Josh Ickes / Film maker

A passion for moving images

A passion for moving images.


S1E9: Stephen King's Dollar Babies

This week on the Empathy Machine, we discuss a smattering of Stephen King's Dollar Baby shorts and explore what makes for a successful Stephen King adaptation. 

What is a Dollar Baby, you ask? Well, since the early-1980s, Stephen King has offered the opportunity for independent and student filmmakers to purchase rights to one of a limited selection of his stories for only one dollar. The filmmaker is only granted festival rights as a result, and only limited ability to display the work online, but this serves as a pretty great opportunity for filmmakers to try their hand at proven source material. 

Sometimes the shorts turn out to be quite good, and sometimes they turn out to be quite not so good. 

We viewed the following: 

The Boogeyman (1982, Jeff Schiro)
The Woman in the Room (1983, Frank Darabont)
Disciples of the Crow (1983, John Woodward)
The Night Waiter (1987, Jack Garrett)** 
The Last Rung on the Ladder (1987, Dan Thron & James Cole)
The Lawnmower Man (1987, Jim Gonis)
Paranoid (2000, Jay Holben)
Strawberry Spring (2001, Doveed Linder)
Rainy Season (2002, Nick Wauters)
Night Surf (2002, Peter Sullivan)
Secret Transit Codes of America's Highways (2004, Brian Berkowitz)
All That You Love Will Be Carried Away (2004, Scott Albanese)
Umney's Last Case (2006, Rodney Altman)

**Not actually a Stephen King adaptation

We also discuss the book Dollar Deal: The Stephen King Dollar Baby Filmmakers by Shawn Lealos, which can be purchased here: 

Special thanks, as always, to our Sound Engineer Drew DeVore!