Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Horror Classics: Misery

We ain't never seen this movie. It is one of Stephen King's creations, Misery from 1990.

BOOM. Nailed it!
Typewriter. "Hipster," Isaac says. Champagne. Yum. He lights his cig with a match. He drives a Jaguar and lives in snowy mountains. James Caan speeds down the snowy mountain roads in his fancy car. His manuscript is contained in a briefcase. If this were in the modern era, he could just email that shit in. Oh, William Goldman wrote the screenplay. Uh-oh, Caan starts to slide and goes off a cliff. The car lands upside down in the snow. Isaac says, "It's uncredited, but Rob Reiner plays the car."

Flashback: in his agent's office. Misery's Child was whatshisname's first book. He hates the character, but it put braces on his daughter's teeth. He's killing her off. He's off to Colorado to write something he can be proud of. Somebody breaks him out of his crashed car in the snow, and does what I'm pretty sure is unnecessary CPR in the snow. The person (who is Kathy Bates, duh), fireman carries him away from the accident. Two days later, Caan wakes up in Kathy Bates' house. She's given him some kind of IV. Her name is Annie Wilkes. She's a nurse. She puts some pills in his mouth. She's got a serious cross necklace on. The room he's in doesn't have much furniture. Later, she takes his IV out because  he apparently doesn't need it anymore. Is she wearing long culottes? She gives him more pills "for your pain." He thanks her. She claims she couldn't bring him to the hospital because of the blizzard.

Annie's got a turtleneck on under a denim jumper. It's awesome. The author's legs are super fucked-up. She'll take him to the hospital when the roads clear up. Editor or agent or whatever Lauren Bacall calls the police in Colorado, looking for whatshisname. Paul Sheldon. Silver Creek Lodge is where he goes to write. His daughter hasn't heard from him and they're a bit worried. The sheriff's going to look into it.

As she shaves him with a straight razor, Annie tells Paul she was basically stalking him at the lodge. She calls him a literary genius. There were eight Misery novels. She claims the phones will be up again soon. Kathy Bates looks so young here. She wants to read his manuscript and he says she can. She keeps giving him "Novril," which is probs a fake medicine/date rape drug. She doesn't want to make him feel "oogy." Isaac thinks that that's one of Mike Wazowski's girlfriend's affectionate names.

The sheriff shows up at the lodge to ask about Paul. The proprietor thinks he's probably fine, just taking his time driving back to New York. As Annie feeds Paul tomato soup, she says she doesn't like the swearing in his new book. He says it's about slum kids and he was a slum kid and that's how they all talk. She gets mad and spills soup and yells about how not everybody swears. "Sometimes I get so worked up. Can you ever forgive me?" He's starting to look scared. She says she loves him and his mind. Creepy. The sheriff and his wife are driving along. The sheriff sees evidence of an accident and tries to walk down in the snow. He falls in. He and his wife decide to go to some newspaper office. Annie drives by, sinisterly. Annie went to town and claims that the road to the hospital isn't open. They'll send an ambulance later. She says she called the agent and she will tell her daughter he's okay. He's missing her birthday. He's figured out that he's not a patient but a prisoner. Annie's rereading Misery's Child, which she picked up in town. She calls it "perfect." I'm not sure she'll be happy about him killing off the main character so he can stop writing this series.

A big brown, fuzzy pig bursts into Paul's room. Her name is Misery. Annie snorts at the pig, teasing. Then she snorts at Paul. Later, she talks about her husband leaving her. "Night shifts can be lonely at the hospital." She read the Misery books there. He hands off his pee bottle to her. She talks about marriage, gesturing with his pee container. OMG he is so fucked. It's night. Annie comes in and calls Paul a "dirty bird." She yells about Misery (the character) being dead. She died of childbirth, it happened a lot in 1871. She calls Paul a murderer. She breaks some shit. It is scary. Misery isn't real, but she doesn't seem to understand that very well. She tells him no one's coming for him or knows where he is. If she dies, he dies.

