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Stephen King: Misery

I know I just did a Stephen King post, but I was in the mood for another, so humor me.  I love this movie.  I loved it so much that I read the book.  Kathy Bates (who I hinted at to those who paid attention to the last post) is hilarious and terrifying as Annie, the crazy nurse who kidnaps Paul, the author of best-selling romance novels about Misery Chastain, some stereotype of a Southern belle or something, I was never quite sure.  The details aren’t all that important to me here though, it’s the performances.  Kathy Bates rightly won an Oscar for her crazy antics, and I like to think that she also won my heart, but I guess that’s just a personal opinion.

So basically Stephen King loves to write about writers.  He’s shown this time and time again, and I’m not even going to make a list of books in which he proves this, because it’s been done too many times before by better people than me.  So just imagine I just listed a bunch of examples, and you’re really impressed with my knowledge of film and literature.  Does Stephen King put himself into these roles?  I don't know, that would be kind of creepy but I guess that's what I would expect from the director of Maximum Overdrive.  (Did anyone else hear that reference in Pineapple Express?  Great movie, by the way.)

Misery is so good because it's so over-the-top, with Kathy squealing like a pig and hobbling Paul's legs, a horny old couple who are actually pretty cute together, and (in the book) a pretty interesting re-write of Paul's original ending to Misery's story.  That's the whole point of the book, Annie is Paul's #1 Fan and she wants him to rewrite his last novel so that Misery doesn't die.  I'm sure there are many Harry Potter fans who wish they could pull a similar trick with J.K. Rowling, especially those slashers and Harry-Hermione-shippers.  And really thinking about  it, there are a lot of movies and books that I would want the endings changed to.  Not saying I would kidnap the artists involved, but interesting concept nonetheless.

I think the more horror movies I watch, the creepier my personality becomes.  Or maybe I was just always like that.

The greatest contribution this film has made in my life is probably Annie always calling Paul a "dirty-birdie."  I love it.  My sister and I say it all the time, it's a great insult when you're in front of your parents.

Oh, and back to the hobbling thing.  That is sick.  I know people freak out when they watch it in the movie, and for those who haven't yet seen the film (because I know after you read this blog post you'll rush out and rent it), I'll explain: she puts a cinder block between his legs and hits each foot from the outside with a sledgehammer, effectively breaking his legs by bending them around the block.  Just watch it, it makes sense.

But in the book I think it's worse.  She chops off his thumb and foot with an axe and then goes crazy even further, and the ending is truly terrifying.  For a non-supernatural story, King does a pretty darn good job.

But what do I expect from the guy who wrote about a killer clown-spider-thing who tries to kill John-boy Walton and Jack Tripper?


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