My parents – in hindsight – were not especially strict, particularly in comparison to some of my friends. But like all parents, they wanted to instil a certain set of values into me – and as such, most horror-related material was treated with a deep suspicion.
And few names were more synonymous with horror than STEPHEN KING. Back in the 1990s, he was arguably at the height of his commercial (if not creative) powers. Bookstores were stuffed with his wares, and video stores seemed to overflow with filmic adaptations of his works. Being a keen reader from a young age, I was naturally very curious about him – but parental authority steered me away from him until I was a teenager. Probably wisely, in hindsight, though it was frustrating at the time.
In the long term, the parental admonition against horror didn’t work. What did I do as soon as I was old enough? Went out and read a ton of Stephen King books, and watched scores of horror films. I love both to this day -- and one of the best adaptations of King's work is The Shining, from Stanley Kubrick.
Stephen King was not thrilled with this adaptation. Having subsequently read the novel, I can kind of understand why, as it deviates from the source material on many important points. But I enjoyed it myself; the pace was probably just a little too slow for my tastes, but it was definitely bizarre and memorable. And its influence has been undeniable – every TV show on the planet of every genre seems to want to do some kind of tribute to scene with the twins at one point or another.
This Mystery Mini does a reasonable job of replicating Jack Nicholson’s Here's Johnny look in the film -- the check shirt, red jacket, jeans, maniacal expression, and of course the axe. It doesn’t look like Jack Nicholson specifically, but that’s just the nature of the aesthetic –and at a glance, he could fit in reasonably well with the humans from the Walking Dead Mystery Minis too. My only real criticism is related to the hair. Jack Nicholson has never gone totally bald, but even by the time of The Shining it was looking pretty thin – though again, this is probably just a side-effect of the aesthetic.
Overall? Jack Torrance isn’t my favourite figure in the series, but there isn’t a ton of merch for The Shining out there. Given that we also got the Twins in this series, I assume we’ll get Danny soon too – viewed in combination, that would be a fun set.