Sunday, 10 May 2009

The Stand (Part 1)

So with the advent of swine flu ending civilisation as we know it and being rather bored I decided to watch this magnificent epic again. For those unfamiliar with The Stand it is probably in, in my opinion, one of the finest books Stephen King has ever written (although its stable mates The Dark Tower and IT are also just as brilliant) and it deals with the apocalypse as bought about by genetically engineered flu.

Atchoo

The miniseries is a condensation of the book and as such only runs to 8 hrs in total, yes you did read that right the condensation runs to 8 hrs! I will review it in its loose parts the first of which deals with the plague and its decimation of American (and presumably) worldwide civilisation.

One day she WILL be mine.

The story starts out with terrific style, a standard US army base. A klaxon sounds. The gate guard panics and manages to extract his wife and kid. Has he escaped? What has happened? As the strains of “Don't fear the Reaper” spring up we see. The entire population of the base is dead of some virulent plague, dead at their stations, at their meals, at play.

Throughout this episode we meet Stu Redman, a simple man from East Texas and the first to encounter the Super flu or Captain Trips, the singer in trouble with the mob Larry Underwood and his despairing mother, the amazingly hot Fran (as portrayed by the amazingly hot Molly Ringwald (Molly call me I still could be yours!)), Harold Lauder a nerdy and unrequited poet with an irreconcilable crush on Fran and Nick Andros a Deaf Mute.

Swine flu or just Swines?

But its not that simple. As people start to die around them and the army and government try and fail to contain both the panic and the media these people start to dream. Of the Dark Man and Mother Abigail Freemantle. What does it all mean.

Hubba Hubba Hubba

Chaos descends on the entire country, people are dying and anarchy is rife, you cannot trust the Army and as Stu discovers The Government is just as bad.

Maybe its time to Stand and Be True. But where will they go? To the Dark Man or Mother Abigail?

I love this adaptation I'm sure it is clear to see although direction is pedestrian and the budget obviously is Mini Series sized it is so stylish and well written there is not much to dislike. Some of the acting is wooden sure but generally those people die so hey win there! I would only say that I would like to have seen more of the book make it into the miniseries. But if that was the case I would be two hours in and seeing the sniffle rather then 2 hours in an seeing the devastation.

Oh dear.... 

Overall if you fear Swine Flu see The Stand you really wont regret it.

Coming up: parts 2 – 4 these will be spoileriffic.

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