Day: March 15, 2017

The Stand – tape 2115

It’s time now for the climax to the mini series version of Stephen King’s The Stand. When we last left it, the goodies were heading west to face the evil Randall Flagg. This episode opens with Nadine (Laura San Giacomo) and Harold (the nerdy stalker) travelling west, after having blown up the good guys’ church. She’s looking very Penelope Pitstop.

Harold sees a vision of Flagg, and rides off the road. He’s badly injured, but Nadine leaves him there. I’m glad. I never liked him.

As if we don’t have enough characters to keep track of – perhaps the explosion last time has spooked the producers, up pops Sam Raimi in a van chasing the Judge (Ossie Davis).

He’s not very good. He ends up killing Davis and his friend, and Randall Flagg, who was watching disguied as a crow, is very cross with him.

Flagg’s trying to get information from the good guys, and he tries to get it from Dayna, who has been undercover with Miguel Ferrer (one of the bad guys) trying to get information. “Liars sit in chairs. Truth tellers just sort of hunker down.” Really, Randall? is that a thing?

He does some morphing, as this is the 90s.

I’m still not really digging this Randall Flagg. Double Denim does tend to undercut the aura of ultimate evil.

Good grief, here’s John Landis now.

Is Mick Garris doing what Landis always does, and putting loads of film directors in his movie?

Gary Sinise falls off a very short cliff and breaks his leg, so the other three leave him where he is. He believes God will help him when he needs it, and sure enough Tom Cullen comes and finds him.

The other three are captured by John Landis and taken to Flagg, who gets Miguel Ferrer to kill Ray Walston, leaving the other two alone to recite the Lord’s prayer. I don’t remember the book being quite this heavily religious, but it’s ages since I read it.

The two remaining good guys are going to be dismembered in front of a big crowd in Vegas, when Matt Frewer, the Trashman, arrives on a quad bike with a big bomb in the trailer. “Oh my God. He’s got a bomb” screams Julie Lawry, the horrible woman who was nasty to Tom and Nick way back in episode two. It’s a terrible line reading, so it’s lucky that she falls over and gets electrocuted falling on top of another character who’d just been zapped by Flagg. But really, this isn’t being directed well.

Then, the electricity that zapped her adn the other guy turns into a shiny golden hand. “The hand of God” says one of the chained up good guys. Although it speaks with the voice of Mother Abagail. It grabs the bomb, and explodes it, wiping out Las Vegas.

After that it’s just getting Sinise and Tom Cullen back to the community, to discover that Molly Ringwald has had a baby, but it’s got the flu. Don’t worry, though, it’s just the flu, and the baby’s fine, and they all live happily ever after.

And that’s The Stand. I know a lot of King’s readers regard this as his Magnum Opus, but I’ve always been a bit bored by it. It’s very long, but doesn’t amount to much. For example, I don’t think there’s anything that the good guys did that materially affected the outcome. It was Trashcan who brought the bomb to Vegas, and it was the Hand of God that blew it up. Everyone else was almost incidental.

Now, I can’t really remember the plot of the book, so I’ve no idea how closely this runs to the novel, but since King wrote the screenplay for this, it must surely have reflected his intentions. Or perhaps King just isn’t very good at screenplays.

After this, recording continues with an episode of Law & Order. Then, quite by accident, an episode of The Late Show with David Letterman. The big talking points in the news are the OJ trial, coming to its conclusion. There’s a brief appearance by Florence Henderson, who died in November 2016, so that’s not really my fault, honestly.

First guest is Uma Thurman.

Actor Steven Weber.

And music from Brian Wilson

After this, recording continues for a bit more, with the start of V: The Final Battle. Which of course wasn’t the final battle, because it was followed by an entire series. Recording stops shortly after the programme starts.

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