It's been a little over three years since the movie based on Stephen King's Dark Tower series was released in theaters. See what the author has to say about the box office flop.
For decades, Stephen King had been the undisputed master of horror, the mere mention of his name evoking mysterious locales, psychotic madmen and, of course, terrifying monsters. From a rabid dog to a literal god, here are the top six scariest Stephen King monsters, ranked!
6. Cujo – Cujo
image via The Spool
And here is the rabid dog in question! A Saint Bernard owned by the Chamber family of Castle Rock, Cujo, once a faithful and loving animal friend, contracts rabies from a bat bite, and slowly, over the course of several days, the disease eats away at his mind, turning him into a vicious, bloodthirsty beast. What makes Cujo scary enough to make number six on this list is that, unlike the rest of Stephen King’s cast of spooks and spectres that go bump in the night, a rabid dog is actually a real world threat. The thought of your loyal canine companion suddenly turning on you gives our number six placeholder an eerie, personal edge.
5. Blaine the Mono – The Dark Tower III: The Waste Land
For those of you who may not have read Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, you may be wondering why I’m including a train anywhere on this list. It’s because Blaine the Mono is no ordinary train, but rather an artificial intelligence that slowly went insane as the computers that comprised his brain fell into disarray over the decades of lack of maintenance. Not only that, but he’s also worshipped as a god by those who inhabit the city which he’s found decomposing in by Roland Deschain and company. He’s not a merciful god, either, for he also destroys said city by releasing a toxic nerve gas. Blaine the Mono combines both humanity’s future fear of artificial intelligence and our past fear of vengeful gods.
4. Pennywise – IT
Also known as the Dancing Clown, the child-devouring clown of Derry, Maine is possibly Stephen King’s most popular monster creation. While I may be in the minority of those who don’t find clowns particularly scary, what I personally find frightening about Pennywise is his shapeshifting abilities, meaning that he could be even your closest family and friends, preying on you or your child, just waiting for a moment when he could strike and swallow you whole.
3. The Mist Monsters – The Mist
The Mist is my favorite of Stephen King’s novellas, and that’s because of the monsters that lurk within the mist that rolls into the small town of Bridgeton, Maine. While we’re never given a clear explanation of what precisely caused the mist, it’s suggested that the military’s Arrowhead Project opened a portal to another dimension, and that’s how the horrors of the mist were able to enter our world. What’s truly terrifying about The Mist is it’s theme of our need to tamper with nature and how playing God will eventually be the cause of our demise.
2. The Leatherheads – Under the Dome
A species of interdimensional aliens, the Leatherheads are the ones who materialized the gigantic, indestructible dome over the town of Chester Mill’s, Maine. The scariest part is that they did so only for the purpose of watching to see what the citizens inside would do. The terror of the Leatherheads is not what they did to the people of Chester Mill’s, but rather what it represents: how little we matter in the Universe. At the end of the novel, we learn that the Leatherheads who made the dome are in fact children. A parallel is made between them toying with the lives of Chester Mill’s residents and a human kid burning the ants of an ant hill with a magnifying glass. Humanity is no more significant to them than ants are to us.
1. the mother of the null – Revival
Mother of the Null, or simply referred to as the Mother, is the aforementioned god on our list. Mother is the malevolent, Lovecraftian entity that rules over the Null, a dimension where those who have died are being led (and presumably fed) to Mother by giant, ant-like creatures. The horror of Mother is the thought of her being what awaits us in the afterlife, and being consumed by her gaping black maw is an unavoidable fate for all mankind.
There are far more monsters that have been birthed from Stephen King’s delightfully twisted mind, and while, yes, a lot of them can be quite silly (look up Maximum Overdrive), just as many are truly scary creations.
Featred image via Imps and Monsters
Wizards are a classic staple of fantasy literature and it’s easy to see why these characters have been fascinating readers forever. From the classic image of the wizard as an old man in a pointy hat to more modern interpretations, wizards endure thanks to their varied abilities, cool characterizations, and usage to explore the fantasy realms they inhabit. But who are some of the best?
Here are top five of the coolest and best wizards (in our opinion) of fantasy literature.
5. The Crimson King from The Dark Tower
Not all wizards are good. Many throughout literature have been downright evil, with the classic image of an evil sorcerer becoming a well known fixture of various novels. No villains of this caliber have become as far reaching as The Crimson King, the main villain of The Dark Tower and indeed, Stephen King’s literary universe. Introduced as a powerful and mysterious embodiment of evil, the Crimson King’s influence is felt across multiple universes, where he controls others to do his bidding. He appears as the dark force setting in motion the novels Insomnia and Black House, before he is properly revealed to behind the destruction of the Beams in The Dark Tower universe which holds reality together, plotting to rule the chaos that will follow.
The Crimson King takes many forms throughout Stephen King’s novels, appearing as Satan, a handsome young man, and withered old man with crimson eyes. He is the ultimate evil and although his powers are not explicit, it is known that he uses mind control to keep his men in line, as well as probably being a shapeshifter.
