Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Stand (1994) - The Plague

"This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang, but with a whimper."

This quote basically sets up the next 6 hours of glorious film.  I am such a sucker for end of the world stories.  Zombies, plague, rage, I don't care (except spontaneous suicide because that's just stupid)

This episode/portion kind of covers the way the plague is effecting everyone all over the country, while at the same time introducing us to the characters appearing throughout the film.  

The first part of The Stand kicks off with an less than stellar employee manning the front gate of an army base.  He's informed that there's a contamination breach with some crazy virus and instead of closing the gate as instructed, he grabs his wife and kid and gets the hell out of there.

He gets as far as Arnette, Texas when he wipes out the pumps at a gas station and bites the bullet, along with his wife and kid who are already dead.  The government catches wind of this and shuts down the town of Arnette, shipping everyone involved in the crash off to a disease control center in Vermont.

The head of the Arnette crew is the ever-so-sexy Stu Redman (Gary Sinise)  He's chillin out in Vermont, not sick, while everyone croaks all around him.  Meanwhile, pop star Larry Underwood (Adam Storke) shows up at his mom's in Queens, hiding from his $40K debt in California.  Fran Goldsmith (the lovely and talented Molly Ringwald) is in Oqunquit, Maine with her dad, chasing off the advances of Harold (Corin Nemic)

Deafmute Nick Andros (Rob Lowe) is in Shoyo, Arkansas getting the shit kicked out of him by a bunch of thugs.   Lloyd Henreid is driving around Arizona with his partner Poke, kicking ass and taking names.  We even get introduced to the Dark Man himself, Randall Flagg (Jamey Sheridan)  Although I love the casting choice on this one, I do have a secret wish that they cast Rutger Hauer.  Was he busy or something? ;o)

If you've read the book or even seen the previews, you know that the world is pretty much screwed from this point on.  All the main characters have dealt with loss, heartache, pain, and confusion and are now moving onto the next step....could it be Hemingford Home, Nebraska?