Monday, 9 August 2010

The Stand (1994)

A faithful television adaption of Stephen King's classic goes off the rails at the end with a questionable new twist.

With the fate of the last few survivors of a global superflu at stake, the miniseries ends with former rock musician Larry Underwood (Adam Storke) facing off with Satanic foe Randall Flagg (Jamey Sharidan) in Las Vegas. