HIDDEN HORROR – The Shining (April Fool’s Day Special)

shiningNow, on this very day, I know how Louis Pasteur felt when he created the vaccine for Rabies. What a fantastic discovery to be credited with. The world at that moment changed due to that random stroke of luck. Well my friends, I may have discovered something just as, or perhaps even greater than any generic disease cure. Up until now, “Hidden Horrors You Must See” has been comprised mainly of films most have heard of, yet never actually seen. Those who have actually seen them first hand are sometimes few and far between. Not until now have we brought you something from so deep within the confines of obscurity, that I’ll put a big sack of dollars on the table that I’ve just stumbled upon the next chapter in human evolution. Let alone a great damn movie. Please, stay seated, for I’m positive you won’t be for too much longer…

The film in question, is called… Okay, hold on one second. The name of this movie doesn’t sound all that threatening nor horror-ish by any regard, but trust me, it’s more than worth a look. It is called “The Shining”. It is literally one of the greatest underground cinematic creations I’ve ever had the pleasure of viewing. I’m humbled by the fact that I now get the chance to introduce all of you to its majesty. In this movie, a family moves into a giant hotel when Jack Torrence, the father, gets a job as the caretaker during its off-season. Jack is played by Jack Nicholson(most people know him from The Departed and for the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special). He and his family, comprised of a small psychic child named Danny and Olive Oil, arrive at the Overlook Hotel and are greeted by its chef, Dick Halloran. The chef, who sounds a lot like Hong Kong Phooey, offers Danny some ice cream with his brain. Creepy. He then explains to Danny that he shared a telepathic ability with his grandmother when he was young. They called this ability, “shining”. Just so you know, that’s why the movie is called “The Shining”. After Dick leaves, the family begins to live their normal lives. However, over the course of their stay, Jack begins to slowly drift into madness from not just the solitude, but from ghosts!

After being persuaded by a phantom bartender to unleash his true power(possibly a reference to Dragonball Z)and becoming borderline Emily Rose possessed in the process, he tries to off his family by any means necessary. Once Shelley Duvall realizes her husband has written the most redundant novel of all time, she hits him over the face with a bat and locks his demonic ass in the freezer. But, just as a huge plot twist occurs, he escapes from his frost bitten tomb. Chasing his family through the giant hotel, axe in tow, Jack won’t let any number of Johnny Carson allusions slow him down from going Tin Man on his pack. Danny summons Dick to come and fight with them, but Jack axes him why he came back before he can be of any use. Danny then leads his fiendish father into the old heart of a hedge maze. Here, he outsmarts his disillusioned dad and leaves him to chill out while Danny and Olive snowmobile it back to civilization.

The Shining is a terrific example of how arthouse and horror can truly meld together in one epic demonstration, without either aspect overpowering the other. But while on this subject, can I just point out how amazingly shot this film is? Seriously, this director(Stanley Kubrick)knows his stuff. Every shot is meticulously crafted for perfect symmetry. It’s as if every landscape is treated like Olivia Wilde’s face. Not a single element is off point. It’s as if he filmed everything over 100 times or something until he got it right. Not that he did that or anything, but i’d seriously believe it if you told me otherwise. I also find it weird how his use of back drops and color seem to conflict with the how you’d think a hotel would actually look. This whole Native American looking theme just seems out of place… Seriously, if you don’t have a deeper meaning for how you dress your set, just keep it believable, jeez… Yet, for something so original, even as an adaptation, I can’t whole heartedly say it was a stand alone piece. This film is apparently a prequel to Mick Garris’ multipart masterpiece known only as, “Stephen King’s The Shining”. I can see the similarities, but to avoid confusion or bias, I will not be covering that any further. Lastly, I think it’s safe to say that there is actually a documentary about this film! Yeah, I know right? It’s strange, but awesome to know that such an obscure piece of movie history actually had a non-fiction counterpart made for it. Sadly though, “Room 237” mainly just talks about Apollo 11, which I’m sure has nothing to do with “The Shining”, nor those involved.

Hopefully we will see The Criterion Collection pick up this lost film in the future, as it truly needs an audience. No fooling, It’s blasphemy knowing it may not ever get the royal treatment though. Sad days my friends. Well, that’s that as they say. My stay here at the Overlook Hotel is complete, so before I murder my family in a fit of rage, I’d like to say; Bye, thanks for reading and that I hope this fine April 1st brings you all a fresh new start.

– Sterling “The Spork Guy” Anno

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About The Spork Guy

Born in Fullerton, CA and having inhabited every county neighboring it at one point in time, Sterling is a Southern Californian gypsy on a personal mission to challenge the postmodern definition of "Art". Underground filmmaker, illustrator, project coordinator and promoter of punk rock music; Sterling considers himself to be anything but an artist. Sterling is currently Manager of Operations for the Oceanside International Film Festival and has a hand in making sure other great makers of cinema find their audience. He has had a stake in honoring various influential entities with lifetime achievement awards such as; animator Everett Peck, non-ficton filmmaker Jeffrey Durkin and iconic voice actor Jon St. John. Besides working for OIFF, Sterling has also lent his abilities to the Temecula Valley Film and Music Festival as well as Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation.

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