I considered Stephen King one of the best novelists out there, and “It,” his greatest novel ever, even superior to The Stand in my opinion. As great as this novel is, what better thing for the network executives to go and make an adaptation it? Unfortunately, the results weren’t satisfactory; in fact they were shitful, especially for a TV movie or TV series, and ridiculous too.Here’s the plot, 6 long-lost friends, Bill Denbrough (Richard Thomas), Eddie Kraspbrack (Dennis Christopher), Richie Tozier (Harry Anderson), Ben Hanscom (John Ritter), Beverly Marsh (Annete O’Toole) and Stanley Uris (Richard Massur), are all reunited by a 7th friend, Mike Hanlon (Tim Reid) who calls them each in their respective homes and lives to return once again to their hometown in Derry, Maine. Why, they ask? Not because he wants to throw a bachelor party, but because “It” is back. Everyone shudders because “It” is a mysterious phenomenon that causes horrible deaths every 30 years; it’s victims being always little kids, always lured to the phenomenon that takes the form of Robert Gray, who is known as Pennywise The Clown (Tim Curry). Everyone shudders because those 7 kids had “supposedly” defeated “It” 30 years ago, but guess what happened?
"Battered And Butchered In The Worst Of Ways"
And this time its up to our 7 friends to go back and kill him once and for all so they can cure Derry of it, and cure their horrors with it.
Sounds promising? Well, it was, and if you have read the novel you’ll know what I’m talking about. What was great about the novel (and pretty much all King novels) is its deep, fluent storyline and excellent character development, making the novel such fun to read. So why doesn’t it work here?
Here's how I think it happened:
Enter Tommy Lee Wallace, and Larry Cohen, and apparently these two were too excited to be elected to be the ones to make the adaptation of this novel, that for the look of it this is what happened:
1. They got too excited when they were selected, that soon when they started on selecting the cast, which took a long while.
2. They started raising the money on the budget
3. They wondered if the girl that they chose to play Beverly was hot enough
4. They spent an assload of time to find the right comp geek to do the FX, which in anyways turned out to be lame.
5. They spent half the budget on the salaries of the all-star cast.
6. They spent a quarter of the budget adjusting the pants for Tim Curry’s fat ass wondering if they’re clownish enough.
Finally when production time was around the corner… whoa, what happened? It seems they were so worried about all the external bullshit that in the excitement of it all they forgot one thing. A script. The telephone rang, and it was one of the network execs, demanding: Where’s the fucking script? You told me you would have one by tomorrow EVERY SINGLE DAY, I WANT IT TOMORROW IN THE MORNING, OR ELSE… Fuck, they said, and soon started working on the script, and they had less than a day to do it since production would start tomorrow. Now one must think that they had at least read the book to get an idea of what they’re dealing with. But NOOOOOOO they didn’t, in fact they didn’t even know what they fuck was the book all about, only that it was a book written by a famous author which involved a fat-ass clown who likes to get off while killing some kids, and that seven bozos would go and beat the shit out of him for good. But now they needed the details of the how and the why off all this, so know, all pressed for time, they decided to speed-read through the entire book. They skimmed through the pages, and got whatever parts they thought were important, and after that, they thought up a plot with whatever scrap they got after the endless 1067 page skim. The network executive was so desperate that when the morning came, and these two came with the script, he just speed-read it through and said: Ok, looks good. Green light to the project. Did we care to mention that network execs don’t even read books, and that they’re just interested in getting BIG NAME titles, even though they don’t know what the fuck is that made them great? Yeah you get the idea.
So they filmed, shot, edited and presented the final product: which in the end, it resulted in a half-assed piece of shit. Why the surprise if it was all taken from a half-assed script written by a couple of half-assed idiots?
So what was wrong with this movie? In a word: Everything. The script skips throughout the most basic important elements like the origin and the importance of It, and also the important subject of childhood fears and horrors, and instead gives you a mishmash of a story, which is told absolutely in half-measures. Most of the character development is shallow and nonsensical, and the character of “It” is given no reason to be there other than just being a monster who just clicks its heels and slaps his ass and shows off a few teeth to scare the audience. With the importance of “It” brought down to a shitload of unused plastic, there’s little work with. You can observe in most parts that the scenes were just blatantly ripped off the book, and it looks like you’re watching fragments rather than an adaptation. Many of the important parts that are in the book are omitted here, and what’s worse, misinterpreted, and altered for the worse. The scenes in which the kids defeat “It” and the adults 30 years later face off again with “It,” are completely fucked up. They alter the way they fight against “It” to the most ridiculous of ways. The outcomes of both fights are enough to either make you laugh to death or just take your foot and smash the TV into a thousand pieces. The supposed horror is nonexistent and it makes you rather bust out in laughter. In fact there’s pretty much no horror at all in the entire movie. Sure, some growls will make you jump, but other than that, everything else is for laughs. The FX were crappy, and even more, the way that they’re executed is just the stuff what shit movies are made off. What’s also worse is that these fuck-os add stuff that isn’t EVEN IN THE NOVEL (The little girl being murdered at the beginning of the film, which tells you it’s the very first victim. Where is that in the book? Wasn’t it a guy in a bridge the first victim? Where the fuck did that shower scene come from? “It” seducing Ben Hanscom in the form of Beverly Marsh?). All this shit just fucks up this film, which by the way you look at it, its told also in a hurried way, like they’re so pressed for time. And the reason why is because of the incompetence of these two idiots who, for the look of it, didn’t even bother to read the book and instead they took it out off the ass by ripping out fragments off of the book and giving us one of the worst adaptations ever on celluloid. They should’ve let Stephen King write his own adaptation of the book (just like he did with The Stand), that would’ve been better instead of letting these two hacks make a complete mess of it.
The cast was all right though, they acted pretty well though they didn’t have much to work with, especially Tim Curry, who seems to be having fun with the role.In the end, you may wanna avoid this film, it’s nothing but a waste of your time, and you’ll be better off reading the book, which is more exciting and more fun to read than to waste 3 hours with this bunch of ineligible bullshit. I just feel bad about this entire ordeal; it would’ve been better. So forget this, and go buy and read the book, THAT’S RIGHT, READ THE BOOK, give the TV a rest for once for heaven’s sake.
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2297&reviewer=235
originally posted: 06/18/02 15:23:20