Archive for The Stand

Ghost Town With Real Ghosts. And Dogs.

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Nature Gone Wild, Science Fiction, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2017 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Stephen King's Desperation

Not since The Stand (1994) has a Stephen King movie adaptation had such a high body count. And these expired husks aren’t just for statistical/social reasons: they’re rotted, leaking, stinking and bloated, with snakes and hairy tarantulas coming out of mouths and holes where the eyes and south of the belt exit-only ramps used to be. Like human non-recycleables, these things are all over the place.

Stephen King's Desperation

One person is responsible for all this carnage: the town sheriff. He’s so sadistic, you cringe in your swimsuit (hey, the washing machine’s broken —don’t judge me) every time he traps another victim on a long stretch of highway just outside the small Nevada town of Desperation. Those he doesn’t kill right away land in a small jail. The others get shot without a lick of thought. (i.e., a five year-old girl.)

Stephen King's Desperation

As with all Stephen King stories/adaptations, you’re overloaded with complex characters, one of which is always “different,” in this case a young boy who speaks directly to God. Good thing as the other God (i.e., Tak) is possessing bodies (i.e., the sheriff) and making them rot from the inside out (i.e., goopy drawers).

Stephen King's Desperation

The first half of Stephen King’s Desperation (2006) is intense enough to make your underpanties twist up under the driveshaft. The small town is completely dead from the inside out. Dozens of dogs evenly line the street as if waiting for a cat parade. Vultures peck nonchalantly at bodies, snacking lightly in-between meals. And there are rattlers (snakes) and crawlers (spiders) everywhere you step. (The grocery store scene will make you think twice about ever walking into a food shop full of dead people again.)

Stephen King's Desperation

The second half, where the God kid and Tak’s prisoners get out of jail (great scene) and try and figure out what the flip, starts to sink under its own weight. Outside of town is the Chinese Pit, a coal/gold/gravel mine where Tak’s cathedral nightclub was disturbed, thereby unleashing the vengeful god and making the Chinese immigrants who were digging in the mine all those happy years ago to go crazy and kill each other with pick axes to the chest vicinity. Stephen KIng's Desperation

The get-out-of-jail people wrestle with moral issues, more spiders and a cougar in a bathroom that changes shape to that of a Vietnamese guy with a bomb. That part will make sense if you just have patience. Instead of getting out of town, the survivors head for the mine where they have a redeeming showdown with Tak, complete with flashback wedgies and dialogue that works better in a book than in a movie with gnarly, decomposing bodies all over the place.

Stephen King's Desperation Normally, I’m all about vengeful gods wreaking havoc, especially if they look like a monster and/or evil something or rather. But Tak looks like cigarette smoke (ala, Lost), which isn’t so scary, unless you factor in the health detriments of second hand smoke. The ending gets kinda “group huggy,” but in the end a decent take on a book with too many pages. Better, anyway, than Stephen King’s ultra-crappy The Langoliers (1995). (The movie version.) Man, what a punch bowl turd that thing is/was/continues to be.

Ghost Lives Matter

Posted in Classic Horror, Evil, Ghosts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2016 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

Riding The Bullet

Riding The Bullet (2004), adapted from the Stephen King novella of the same name of all things, is not one of the better King horror movies out there. Not surprising, as director Mick Garris had done four weak SK’s adaptations (Sleepwalkers/1992, The Stand/1994, The Shining re-boot that needed to be given the boot/1997, Quicksilver Highway/1997, prior to this unfulfilling mess. (Garris later went on to do several more King movies: Desperation/2006 and Bag of Bones/2011).

Riding The Bullet

Riding the Bullet is set in October, 1969. Hippies, gateway drug pot, rock and/or roll, and only one pair of bare boobies. Alan, morose college art student (i.e., hippie) is pretty certain his hot girlfriend is breaking up with him, despite her wanting to smooch his scruffy emo face. On his birthday he smokes pot, drinks non-twist top booze and attempts to commit suicide while taking a bubble bath with candles. A demon appears to urge him on. Alan’s friends bust into the bathroom to birthday surprise him, only to see he’s slit his wrist. Doesn’t anyone knock anymore?

Later finding out his widowed mom had a stroke and is in the hospital, Alan hitchhikes in the dark (about 100 miles) to emote at her bedside. His companion is his own doppelganger who calls B.S. on his poor decision making process.

Riding The Bullet

As Alan accepts rides from red flag travelers (draft dodger, old man with a hernia, greaser demon ghost), he endures alternate situation scenes and confusing flashbacks wherein his mom tells a young Alan his dad is dead, having been involved in a car accident. That’s funny; could’ve sworn he opted out by sucking on the end of a shotgun.

Riding The Bullet

As with all King movies, there’s a self-discovery underpinning that didn’t translate to the big screen this time. What works extraordinarily well on paper (say, a book), doesn’t have enough time to flesh itself out on your TV. So hit the gas pedal on the thrills – the greaser demon ghost gives Alan a ride. He died earlier years prior whilst ramming his sweet 1958 Plymouth Fury into a truck transporting pumpkins to market (same car in King’s Christine/1983), and gets his head cut off from all those super sharp pumpkin shards.

Riding The BulletThe greaser demon ghost tells Alan he has to choose between him and his hospitalized mom who gets to go to Hell, with the Ride the Bullet roller coaster ride of Alan’s youth that he was too much of a p*ssy to ride as a kid, as the metaphor for the whole flippin’ film.

Riding The Bullet

Later, adult Alan reflects on his hippie past, his now dead mom, his ex-wife (he married his college girlfriend for four years) and the greaser ghost demon, who shows up to offer him a ride. Alan tells him to go away. The end.

If you didn’t read the book (sorry, I was busy), this leaves a pumpkin truck load of questions unanswered. You’re left dangling like a severed head. For instance, what was the back story of his dad painting the walls with his particulate matter? I’m guessing it was he found out his son would grow up to be a pot-smoking emo wuss who was too scared to ride the bullet. Dad did – and look how nicely that turned out!

Don’t Stand For Evil

Posted in Science Fiction with tags , , , , , , on July 4, 2014 by Drinkin' & Drive-in

The Stand

At 366 minutes, The Stand (1994), an overlong apocalyptic tale, pits the ultimate bad (the devil wears Levis™) and his posse against the ultimate good (old woman who makes cookies).

The Stand

After a virus gets past the sneeze guard and takes out 99.9% of the world’s population, you’d think things as a survivor would be sweet, what with not having to go to work, fighting rush-hour traffic and rocking out ALL the time. Not so, as those who hook up with the Dark Side are holed up in Vegas (if I was evil, that’s where I’d put my hole), hell bent on wrecking the lives of the Good Side, who recon in Boulder, CO.

The Stand

Based on the equally babble-on Stephen King novel (1,200 pages), The Stand has so many main characters and blah, blah, blahs so much, you just want to shoot your TV in the face. And all the big build up to the promised mega throwdown came across as nothing more than a fart in a wind tunnel. My refrigerator is more evil than Randall Flagg, the jeans-wearing, mullet-sporting King of All Evil guy.

I hope you won’t stand for The Stand. You may sit, perhaps.

The Stand