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?