Quicksilver Highway (1997)

It was a smart idea to take a story by Stephen King — “Chattery Teeth” — and Clive Barker — “The Body Politic” — and turn it into a portanteau. Oddly, the whole idea came about because of agents.

Creative Artists Agency met with Garris about writing the pilot script for a John McTiernan-directed horror series that would have the same actors every week and a storyteller named Aaron Quicksilver — played here by Christopher Lloyd — introduce each story.

After writing a pilot script based on “Chattery Teeth,” Garris pitched the series to Fox, who wanted a two-hour movie, which brought in the Barker story. McTiernan then left the project, with Garris taking over.

In the film King-penned tale — the home video flips the order — Quicksilver meets a hitchhiking couple who are newly married and tells them the story of a man who grabbed some poorly made novelty teeth at a gas station, teeth that somehow become alive and devoted to protecting his life. Then, a pickpocket learns the Barker story, all about a world in which our hands become their own people and rebel against the people they are attached to.

Matt Frewer being in both stories really helps. He’s the kind of actor who improves every role he touches. And Garris is able to turn this material into a gripping film; it helps that he was friends with both authors, as they had cameos in his film Sleepwalkers and Garris also directed the original The StandThe Shining TV movie, Riding the Bullet Desparation and Bag of Bones.

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