Stephen King considers this one of the worst movies ever based on his work. I wonder if he’s seen them all, as there are some that are far worse. Um, SLEEPWALKERS, Steve? At least that one was fun, though. Same with MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE. But then we have movies like GRAVEYARD SHIFT, DREAMCATCHER, and (gods help us) THINNER, movies that are neither enjoyable nor of any artistic value. (We should probably remember that King passionately hated the original THE SHINING, though, so it’s not like his taste where movies based on his works are concerned is reliable.) FIRESTARTER isn’t that bad, honestly. It just doesn’t stand out. It’s a middle-of-the-road effort. John Carpenter was supposed to direct it, but when THE THING performed poorly at the box office the suits in offices at the studio fired him and brought in another director. Bad move. Carpenter could have delivered a superior product.
At least FIRESTARTER as it exists has George C. Scott, who gives a terrific performance, as he always does, even if the motivations of his character don’t make much sense. Enough time has passed that watching FIRESTARTER now serves up some tasty nostalgia, and a spoonful of nostalgia helps the medicine go down, as Mary Poppins said. Or something close to that.