REVIEW: RESURRECTING CARRIE!
I came upon the mini-documentary RESURRECTING CARRIE! entirely by odd coincidence. In posting another review I wrote for a book that mentioned Traci Lords in it, the discussion in a thread developed and a mutual friend of the aforementioned-book’s author commented on how he worked with ex-underage-porn-star-turned-subpar-B-Movie-actress in a very short-lived Sci-fi television show entitled SUPER FORCE in her very first legit role. We both agreed that porn could have been much better off without her deceitful actions in getting into it and Michael Stever suggested I check out his latest mini-documentary about the musical of Stephen King’s 1st novel he wrote (one that he originally tossed in the garbage but that his wife retrieved and told him to finish because she felt there was something there) and the ever-so-popular (in present day, but not at the time of its release) horror film CARRIE.
Directed, edited, and filmed by Stever, RESURRECTING CARRIE! is an entertaining little documentary that swiftly encompasses a bunch of short and meaty interviews to paint a picture about the idea to adapt to theater a book and film that to date is one of the finest adaptations of a Stephen King novel to screen. We all know there are some great horror novels King wrote that were turned into movies and things didn’t always turn out so great. Stever’s doc not only lets viewers know about all the work and effort it took to get the production off the ground, but its movie-premiere like setting (filming outside the theater of one of the play’s performances) gives the documentary a glitzy and glamorous look to it.
I was happy to see that Piper Laurie was interviewed, the actress whom portrayed Carrie White’s mother in DePalma’s original film from 1976, and hear her thoughts on the production. Having bits and pieces of actual footage from the play balances out a well-thought out glimpse into the play. Myself not being one to go to plays and sit down to watch live theater, Carrie the Musical did look intriguing and I credit that to Stever’s entertaining documentary short in helping with that.
As Mr. Stever commented on the musical in a piece regarding the musical, “mixed reviews for MCC Theatre’s 2012 revival of Carrie were not what the theatre community at large had hoped for, it’s important to consider when juxtaposed to the ‘scathing, ‘Brutal-As-Hell’ reviews from 1988, this production team was definitely on the right track,” it seems that purists of live theater and horror fans of the De Palma film alike may have mixed feelings on another adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel about a bullied girl who after continually getting picked on and abused by her classmates, teachers, and even her own mother and will have something to say about it. Thinking in terms of my own feelings for remakes and re-interpretations of seemingly flawless favorites in the horror genre, one may ask why make a musical from Stephen King’s CARRIE? Especially after a musical adaptation in ’88 already proved to be a flop both financially and critically: lyricist Dean Pitchford & composer Michael Gore both admit entrusting Carrie to ‘British Import’ director Terry Hands, and German producer Fredrich Kurz proved to be the nail in the coffin for Carrie ’88. Stever’s documentary also explores the bullying side and aspect to this new revival of CARRIE.
If one is interested in theatre, especially horror in theatre, and loves Stephen King’s novel CARRIE, then Michael Stever’s documentary RESURRECTING CARRIE! will prove to be a quick and enjoyable peek into the production and those involved with it.
Click here to view Michael Stever’s RESURRECTING CARRIE! in its entirety via YouTube: