So. It’s days after my Stephen King-a-thon and I’m finally writing up my review of The Stand. Let’s just say the room with the VHS was really really hot during this week of apocalyptic heat on the East Coast. But, I’m finally back with the mother of all miniseries, the 1994 movie based on the book. There was this weird time in our culture when it seemed like every Stephen King book was made into a miniseries, what’s up with that?
This one makes Scarina happy because it sticks pretty closely to the book.
The movie opens with “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” That’s how you know it’s a good movie.
Stu Redman: Innocently living his life in Arnette, Texas when Ray Campion and his Superflu riddled family crash into the gas station he was hanging out at. Gee, thanks. Also, played by Gary Sinise. Arnette ends up under full quarantine by the government. The segment ends with my favoritest fake commercial ever.
Larry Underwood: Larry’s rock anthem, “Baby, Can You Dig Your Man?” has finally hit it big. He’s just visiting NYC to see his momma and hide from the creditors that are after him. The song sounds like a heavier rock Billy Joel. I know the book was originally written in the seventies and everything but I wish they’d change that song title.
Meanwhile, the people exposed to the Superflu in Arnette have been moved to the disease control center in Vermont. I spy, with my little eye, Ed Harris as a government goon.
Fran Goldsmith: Look, it’s Molly Ringwald! They cut out the crazy evil mom subplot from the book so Fran lives alone with her dad. Harold Lauder visits and boy is he nerdy and awkward. I wish he were fatter, though.
Stu is causing trouble that Vermont CDC, where all his friends are dead but he is symptomless.
Nick Andros: Played by Rob Lowe–is this before or after we found out he’s a pervert? He’s in Shoyo, Arkansas and gets the stuffing beat out of him. Also, he’s deaf-mute. He’s almost run over but is rescued by the town doctor who takes him to Sherif Baker. He’s the first person we see having dreams about the corn and Mother Abigail in Hemingford Home. Abigail is 106 and she still makes her own bread. Fun fact: Hemingford Home is where grown Ben Hanscom lives in the book It.
There’s a brief Vermont interlude and then we return to…
Larry: He’s enjoying pre-Giuliani New York. I assume he’s smoked some crack and bought a hooker. He bumps into a crazy weirdo named the Ratman. Ratman forgives him. We also meet Kareem Abdul Jabar, who’s a crazy guy screaming about the end of the world.
Lloyd and Poke: Criminals on a crime spree. They cut out the garbage bag of pot that they traveled with. They shoot up a corner store.
Blue Base: The government discusses censoring news reports of the Superflu and confiscating cameras. I wonder if this could happen today since everyone over ten has some kind of cell-phone camera. Deep thoughts.
Nick: Sherif Baker got sick and made Nick a deputy. The doctor convinces Nick to release the guys who beat him up since they’ll prolly just die anyway. Nick is symptomless.
Larry: Queens is burning and his mom is sick. She has the most grotesque sick person makeup of the whole movie. I know this was just a miniseries for ABC at primetime, not some R-rated movie, but I feel cheated on the gore.
Ed Harris kills himself. Bye!
Nick: Kills the guy who beat him up after the guy attacks him.
Fran: Is also symptomless. She’s taking care of her sick father, who wants to listen to the Rae Flowers Show on the radio. Rae is played by Kathy Bates. She doesn’t break anyone’s legs but she does talk with some callers who tell how they’ve seen some military people burning the dead bodies. Then some military people bust into her station and shoot her while she’s on the air. I’m not sure if that’s prudent…
New York City is burning.
The Dark Man: We finally meet the Dark Man. He has electric powers like Emperor Palpatine and kills a faun for dinner. He also hears Kareem Abdul Jabar screaming in his mind so he uses his powers across the continent and kills him.
Stu: Dreams of Mother Abigail too. She tells him that the government won’t let him live. You don’t really need a Stephen King approved Mystical Black Lady to tell you that. He wakes up when what appears to be a killer scarecrow attacks him. Did R.L. Stine direct this?
One of the doctors comes and tries to kill Stu. Stu kills him but now he has to escape the labyrinthine CDC. It’s actually a bit creepy and is full of corpses. This part delivers one of the only scares in this video, at least. Part one ends with Stu outside in the middle of the night.
- Scarina--the authoress and editrix of this site. I like scary movies and have dedicated my free time to cataloging horror--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes there are books too.
There's film criticism, literary criticism, and humor here. I can be highbrow but there's lots of pop culture too. And feminism.
I fervently love "Twin Peaks" and wish it were a real place so I could move there. I can't list my favorite scary movies because they change depending on my mood, the season, and how much coffee I've had.
I'm an artist looking for ways to blend creepy with cute. I try to channel my childhood nightmares, my love of horror, and my experiences with sleepy paralysis.
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