Kubrick helped revolutionized the Steadicam, creating smooth movements that revolutionized what cinema could be.

To celebrate all of this, Thomas, Doc Rotten, and Christopher G. Moore attend the Overlook Hotel’s July 4th Ball in the middle of winter. Now, some people on this crew admit they weren’t huge fans of Kubrick’s vision initially. Yet, it seems like there are a few converts to The Shining here. There’s praise all around for Kubrick’s direction, Nicholson’s performance, and the terrifying ghosts. However, there are also some crucial questions being asked. Could Chevy Chase have made a good Jack Torrance? Does Jack have “The Shine” like Danny? Wasn’t Scatman Crothers also Hong Kong Phooey? All these and more are answered, folks!

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We want to hear from you – the coolest, most gruesome fans:  leave us a message or leave a comment on the site or email the Decades of Horror 1980s podcast hosts at thomasmariani@decadesofhorror.com or docrotten@decadesofhorror.com.

Special thanks to Neon Devils for their awesome song Bone Chillin!

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The Blob (1988)