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Worst to First: Ranking the Stephen King Movies of the 90’s

Few authors have had their work adapted to the big screen as often as Stephen King.  The quality of those adaptations has been consistently inconsistent but the one thing you can count on is that there will be more.  Previously, I ranked the flood of movies based on King’s works released in the 80’s.  Believe it or not, audiences sat through even more King movies in the decade that followed.  Let’s get ready to rank the Stephen King movies of the 1990’s from Worst to First.

Before we get down to business, let me lay out a few ground rules.  I have ranked 16 theatrical films.  I left off TV movies, mini-series and direct-to-video movies because this is already a very long list.  I also excluded Tales From the Darkside: The Movie because only one of the segments was based on a short story by King.

Also, the reader rankings will work a little differently than they have in the past.  Due to technical limitations, readers have only been able to rank 10 movies at a time.  With a list this long, I am taking a different approach.  Readers may rank as many of the movies as they want by clicking on the stars under each entry.

Okay, here we go.

16. The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace – 1996

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 11%

Box Office: $2,409,225

Summary: Four years earlier, the original Lawnmower Man was a surprise hit.  So naturally, a sequel was required.  Almost no one from the first movie was involved in the second.  Pierce Brosnan’s character was replaced by a new scientist played by Patrick Bergin.  Jeff Fahey’s character was recast with Matt Frewer with the explanation that his face had to be reconstructed after the events of the first movie.  The only actor to return from the first movie was Austin O’Brien who was a child when the first movie was made.

The story is more virtual reality nonsense like the first one.  But by this point, the special effects weren’t as fresh as they had been four years prior.  Audiences who hadn’t been demanding a Lawnmower Man sequel were more than happy to sit this one out.

King’s Involvement: None whatsoever.  The first movie had almost nothing to do with King’s short story.  The sequel is further removed from the source material.

15. Graveyard Shift – 1990

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 13%

Box Office: $11,582,891

Summary: This one is loosely based on a short story of the same name.  “Loosely based” is a term we’re going to use a lot with regards to some of the crappier movies on this list.  The story deals with a couple of mill-workers who venture into the sub-basement to deal with a rat infestation.  In the book, the rats have evolved in various ways including some who have sprouted wings.  The movie includes one bat-creature instead of the hierarchy of rat-beasts from King’s story.

King’s Involvement: Didn’t have his name removed.

Next: Thinner and Sleepwalkers

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Posted on October 31, 2017, in Movies, Worst to First and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Overall ranking is pretty close to mine. The Shawshank Redemption is a good example of what could be called a pendulum movie. It was underrated in 1994 and it’s overrated today. It’s a very good movie no doubt. But when people say it’s the “greatest movie ever” I dismiss it as hyperbole along the lines of statements like “The hangover is the greatest comedy ever” and “The Big Bang Theory is a great sitcom”. Without doing any research, I can think off the top of my head of ten movies greater than Shawshank. Hell, it wasn’t even the greatest movie of 1994. When I compiled a top 10 of that year, Shawshank was 4th on the list (after Pulp Fiction, Hoop Dreams and Three Colours: Red in that order).

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