31 Days of Horror: Day 14 Movie: Desperation (TV 2006)

October 15, 2010

31 Days of Horror, Robert Forto

Every year we have a tradition in the Forto house where we celebrate the greatest month of the year, October, with scare your socks off, hide under the covers, turn on all the lights, sleep with one eye open, fright fest, movie marathon every night of the month! We call it 31 Days of Horror

 

31 Days of Horror: Desperation

 

Day 14 Movie: Desperation (TV 2006)

As all of my rabid readers, friends and fans know by now, one of my favorite storytellers is Stephen King. Used to be, King would release these mini-series on TV, usually on ABC and they were multi-night fright fests at their best.

I am sure all of you have heard of the six degrees of separation, where everyone can be connected within six steps and there is a trivia game (seven degrees of Kevin Bacon) based on the concept of the small world phenomenon and rests on the assumption that any individual can be linked through his or her film roles to actor Kevin Bacon within six steps.

Frankly this is why I like King so much. I love how he intertwines the stories, characters and locations in a lot of his books. In fact we even showcase this on our yearly Halloween show on The Dog Doctor Radio Show

[Set a reminder for the Dog Doctor Radio Show: Halloween Special]

But lets explore this six degrees thing just a little bit shall we… Just yesterday I wrote about one of my favorite actresses, Drew Barrymore and her movie Poison Ivy (1992). In that movie, Tom Skerritt plays the object of Drew’s (character) desires.

 

Tom Skerritt

 

Tom is the man! Tom is probably the biggest B-list-Lifetime Network staple-busiest man in Hollywood. He has been in more TV movies and Saturday Night matinees than anyone that I can think of. He has over 155 films/movies/shows to his credit, including Top Gun, Alien, and Contact, just to name a few.

Trivia:

Stephen King’s original novel (Desperation) was released simultaneously with The Regulators, written by King’s alter ego, Richard Bachman. Though the story and location are different, many characters appear in both novels.

 

Book covers of Regulators and Desperation

 

Connection to other King works (citation: Wikipedia)

Cynthia Smith, the drifter who gets mixed up in the events of the novel after being picked up by Steve Ames, was a resident of the shelter Daughters and Sisters from Rose Madder. She mentions sustaining a broken nose in Norman’s crazed attack. There is also mention of ‘a baleful rose-madder glint’ in the eyes of a horse drawn on the wall of the movie theatre in which the group takes shelter.

In the novel, Ellen Carver mentions reading the paperback Misery in Paradise (presumably by Paul Sheldon, the main character in Misery).

Tommyknockers are mentioned during Tom Billingsly’s China Pit story.

In the film, a vision of David’s shows the words “redrum dog” (reversed to: murder god) painted in red upon the wall. This is a reference to The Shining.

Audrey Wyler tells an identical story about owning a rifle to a story told by George Barton Dawes in Roadwork, another story by Stephen King (under the pseudonym Richard Bachman). In Desperation Audrey says “The year I was twelve, my old man gave me a .22. The first thing I did was to go outside our house in Sedilia and shoot a jay. When I went over to it, it was still alive, too. It was trembling all over, staring straight ahead, and its beak was opening and closing, very slowly.” In Roadwork Dawes is thinking about .22 single-shot rifle he had as a boy. “He had wanted that rifle for three years and when he finally got it he couldn’t think of anything to do with it. He shot at cans for a while, then shot a blue jay. The jay hadn’t been a clean kill. It sat in the snow surrounded by a pink blood stain, its beak slowly opening and closing.” In both stories, the gun and the bird are identical, as is the detail about the beak ‘opening and closing’ slowly.

Toward the end of the film, John Marinville experiences a flashback to an incident in Saigon in which he fled from a bomber, and he realizes that Tak had been in the bomber. Following the revelation, he describes Tak as “It,” with a very strong emphasis on the word. This is a reference to the Stephen King novel It, which features an antagonist (Pennywise) possessing very similar abilities to Tak and having a similar “true form.”

Steve mentions that he lived and has family in Arnette TX, which is ground zero for “the super flu” from The Stand.

Plot: En route to Lake Tahoe for a much anticipated vacation, the Carver family is arrested for blowing out all four tires on their camper. Collie Entragian is the arresting officer, the self-made sheriff of a town called Desperation, Nevada, and the quintessential bad cop. Unbeknownst to the Carvers, Entragian regularly sniffs out passerbys on this stretch of road, and in fact has done in nearly every resident of his hometown. He can also change form and summon the help of creepy creatures, including scorpions, snakes and spiders.

This film is classic King and I love it!

What is your favorite scary an/or Halloween movie? I would love to hear from you!

Day 1 Movie: Trick ‘r Treat

Day 2 Movie: The Exorcist

Day 3 Movie: Nosferatu

Day 4 Movie: White Zombie

Day 5 Movie: The Serpent and the Rainbow

Day 6 Movie: Creepshow 2

Day 7 Movie: The House of 1000 Corpses

Day 8 Movie: The Blob

Day 9 Movie: The Devils Rejects

Day 10 Movie: The Shinning

Day 11 Movie: The Omen

Day 12 Movie: The Thing

Day 13 Movie: Embrace of the Vampire

Day 14 Movie: (Stephen King’s) Desperation

Robert Forto | Team Ineka | Alaska Dog Works | Mushing Radio | Dog Doctor Radio | Denver Dog Works

___________________

Dr. Robert Forto is a musher training for his first Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner and the host of the popular radio shows, Mush! You Huskies and The Dog Doctor Radio Show

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About robertforto

Robert Forto is the owner of Dog Works Training Company in Alaska, a canine behaviorist, mushin' down a dream, sports nut and radio show host. Robert writes a lot about his observations in Alaska, pop culture, music, and of course dogs!

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