7 nightmarish pieces of Stephen King memorabilia



2017-05-15 14:36:39

Stephen King is one of the most influential writers of his generation.

His fertile imagination has birthed an astonishing corpus of novels and short stories, many of which have been adapted into films and TV series.

As a new version of classic thriller “It” and an adaption of King’s sprawling masterpiece "The Dark Tower" head to screens, let’s celebrate the king of horror with a look at some of his best memorabilia.

7. The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower is a western-inspired fantasy series that King has described as his magnum opus.

Image: Heritage Auctions

Image: Heritage Auctions

Memorably described in the San Francisco Chronicle as “highfalutin hodgepodge”, it brings together King’s various literary obsessions into one gloriously unwieldy epic.

King has signed each of the eight first editions in this collection.

The lot realised $9,000 at Heritage Auctions in 2013.

6. Running Man

The Running Man was one of several novels King wrote under the pseudonym Richard Bachmann.

Image: Profiles in History

Image: Profiles in History

King is an enviably prolific writer. During the 1980s, his publisher began to grow concerned that if he put out too many books at once, people would have had enough of him.

Rather than slowing down on the writing front, King convinced them to let him publish under a different name.

This novel, about a post-apocalyptic society revolving around a nightmarish gameshow, was made into a 1987 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

This was the lurid yellow jumpsuit Schwarznegger wore as protagonist Ben Richards in the movie.

5. Pet Semetary

Pet Semetary (1983) was a novel partially inspired by WW Jacob’s 1902 classic horror story, The Monkey’s Paw.

Image: Profiles in History

Image: Profiles in History

It was adapted by King himself into a bloody slasher movie.

This prosthetic head is from the movie’s gory denouement.

4. The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption was adapted from a novella in King’s 1982 short story collection, Different Seasons.

Image: Profiles in History

Image: Profiles in History

Since its release in 1994, the movie has gone from a cult classic to topping IMDB’s list of the greatest movies of all time (as voted by users).

A big part of the appeal is protagonist Andy Dufresne’s quiet determination, as exemplified by this tiny rock hammer.

If you haven’t seen the movie (or read the book) I won’t give away its significance. 

But the fact that it made $32,500 at Profiles in History in 2013 indicates its importance to the story. 

3. The Shining

Along with 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of King’s The Shining is often described as his finest hour.

Despite this, King has never been a fan of the movie.

Image: Profiles in History

Image: Profiles in History

He was annoyed by the way Kubrick simplified his characters. He explained to Rolling Stone magazine: "In the book, there's an actual arc where you see this guy, Jack Torrance, trying to be good, and little by little he moves over to this place where he's crazy.

“And as far as I was concerned, when I saw the movie, Jack was crazy from the first scene.”

That said, it’s still one of the most celebrated horror movies of all time.

This is the famous axe that crashes through the bathroom door at the film's terrifying climax. 

2. The Green Mile

The Green Mile (1996) was originally serialised in six short books.

Image: Premiere Props

Image: Premiere Props

It’s a suitably King-esque story following a man committed to prison for a terrible crime who appears to have remarkable healing powers.

The movie, starring Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan, was a box office smash.

This cigar box is home to a mouse named Mr Jingles, who plays a key role in the story. 

It achieved $600 at Premiere Props in 2016. 

1. My Pretty Pony

Artist Barbara Kruger illustrated King’s short story My Pretty Pony for this limited edition of the book.

Image: PBA Galleries

Image: PBA Galleries

It’s printed on stainless steel and features a digital clock mounted on the front (the story deals with time).

The interior of the book features images of horses and riders, overprinted in Kruger’s distinctive style.

It made $250 at PBA Galleries in 2016. 

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