Twelve Shorts for the Shortest Month #12: The Woman in the Room (2010)

US / 7½ minutes / color / Sleeping Dog Dir & Scr: Christen Kimbell Pr: Sean David Jenkins, Rich Brusatori, Christen Kimbell Cine: Scott Ballard Cast: Maren McGuire, Phillip M. Meyer

Despite the title, this isn’t based on the 1978 Stephen King story that has inspired a whole string of shorts including one that was previously covered on this site, The Woman in the Room (1983).

Peter (Meyer) wakes up in the morning after a one-night stand with Alexa (McGuire) to discover she’s having some kind of seizure. His first instinct is to bolt, but he thinks better of it and stays to help her get through the crisis. Could this be the start of something greater for them?

Maren McGuire as Alexa

My enjoyment of this movie was severely hampered by the difficulty I had Continue reading

Twelve Shorts for the Shortest Month #4: The Woman in the Room (1983)

US / 30 minutes / color / Gregory Melton Dir & Scr: Frank Darabont Pr: Gregory Melton, Frank Darabont Story: “The Woman in the Room” (1978 Night Shift) by Stephen King Cine: Juan Ruiz Anchia Cast: Michael Cornelison, Dee Croxton, Brian Libby, Bob Brunson, George Russell

John (Cornelison), a lawyer and loving son, is being torn apart by the plight of his mother (Croxton): in the final stages of terminal cancer, she’s been given a cordotomy to relieve the agony, but the pain still persists. John knows an overdose of her old painkillers would put her over the edge into merciful oblivion, but can he really contemplate killing his own mother?

Without revealing his motives, he picks the brains of a multiple murderer (Libby) he’s representing, but is hardly reassured: the prisoner tells him the only killing that ever hit him hard emotionally was the mercy killing of a buddy in Vietnam who’d had his legs blown off and was falling prey to gangrene.

Michael Cornelison as John

Once again John must wrestle with his conscience . . . Continue reading

Autopsy (2009)

US / 9 minutes / color / Rosewood Films Dir & Scr: Kevin Rice Pr: Debbie Rice Story: “Autopsy Room Four” (1997 Six Stories) by Stephen King Cine: George Tripsas Cast: Kayla Nash, Bryan Gay, Stephen McDougald, George Tripsas, Kevin Foux

One of author Stephen King’s Dollar Babies (whereby the writer sells nonexclusive screen rights to student/amateur moviemakers for a dollar), Autopsy has a sort of 8mm home movie feel to it. Alas, I wouldn’t describe it as essential viewing.

Golfer Howard (McDougald) goes into the rough in search of a lost ball and is bitten by a venomous snake. Luckily the two golfers behind him on the course realize what’s going on, and he’s rescued.

Kayla Nash as Katy

Or at least his body is.

Cut (geddit?) to the mortuary. Midway through a radio report that Continue reading

Dolan’s Cadillac (2010 DTV)

Canada, UK / 105 minutes (European release; US release is cut to 89 minutes) / color / Film Bridge, Minds Eye, Footprint, Prescience Dir: Jeff Beesley Pr: Alain Gagnon, Stephen Onda, Rhonda Baker Scr: Richard Dooling Story: “Dolan’s Cadillac” (1985, Castle Rock) by Stephen King Cine: Gerald Packer Cast: Christian Slater, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Wes Bentley, Greg Bryk, Aidan Devine, Al Sapienza, Karen LeBlanc, Eugene Clark, Robert Benz.

While horse-riding in the desert near Las Vegas, pretty young schoolteacher Elizabeth Robinson (Vaugier) comes across prostitution slave trafficker Jimmy Dolan (Slater) and his principal sidekick Chief (Bryk) committing multiple murder; a truck has arrived in which, because of a ventilation failure, most of the women have suffocated. Elizabeth escapes but drops her cellphone.

Elizabeth and her somewhat wimpish husband Tom (Bentley), also a teacher, report the incident to the local sheriff (Benz), but he makes it plain he doesn’t intend to do anything—as far as he’s concerned, the dead are just “pepper-bellies” and, the fewer of them that there are, the better. On getting home the Robinsons discover a dead woman in their bedroom, her lips sewn shut in a clear message; clearly Dolan’s people have traced Elizabeth by means of the dropped cellphone.

The case is taken seriously by Federal Agent Fletcher (Sapienza), who has been after Dolan for years. Elizabeth is eager to testify, so Fletcher puts the Robinsons into a witness-protection plan . . . which fails when Elizabeth, discovering she’s at last pregnant, disobeys instructions, leaves the hotel where they’ve been secreted and climbs into the family car, which promptly explodes.

Dolan's Cadillac

Victims of Dolan’s cruelty are disinterred from their desert burial place.

Tom starts drinking a lot. The fact that Elizabeth’s “ghost” appears to him at frequent intervals to offer advice doesn’t help. Eventually Continue reading