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Friday, April 14, 2017

The Stand (1994) - Mark Garris


The Stand is a phenomenal Stephen King novel that was adapted into a pretty decent TV movie of the same title. It was released in 1994 and boasted a huge cast of stars and cameos. I had always been hesitant to see this film since it was a made-for-television picture. However, after watching Stephen King’s IT my hang-ups were put to rest. What I discovered is a movie that is charming, thought provoking and a bit unnerving. While it isn’t without it’s own issues. The Stand turned out to be a pretty great picture. 



A super-virus is released on the world that wipes out millions of people. This horrific act summons the demonic Randall Flagg to kick start the Apocalypse. However, there are a large number of those that were immune that are not going to let the world burn. They form a resistance and vow to take a stand against the evil forces of Flagg. 


The narrative interweaves the individual stories of a lot of different characters. The most impressive part of this flick is the huge cast. Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan, Laura San Giacomo, Corin Nemec, Ossie Davis, Miguel Ferrer, Matt Frewer, Adam Storke, Rob Lowe, Bill Fagerbakke, Max Wright, Shawnee Smith, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Joe-Bob Briggs, Stephen King, John Landis, Sam Raimi, Tom Holland, Kathy Bates and Ed Harris all round out characters and cameos. 

The movie isn’t made very well but has a large interesting story that makes up for the weak direction. Poor editing and lame acting are all factors. But like I said, the story is so epic, none of that matters. Jamey Sheridan did an amazing job as Randall Flagg. He was completely evil and it was glorious. He was definitely my favorite character. Well, it's a toss up between Flagg and Lloyd Henreid. Both are awesome. I just couldn't get behind the good guys. I took issue with most of them. I didn't much like the musician or Gary Sinise. 


The Stand may not be as overt as religious movies like the Left Behind series it still has huge overtones. Nick not being seduced by the Julie character is a scene that comes to mind. Or even Randall Flagg being the embodiment of a Demon or Satan. The good thing about this movie is that it doesn’t come off as preachy. It's more subtle. 


I genuinely liked this movie. I didn't find it scary in the conventional sense. However, the finality of the the world and the battle of good versus evil on the eve of the Apocalypse is upsetting. The Dark Man, Randall Flagg is the scariest part of the picture. Unfortunately, his demonic figure gets overused toward the end of the film. But it was still frightening. If you are a Stephen King fan and you haven't seen The Stand. Do yourself a favor and watch it. It's really long but worth dedicating some time. 

Director: Mick Garris

Producer: Stephen King
Starring: Gary Sinise, Jamey Sheridan, Rob Lowe, Laura San Giacomo and Miguel Ferrer
Studio: Laurel Entertainment and Greengrass Productions
Air Date: May 8 – May 12, 1994
Country: USA
Did ya Know: Mother Abigail's house and cornfield were constructed to full scale on a soundstage. Corn stalks were flown in from Florida for the sound-stage cornfield. By the time the corn got to the set in Utah, it was dead. Fake corn was constructed instead, costing nearly 80,000 dollars. Actors initially considered for the part of Randall Flagg: Christopher Walken, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum and James Woods. Ultimately, it was decided to give the role to a lesser known face.




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