She drives away to cool off or something, apparently. Isaac says she's going to listen to some Kanye and drive around in the mountains. I wish! As soon as she drives off, Paul pulls himself out of bed and tries to army crawl with his one good arm. He's so screwed. He gets to the door, and it's locked. FOILED. A newspaper story asks "Where's Paul Sheldon?" The sheriff has an amazing sweater/giant hat combo. He and the FBI totes know what they're doing. No charges on Paul's credit card after the lodge.

Annie helps Paul back into bed. He's in a lot of pain. He's all broken still. Annie has so many great turtlenecks. She's got a surprise. Her thoughts are "muddy." She couldn't remember everything on the witness stand in Denver. What? She prayed to god. She knows what to do. He wants a snack. She brings in a barbecue and pours lighter fluid on his offensive manuscript. She tells him to light it. He claims there are more copies. There isn't. He doesn't want to do it. She knows there's only one. She's memorized his shit, knows he doesn't make copies and always finishes his books at Silver Creek Lodge. It's gonna get burnt, might as well help. She starts spraying lighter fluid on his blankets now. "Help me help you." Gotta get rid of this terrible abomination. He lights a match. "You're doing the right thing." He throws the match on the grill. It gets real burny and she starts freaking out. NO GRILLING INSIDE. She goes and gets a bucket, which Isaac claims is his piss bucket, and douses the fire.

Annie hears a helicopter. It's the sheriff. He sees the Wilkes farm, but no Mustang, so they turn back. Annie gives Paul Novrils to take. Might as well, there's no reason to be awake. He puts them under the blankets instead. TV dating show. Lady with giant hair. Dude with mullet. Annie eats Cheetos and has a 2-liter of Coke. Paul eats off a tray and cuts open the mattress with his fork to hide his pills in. Annie's gotten him a wheelchair and an electric razor so he can shave himself. OMG Annie is wearing a turtleneck under a flannel shirt under a denim jumper.

Annie's like, "You didn't mean it when you killed Misery." She sets up a table with a typewriter for Misery's return, a book dedicated to her. He's being pretty chill about everything, very cooperative, even with occasional snarks. She's got him fancy paper. The typewriter's missing an "n." He claims the paper gets smudgy, so she has to go back into town to get something different. It was expensive, but it still smudges. She seems kind of pissed. She's being really passive-aggressive. Now aggressive-aggressive. She wants more appreciation. She slams a box on his legs. Not cool. She calls him "Mr. Man" as an insult. Nice.

He's going to pick up a dropped bobby pin to use as a weapon or something, I guess. Oh, he's going to try to pick the lock with it. Isaac thinks Misery the Pig could be swayed to his side, but I am skeptical. She seemed pretty loyal to Annie. Paul drops the pin. Does he even know how to pick a lock? I don't, I'm just saying. Oh, apparently he does. There's an hour left in this movie and he still can't walk, so clearly he can't get away yet. He finds the front door locked, apparently from the outside. He goes into a living room and finds that the phone is not even real. He refers to her as a "crazy bitch." Fact. He should probs get back in his room before she comes home. So much snow on the roads. What is this, fucking Minnesota? She has a ton of porcelain animal figurines. Paul barely saves a li'l penguin from hitting the ground. He puts it back on the table in the wrong direction. He finds her Paul Sheldon shrine: all the Misery books with an autographed picture of him. He goes into the bathroom and grabs some of the the red "Novril" pills, presumably to find out what they are. He tucks a pack in his pants. He can't fit into the kitchen in his wheelchair. Dude, no. Don't try to use your legs to get to the back door. She'll find you and do something real bad. Back door's locked. He eyes the knife block, but then hears her car coming. He fast crawls back to the chair as she comes up the driveway in her old-timey SUV thing. She's got his typing paper! He's so sweaty. Her church lady clothes are textbook. She drops a paper pack, which gives him a few seconds to re-shut the living room door. He goes back in his room, shuts the door, and tries to lock himself back in. Annie says, "Your color is very hectic." He claims he's sweaty because he's in pain and wants his pills.

