For some, the year 1990 would prove to be just your average year. Some were still spinning out from the decade before with its acid wash jeans, video rentals, and big hair.
Some though, like me, were having their minds filled with the wild imaginations of Stephen King and this year would prove to be the year that Pennywise entered our homes.
Such was the wildfire of nightmares born out of the miniseries written by Lawrence D. Cohen and Tommy Lee Wallace (the latter also taking on directorial duties), that it spread a combination of love and fear into the school playgrounds, and fuelled the flames deep in the heart of this reviewer.
It’s little wonder that a worthy documentary would surface at some point to please the minds of those that were so shaped by this two-part serial. The bewilderment may be more from the fact that it took so long for someone to actually get it greenlit. Thankfully an Indiegogo project was set up which would see director Chris Griffiths team up with producers John Campopiano and Gary Smart to bring the project to fruition.
Pennywise: The Story of It is exactly what you would hope from a 2 hour documentary dedicated to the making of the mini-series, with Wallace and Cohen cast their thoughts and views, looking back at the time and the impact that it had on popular culture. He’s not alone to appear of course, as we have the great Tim Curry (Pennywise), along with other cast members Richard Thomas (Bill), Seth Green (Richie), Dennis Christopher (Eddie), Adam Fairazi (young Eddie), Tim Reid (Mike), Brandon Crane (young Ben), and Emily Perkins (Beverly), to nam but a few. Plus special effects makeup artist Bart Mixon among others that were behind the scenes.
There were some notable absences from the Losers club, but none more heartfelt at their loss than Jonathan Brandis (young Bill) and John Ritter (Ben) who both respectfully are acknowledged for their input into the movie from both cast and crew.
The passion is clearly shared by those involved in the making of the miniseries, in the way that they are so animated about it in their interviews. It was incredibly warming to see such dedication to the miniseries being laid out and reviewed retrospectively from a team that were united with the same passion that I share for the miniseries, even to this day.
- Saul Muerte
Pennywise: The Story of IT is currently screening with a 30-day free trial of Screambox, available on iOS, Android, Prime Video, YouTube TV, Comcast, and Screambox.com.
For more thoughts on the original miniseries, you can also listen to the SOH team’s alternate commentary below: