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Kingdom Hospital

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Kingdom Hospital is the first television series written and produced by Stephen King, the legendary master of horror. Kingdom Hospital is not like other hospitals - it is built on the wreckage of two horrific fires. The first fire, during the civil war, burned down the gates falls mill where small children toiled away under nightmarish conditions - nearly all of the long-suffering children were trapped and died in the fire. The second fire destroyed the "old Kingdom," a creepy hospital where an evil doctor performed hideous experiments on patients. The "new Kingdom" is the site of strange, paranormal phenomena, where the unquiet dead still roam.


Kingdom Hospital is horror novelist Stephen King's adaptation of Danish director Lars Von Trier's cult miniseries The Kingdom, geared very much for an American audience. The story unfolds across 15 hours, telling the story of a hospital in Maine that's been built on the site of a 19th-century mill fire that killed most of its young occupants--themes that King fans will be familiar with. In the present day, Kingdom Hospital is haunted by the ghost of 10-year-old child worker Mary and, even more bizarrely, a fearsome giant anteater-like creature called Antubis. It falls to the ace doctor Hook (Andrew McCarthy), the paraplegic artist Jack Coleman (Peter Rickman), and the hypochondriac psychic Sally Druse (Diane Ladd) to enlist the help of a surreal assortment of hospital staff and patients to help Mary and save Kingdom Hospital itself from certain doom.

Fans of Stephen King will probably enjoy the blend of black comedy, spectral horror, and general weirdness, which owes a big debt to previous television series like Twin Peaks and even ER. But too often, Kingdom Hospital seems to be trying too hard to make itself into a cult series, something which King is just not a subtle enough writer to carry off. But Kingdom Hospital looks good, especially the CGI Antubis, who steals every scene in which he appears. Generally, though, the series is more of an entertaining experiment than a cult-in-the-making. --Ted Kord

Special Features

  • Featurette: Patients and Doctors: The Cast of Kingdom Hospital
  • Featurette: Designing Kingdom Hospital: A Tour
  • Featurette: The Magic of Antubis
  • Inside the Walls: The Making of Kingdom Hospital

Product Details

  • Actors: Jamie Harrold, Diane Ladd, Bruce Davison, Jack Coleman, Julian Richings
  • Writers: Stephen King
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 12, 2004
  • Run Time: 608 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000F3SB
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,140 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Kingdom Hospital" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

That's all I can say.
I enjoyed the premise and the extremely dark humor.
J. M Quiggins
I am so glad that I took the time to watch it.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 146 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 12, 2004
Format: DVD
First, let's clear up a misconception. "Kingdom Hospital" was created specifically as a limited series with a beginning, middle and end. Like "The Prisoner", King had envisioned it as a "true" novel for television. If ABC had chosen to renew it, King would have developed a series of different story arcs. So it wasn't cancelled so much as it concluded. Another point to clear up--King's series created in collaboration with co-writer Richard Dooling, director Craig Baxley, executive producer Mark Carliner was an attempt to graft King's unique sense of humor and horror to Lars Van Trier's original allowing it to reach an American audience better.

King's series is every bit as effective in its own way as Lars Van Trier's "The Kingdom" but one made for a very different audience. An American audience. Since Lars Van Trier was an executive producer on the series, I doubt that he would have given it his blessing if he didn't see King's version as a quirky complimentary vision to his own. A warning, though, about "Kingdom Hospital". This is a ghost story not a horror thriller. The show unfolds at a leisurely pace allowing the story to unfold gradually creating suspense vs. a rapid fire horror story. "Kingdom Hospital" has more in common with, say, "The Stand" or even "Twin Peaks" (and the original source mini-series as well) in that regard.

Anyhow, on to the DVD. Looks terrific and the CGI effects are top notch throughout most of the series. The campy over-the-top acting style of this "E.R." meets "Twin Peaks"series is crossed with King's twisted imagination.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By khtig on October 18, 2004
Format: DVD
I first want to clear up a misconception here. A reviewer stated on here that after watching the first of the four disks he noticed that several scenes were cut out of the DVD as broadcast on television. I purchased my copy of Kingdom Hospital and watched the first disk and saw no such scene cuts.

Kingdom Hospital was an awesome series that did not get the credit it desevered. Watching it on DVD made the experiance twice as memorable. It was great not having to deal with commercials. The picture was also so clear that I was able to pick up on so many more things that I missed watching it on my home taped version. I enjoyed the feature on the magic behind Antubis and I enjoyed listening to the film makers commentary.

I wish I could give this series/dvd more than 5 stars!

Awesome! :)
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jason Peikoff on August 30, 2004
Format: DVD
It is true, this is one of the most chilling miniseries ever put together by Stephen King himself. Parts of it are actually based upon his personal experiences after being hit by a driver in Maine. While it was being aired on television it was a little touch and go there for a while, since the evil network was putting off the subsequent episodes for the longest time. Luckily they finished the series and I must say, this was definitely something I looked forward to watching week in and out. Thus, it would be something worth watching over and over again on DVD, so I highly recommend that you buy it if you enjoy the creative genious and irony of Stephen King. Yes, this series is very ironic and full of odd twists, but that all adds to the mystique. This DVD is one for the ages, and one that will not truly be appreciated for a year or two to come, because it is such a modern piece of artwork. If you watch all of the episodes in order on this DVD then you will understand how great Kingdom Hospital really is. I knew of a few people who missed several episodes while it was on television, and therefore justice just was not done in their eyes, but that was their fault! The unifying theme is the hospital itself, the people contained in it, and the tragic events they all must grapple with and live through. Dr. Hook was perhaps the funniest and best character in the entire series, a true man's man in every sense of the word. Dr. Stegman also made the series very interesting and humorous at times, although you always wanted to just see the old coot get his just desserts (which he often did). Then of course you have the old, sometimes seen as senile, Mrs. Druise. She definitely made the series what it is and made for a great character analysis. So in conclusion, I highly recommend this DVD series and think that you will enjoy it extremely if you like the paranormal, horror, irony, and creative genious of Stephen King. No library of King material would be complete without it!!!
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50 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Staci L. Wilson on January 28, 2005
Format: DVD
This Stephen King miniseries takes place in a haunted hospital in Maine, which was built on the site of a Civil War-era fire where a score of helpless children perished. It's King, so you can bet the ghosts aren't too happy with their lot in the afterlife. The chilling but comedically off-kilter teleplay (one installment was entitled "The Young and the Headless") features a strong ensemble cast and a few searingly memorable talking animal characters. One is a German Shepherd complete with a Teutonic accent named Blondie (voiced by Julian Richings), and another verbose pooch is called Charlie (Ryan Robbins). Most striking of all is an often malevolent but always judicious phantasmagorical anteater (CGI, modeled on a real giant anteater; voiced by Kett Turton) named Antubis. Antubis's long tongue finds ants hiding in some very unexpected places ("Antsolutely delicious!" he chortles, dipping into an insect-infested human brain). Based on a Danish miniseries called The Kingdom by Lars von Trier.

What a difference a DVD makes. Without the concentration-blowing commercial interruptions, and the luxury of being able to watch as much (or as little) of the 13 hour opus as one likes, Kingdom Hospital plays a lot better. That is not to say that it's a perfect miniseries. It's pretty weird, takes some getting into, and it almost lost me a few times with its weirdness. I felt some of the music choices were really inappropriate and rather irritating, and thought one scene of the doctors breaking into a song-and-dance routine was far too "Cop Rock". But if you stick with it throughout all it's quirky eccentricity, Kingdom Hospital will reward you with some terrific characters, excellent acting performances, and an intriguing storyline.

Staci Layne Wilson
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