He takes his pills. She says her genius needs his rest before he writes. She puts him back in bed. She leaves him a notepad for ideas. "I have faith in you, my darling!" She blows him a kiss and he "catches" it. SO CREEPY. He was hiding the pills under his tongue. The sheriff is back up in his helicopter and spots the Mustang. Another cop tells the media that Paul crawled out of the car and must be dead in the snow since anybody who found him would've taken him to the hospital. The sheriff notices that the door's been pried open. He knows he's not dead. His wife practically rolls her eyes, knowing he's not going to let it go.

Paul's made a little paper pouch out of a piece of paper and is emptying the pills into it. Is he going to use them on her? Later, he sits at the typewriter. He types "fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck." Is this a dissertation? Just churn some shit out, bro. Doesn't even matter. Later, Annie comes in and says that his work isn't worthy of him. She claims it isn't fair. She's got on overalls with another turtleneck. So great. She's describing some movie she liked at as a kid. Rocket Man. something about Misery being in the ground at the end of the last book and having to start there. Snow. He has sweet salmon-colored sweatpants. She likes something about a bee sting putting Misery in a coma and getting buried alive. She's so excited about romance! She's going to put on her Liberace records. Paul claims he likes him. He asks her to have dinner with him to celebrate Misery's return. NICE. She says it would be an honor. Our friend the sheriff's picked up all Paul's books. Mrs. Sheriff is sassy. "It's just that kind of sarcasm that's given our marriage real spice," he says to her, in an adorable way.

Annie's lace-collared dress is so terribmazing. They're eating at a table in the living room. A big cask of shitty-looking wine and some ketchup. She puts spam in the ground beef for her meatloaf. "Can't get this in a restaurant in New York." They're going to toast to Misery. Paul pours generous wine glasses. He says they should "do it right" and light candles. When she goes out of the room, he pours the pill powder into her glass. She comes back and they cheers to Misery and Annie. She manages to knock over her drink and spill everything. OOPS! But he's gaining her trust and can find more pills.

MONTAGE: Annie reads and scratches the pig, Paul types, and the sheriff reads up on Misery. So much snowing outside. Paul practices lifting the typewriter. Isaac: "hipster workout." It's raining, it must be spring. Annie's depressed about the rain. She loves him, knows he doesn't love her. "You'll never know the fear of losing someone like you when you're someone like me." The book's almost done and his legs are healing, but he claims he likes it there. She knows better. She's got a stubby handgun in her pocket. She thinks about using it. "I might put bullets in it." She walks out in the rain in her amazing robe and drives off to somewhere.

Paul gets out and steals the biggest knife from the block in the kitchen. The sheriff continues to read the Misery books. His wife is like, "Okay, whatever." While out of his room, Paul finds Annie's scrapbook. The most recent entries are news articles about his presumed death. He finds older news articles. A banker with her last name died. A nursing student killed before Annie took top honors at the same school. A pediatrician's death. How fucking many people has she killed? A baby. Two babies! The newspaper called Annie "Dragon Lady." She was arrested for some baby deaths, but apparently didn't serve any time? Later, in bed, Paul's practicing drawing his knife. Annie doesn't go in to check on him tonight, I guess. He got himself all psyched up for nothing. He slides the knife between the mattress and the box spring. "See you in the morning," he says. More rain overnight. He wakes up to see Annie, lit up by lightning. She injects him with something.

Pretty mountain morning. He giggles as he wakes up. She's there. Says she knows he's been out. She's strapped him down now. She finally noticed the penguin. "The penguin in the study always faces due south." She found the knife, too. She found his "key" in his pants. She knows he's been out twice, but I'm pretty sure it was more than that. She talks about "hobbling" him so he can never run away. She's got a huge sledge hammer and is going to fuck up his feet. SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT. She's fucked up his ankles HARD. "God, I love you." Dear lord. this movie is really fucked up (and good).

