Known as one of the greatest horror writers of all time, helming some truly terrifying pieces of fiction, Stephen King is also fond of a little light farce now and again. Whilst he might be well known for such stories as The Shining, Carrie and Pet Sematary, King’s back-catalogue includes the Saint Bernard horror tale, Cujo, alongside the killer-car thriller Christine, two stories that are less terrifying and more enjoyably goofy.
It’s safe to say that, for this reason, King’s got a pretty high tolerance when it comes to low-grade horror movies, capable of swallowing pretty much any genre film, no matter the quality.
This isn’t to say that the director totally avoids dishing out criticism, however, even going so far as to criticise one of his own cinematic adaptations. In an interview with Deadline, King attacked Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, a film often recognised as a classic, stating: “I think The Shining is a beautiful film and it looks terrific and as I’ve said before, it’s like a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it. In that sense, when it opened, a lot of the reviews weren’t very favourable and I was one of those reviewers. I kept my mouth shut at the time, but I didn’t care for it much”.
Thankfully, whilst the author wasn’t too fond of Kubrick’s film, he didn’t walk out of the movie, only protesting with his feet on one occasion, recently revealing the unfortunate film in question on Twitter.
In response to a tweet from fellow author Linwood Barclay who stated his dislike for Jurassic World Dominion, walking out of the cinema in protest, King revealed, “I have walked out of only one movie as an adult: TRANSFORMERS”.
Later clarifying that he is talking about the 2007 adaptation of the animated series, directed by Michael Bay, fans were relieved that he wasn’t alluding to his dislike of the much-loved 1986 sci-fi, featuring Orson Welles as the villain, Unicron.
Instead, it was the live-action movie starring Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro, that King simply couldn’t stand, despite fans taking quite kindly to the adaptation. Telling the fantastical sci-fi tale of an ancient struggle between two Cybertronian races, the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons, Bay’s film focuses on the young protagonist of Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) who finds himself in the middle of the chaos.
Phenomenally successful, the 2007 movie went on to spawn five sequels, including the 2018 spin-off Bumblebee, featuring the likes of Hailee Steinfeld, Dylan O’Brien, John Cena and Pamela Adlon. The franchise has currently earned Paramount $5 billion worldwide and remains one of the most financially successful film series of all time, with two movies within the list of the top 30 highest-grossing releases of all time, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Take a look at the trailer for the original 2007 science fiction, below.