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This afternoon we look at the third of our Stephen King Dollar Baby selections: BEACHWORLD. One of King's most underrated stories, it was originally published in Weird Tales in 1984, and collected in his 1985 collection Skeleton Crew.  Which is where I first read it back in high school. 

Beachworld is set in the distant future. Federation ship ASN-29 crashes on an unknown planet with only two members of the crew surviving - Shapiro and Rand.

The planet is uninhabited-at least by physical entities. Desert stretches out in all directions. No food and no watter. Despair and insanity creep up on them, sand devours everything and very soon they discover that they are not alone on the planet. 

As novelist James Smythe has written, "More than anything, this is a story about isolation, about being stranded, with nowhere to go." 

Maria Ivanova's animated adaptation of the story is nothing less than hypnotic. Her use of striking black and white imagery along with a powerful ambient soundtrack evoke the early films of David Lynch, as well as Walerian Borowczyk's classic short film, DOM. Particularly in terms of the spellbinding rhythm which she generates through the collision and at times opposition of image and sound and one other, very specific thing-there is no dialogue. The film starts and you are plunged into a world which is immersive and genuinely uncanny. 

For more about BEACHWORLD you can visit Maria Ivanova's website and for another review of this film as well as many other Dollar Babies, you can visit Tony Northrup's website, Through the Black Hole.
 


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