Stephen King is discovering a lot of incredible classic films in 2021. Back in January the famed author made a New Years Resolution to try and watch movies from the last 60 years that he has never seen before (or seldom seen) – and because he's chronicled the whole experience on his Twitter feed, fans have had the opportunity to follow along with his cinematic journey. In the last few months King has discussed a wide variety of features, from John Waters' Hairspray to John Singleton's Boyz N The Hood, but it may surprise you to learn that it was only in this past week that he finally experienced Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs in full for the first time.
As he has been since the start of the year, Stephen King bunched a few titles together in his latest update regarding his New Years Resolution, and while his post also included references to 1993's Menace II Society and 1994's The Lion King, he specifically predicted that fans would be surprised that he never watched Quentin Tarantino's seminal feature. King wrote:
Stephen King isn't totally ignorant of Quentin Tarantino's work (for instance, he specifically complements From Dusk Till Dawn in the 2010 forenote of his non-fiction book Danse Macabre), but apparently he has never gotten around to watching the film that kickstarted his career. As promised though, King did follow up his Tweet with an explanation for why it has taken him so long to see the indie classic, and the story apparently all ties back to the first time that he tried to watch it in the early 1990s:
Watching Reservoir Dogs for the first time on VHS alone doesn't seem like a proper way to screen one of the greatest modern crime thrillers, but anyone who lived back in the 1980s/1990s will remember how making copies of copies downgraded the quality of the home video medium. Needless to say, it didn't make for a pleasant viewing experience.
So what happened? The short answer is that he turned it off. As Stephen King explained in a second follow-up Tweet, he felt like he was disrespecting the work of actor Steve Buscemi (who he refers to as one of his idols), and so rather than just powering through the terrible sound and picture he decided to just hit the stop button on his VCR:
That was 29 years ago, and while that's quite a long time to wait before giving such an acclaimed thriller a second shot (especially when it features an actor one considers an idol)... but in Stephen King's defense, the guy is pretty damn busy. Not only are there always new movies to watch, but this is a man who, between novels, short-story/novella collections, and non-fiction volumes, has published more than 50 books since 1992. What's really a shame is that Steve Buscemi has never been featured in a King adaptation (the closest he's gotten is a role in the anthology film Tales From The Darkside: The Movie, but he's not in that movie's featured King story, The Cat From Hell).
While we eagerly wait to learn what movies the author will be watching next as part of his New Years Resolution, you can learn about all of the adaptations of his works currently in development in our Upcoming Stephen King Movies and TV guide, and also be sure to check out my brand new Adapting Stephen King column, which just launched this week with a deep dive into Brian De Palma's Carrie.