Stars: Max von Sydow, Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia, Amanda Plummer, J.T. Walsh
Genre: Crime, Drama, Fantasy
Rating: R (Restricted)
Runtime: 120 minutes
Stephen King adaptations are strictly hit-or-miss propositions, and this supernatural thriller from 1993 is definitely a "miss," based on one of King's lesser novels and starring Max von Sydow as the evil proprietor of a small-town antique shop named "Needful Things." That's the place where anyone can go to find the one thing they cherish the most (the town's aging jock finds his old, high-school letterman's jacket there, for example), but of course there's a price for such priceless keepsakes. Yep, that's right ... von Sydow is Satan, and his customers pay for "needful things" with their souls. The sheriff (Ed Harris) catches onto this hellish predicament, and, well ... let's just say things go downhill from there, with von Sydow delivering sardonic wisecracks as he wreaks devilish havoc on the town. Lots of stuff gets blown to bits, by which time this movie has long since worn out its welcome. Harris and von Sydow do their best to liven up the dreary scenario (directed by Charlton Heston's son, Fraser), but this is strictly for die-hard King fans, and even then the recommendation is marginal. --Jeff Shannon
You know, guys, I moved here and I thought, Great! I'm outta the big city and I'm finally in a place where everybody isn't gonna be crawling up everybody's asshole every day! A place where maybe my biggest nightmare is gonna be getting some goddamn cat out of a tree! But forget that! EVERYBODY IS INSANE, EVERYWHERE!
Oh. You know, there are days I really hate this job. This is not my best work, not by a long shot. Oh, sure, a few murders and a couple of rather lovely explosions. I would hardly call it a rousing success, but what the hell? I'll be back. In the meantime, you and Polly, you are two terrific kids, and you'll marry her. Trust me. She's a lovely girl, Alan. You'll have a wonderful family. Oh, by the way, give my regards to your grandson. Bob will be his name, International Trade his game. I'll see him in Jakarta, 2053. August 14th. 10a.m. A nice, sunny day. We'll make headlines.