The sheriff notices Annie being crazy in town. He's got a hunch. He and his wife bicker in a cute way. More sass-on-sass ("spice") than actual arguing. The sheriff does library research and figures out who Annie is. He matches her cry of innocence in the paper to a quote from a Misery book. "Hi, pumpkin!" she calls from outside. Paul flips her off. The sheriff goes in to talk to the general store guy, finds out she's super into Paul and has been buying typing paper.

Paul sits inside and sighs. He sees the sheriff's car coming. Annie comes in and stabs him with the needle to sedate him and he tries to fight her off, but passes out. She hides him in the basement. "When are we going to develop a sense of trust?" she asks. The sheriff comes up to the door. He asks about Paul Sheldon, and she starts to recite facts. She lets him in. She tells the sheriff that God told her to become his replacement. Supposedly that's why she started buying writing materials. Apparently it's only been four weeks. She offers the sheriff some cocoa. She insists. The sheriff heads upstairs while she's in the kitchen and finds nothing. I love that Annie sleeps in a single bed. She finds him up in her room. She was probably trying to poison him, but he won't take the cocoa. He's so fucking suspicious. He hears something fall.

Paul moves around in the basement, knocking over the grill. The sheriff goes back in to check it out, asking if Annie's okay. He hears Paul yelling downstairs and finds the door to the basement. Annie shoots the fuck out of the sheriff. She's got two bullets in her handgun, one for Paul and one for her. Paul's on the ground in the basement, looking for a way out. She heads downstairs with a syringe and her gun. He claims he loves her too and slows her up. He says that Misery must have eternal life. They have to finish the book. He claims he can finish it by dawn and "give Misery back to the world." He stuffs some lighter fluid into his sweats. He's been hiding a lot of shit in his sweats. He's just about done with the book. He needs a cigarette, matches, and a glass of Dom Perignon to finish his book. She goes out to get them. He's going to burn some shit down. He's almost done! She's so excited about the end of the book!

A tray with the cig on a doily and "Don Per-IG-non." She's holding her cigarette. He says they'll  need two glasses. He throws the manuscript down and pours lighter fluid on everything. He lights the manuscript and hits Annie with the typewriter. She only goes out for a second. She attacks. He fucks up her eyes a bit. She shoots him in the shoulder. Another shot hits nothing. Did she really only put in two bullets? Paul gets the upper hand and shoves the manuscript's ashes into her face. She gets up, but he trips her and she hits her head on the typewriter. He army crawls out of the room. She's baaaack! Her face is all bloody. She's on his back, but he manages to grab a pig statue thing and get her in the head again. She passes out again. They're right by the front door.

18 Months Later. New York. Paul, in a suit with a cane. He meets up with Lauren Bacall at a fancy restaurant. He's got a new novel. Not a Misery book. He says he "wrote it for me." "In some way, [it/she] helped me." The agent suggest he write about the experience. He doesn't want to. He knows she's dead, but sees her everywhere. He's terrified of all lady fans because they turn into her in his mind. NICE.

That movie was very good! And fucked up! A basically a feminist opus, is what I'm saying.

IMPORTANT ADDENDUM: I did not even realize that James Caan was ALSO in The Godfather as Sonny "Terrible Decisions" Corleone until I started doing Google image searches for this movie. THE MORE YOU KNOW THE MORE YOU KNOW THAT EVERYONE WAS IN THE GODFATHER BUT IS UNRECOGNIZABLE TO YOU IF YOU WERE NOT ALIVE IN 1972 AND DIDN'T WATCH THEIR YOUTH FADE AT THE SAME RATE AS YOURS.

1 comment:

  1. I love the fact that this book is based on the way Stephen King saw his fans in the 80's. I think he had a stalker he based this character on.