4. Rastilin Majere from Dragonlance
Dragonlance by Tracey and Margaret Hickman is basically a Dungeons and Dragons campaign chronicled in novel form. Rastilin Majere fulfills the common characteristics of a classic wizard but he’s much more dark and ambiguous in his loyalties than his fellow party members. Although physically extremely weak owing to a traumatic upbringing and his magical usage, Rastilin is extremely intelligent and adept with his extensive knowledge of sorcery.
He’s ruthless in his pursuit of power, viewing others as mere tools and is characterized as arrogant, egoistical, yet possessing his own strange code of honor. He’s a fascinating character, instantly hatable yet strangely complex. This status as a fan favorite earned him the starring role of Dragonlance Legends, following him from his own twisted point of view.
3. Harry Potter from The Harry Potter Series
Image Via Harry Potter wiki
Harry Potter is one of the most enduring protagonists of young adult literature, made famous by the books and the movies to become a pop culture icon. Harry Potter himself is a great character, at once being a relatable POV character while also giving way to more nuanced characterization as the series goes on. We get to grow up with Harry, showcasing his uneasy steps into adulthood as he deals with mundane terrors such as schoolwork, girls, and bullies while the looming threat of Voldemort, who he is destined to destroy, looms ever on the horizon.
Harry Potter has flaws despite his Chosen One status, such as his temper and impulsive behavior, not helped by the pressure he’s under almost constantly. It makes him a hero for a generation, being just a regular kid thrust into the wizarding world to destroy the Dark Lord.
2. Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings set the standard for fantasy literature in many ways and it provided the classic image of a wizard whom many draw inspiration from: Gandalf. Gandalf himself was inspired by Merlin, the iconic wizard of King Arthur’s round table. Gandalf is in truth (secretly) more akin to an angel than a wizard, he is a Maiar, servants of the universe’s counterpart to God, sent to Middle-earth in human form to aid the mortal races. Gandalf is forbidden to use his true power, so he nudges everyone forward in more subtle ways, getting them to work together and using his wisdom as their guide. Gandalf perishes in the first book of the The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but returns to life and is sent back to help the heroes as Gandalf the White, reborn with greater power and given permission to use (some) of his magic more explicitly. Gandalf, despite his wisdom, is often short tempered, mischievous, and sarcastic but considering all the Hobbits he has to put off, it makes sense that he’s a little stressed.
1. Harry Dresden from The Dresden Files
The Dresden Files chronicles the adventures of Harry Dresden, a modern day detective based out of Chicago, only he’s both a wizard and tackles supernatural cases. Working as a consultant for the Chicago PD, Harry tackles everything from werewolves to vampires to evil fairies to skin walkers. Harry’s life is a bit of a mess, as he’s generally anti-social, has bad luck with women, and suffers more and more with each book. Yet, he’s a hilarious protagonist, commenting on everything from a very meta point of view and making references to comic books to movies throughout his intense fights. Wielding all sorts of spells that he conjures with Latin words, not to mention magical items and allies, Harry builds up an impressive resume as he solves case after case, each one tougher than the last.
Who are some of your favorite wizards? Let us know in the comments!
Featured Image Via Lord of the Rings Wiki
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You know him, you love him, it’s Matthew McConaughey. He made his infamous return to the silver screen during what is now known as the ‘McConaissance’, but there is a blip on his radar: the little known film The Dark Tower.
Image Via YouTube
I say little known film because, according to the Box Office Mojo, barely anyone saw this movie. Off a $60 million dollar budget, it made $113,231,078. Not a loss, not enough for the Studio to make a sequel. And those who did see the film, let’s say there’s a reason that on Rotten Tomatoes there’s a 16% with an average rating of 4.08 out of 10.
Many would think that Matthew McConaughey would stay as far away from Stephen King adaptations, but that hasn’t stopped people thinking he should be in The Stand, according to Gizmodo. Not in a small role, but as the villain, which is interesting considering he played the villain in The Dark Tower.
Image Via Popsugar UK
Well, as The Dark Tower gets a remake/we’re-going-to-stay-closer-to-the-source-material-this-time as apart of the ongoing saga of the King Remake Resurgence, the King Remake Resurgence might dig its claws into McConcaughey and bring him into the remake/let’s-try-again of The Stand.
Image Via Amazon
The Stand is about how after a patient escape from a biological testing facility, he unknowingly brought upon the world a mutated strain of super-flu that starts to wipe out 99% of the world’s population.
With the fate of humanity at stake Mother Abigail—a benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community—and Randall Flagg—the nefarious ‘Dark Man’ who delights in chaos and violence—rise up to lead humanity, forcing the survivors to choose between them.
The Stand went on to get a nomination for the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1979. Come 2003, the novel was listed at number fifty-three on the BBC’s The Big Read poll. It was made in a 1994 TV miniseries.
Now the TV miniseries is strange, to say the least, but Deadline has reported that CBS Studios/CBS All Access has ordered a limited series adaptation of the gigantically long horror novel (1,152 PAGES!) and that James Marsden is “circling the role of Stu Redman”.
Image Via Stephen King Wiki – Fandom
Now, not even a day latter, we’re getting more casting news. Will Matthew McConcaughey make a good Randall Flagg? Well, he wasn’t terrible in The Dark Tower, he was actually pretty great in an over-the-top sort of way, but we’ll see.
Luckily, Matthew McConcaughey isn’t the only one in talks. In a Gizmodo article found here, there are even more people in talks! Let’s go through them all…
Image Via The Hill
Image Via Disney Wiki – Fandom
Greg Kinnear—Maj. Bruce “Snake” Crandall in We Were Soldiers, Richard Hoover in Little Miss Sunshine, Todd Burpo in Heaven is for Real—is in talks to play Glen Bateman, a professor who joins up with Stu on his journey.
Image Via The Weekend Edition
Odessa Young—Hedvig Finch in The Daughter, Grace in Looking for Grace, and Lily in Assassination Nation—is “in advanced negotiations to play Frannie Goldsmith, a pregnant woman who falls in love with Stu”.
Image Via 13 Reasons Why Wiki – Fandom
Henry Zaga—Brad in 13 Reasons Why and is set to appear as play Jake in Looking for Alaska and Roberto de Costa in The New Mutants—is “set to play Nick Andros” who in the novel is a young drifter.
Image Via USA Today
Last, but never least, is Amber Heard, who recently stared as Mera in Aquaman. Reportedly, she “is on track to play Nadine Cross, a private school teacher who ends up embroiled with the (possible Antichrist) Randall Flagg”.
That’ll be interesting! In fact, all these actors would be interesting. Will they make it to the small screen? Who would you most like to see play these characters?
Featured Image Via TV Guide
Weapons are often iconic in literature, creating a bond between the hero and the object in question, crafting a relationship that often feels as real as those between actual people. In the wrong hands, a weapon can be horrifying, a destructive tool that is used for evil. But in the right hands, a sword becomes a tool to defend and inspires hope in its user even in the darkest chapters. Most literary weapons are swords, for good reason but there are also some out there that break the mould. Here are five of the best!
5. The Subtle Knife-His Dark Materials
Image Via His Dark materials wiki
A powerful weapon in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy, this knife has the power to carve through the fabrics of worlds, creating pathways into different realms. Stolen by the series’ main characters, Lyra and Will in the second book of the trilogy (named after the knife itself), who use it to travel between worlds for a long time before the knife breaks. Luckily, it is later reforged. The knife is extremely cool because it looks so mundane yet is extremely powerful, literally slicing through reality to carve paths across the multiverse. This is one cool little dagger, that’s for sure.
4. Stormbringer- Moorcock’s Multiverse
Image via Moorcock’s Multiverse Wiki
A magic sword featured in numerous fantasy tales by Michael Moorcock, Stormbringer is a demon forged into the form of a sword that corrupts its wielder, drinks souls, and can cut through anything. Wielded by the brooding anti-hero Elric of Melnibone, he loathes Stormbringer but is forced to rely on it, as without its magic he is helpless. However, Stormbringer shares no love for Elric either and constantly tries to corrupt him, hungering for blood and souls. The relationship between man and sword is at the heart of the numerous tales, with Elric constantly battling the demon’s desires while conquering other threats.
3. Sandalwood guns- The Dark Tower
Image via The Dark Tower Wiki
In The Dark Tower, Stephen KIng uses a mishmash of fantasy tropes to bring together a more unique vision and this is reflected in the chosen weapons of protagonist Roland Deschain. He is a gunslinger of the strange world he inhabits and wields a pair of sandalwood six shooters that have been passed down through the generations before he claimed them as a young man. It is revealed later that the guns were forged from the steel of Excalibur, explaining their significance. The guns are Roland’s weapons throughout the series, constantly showcasing his prowess with them as he is an excellent shot, always ready for this lone wanderer to draw at a moment’s notice.
2. Callandor- The Wheel of Time
Image via A Wheel of Time wiki
An artefact so powerful that an entire fortress was constructed to protect it, Callandor is a crystal sword that may look fragile but has immense power behind it. Claimed and wielded by Rand al’Thor, the protagonist of The Wheel of Time. It augments his own Power, allowing him to tap into reserves of strength and force that go beyond mortal men. Too much power can be lethal but Callandor also allows for infinite possibilities, allowing its user to do almost anything he wishes. But the evil force of the Dark One is behind the sword and the more Rand al’Thor taps into it, the more he risks corruption, creating a necessary roadblock to prevent him from abusing Callandor’s power.
1. Anduril- The Lord of the Rings
Image via Lord of the Rings wiki
Formerly Narsil, the sword that stopped Sauron at the end of the Second Age, Anduril was reforged from Narsil’s shards into its current form. Given to Aragorn, the blade is enchanted to never be stained or broken, even in defeat. Aragorn wielded the sword throughout the remainder of the war against the forces of Sauron, using it as proof of his heritage throughout places like Rohan and slaying many Orcs with it. Its name means the Flame of the West and its one badass blade wielded by one badass hero.
Featured Image Via Lord of the Rings Wiki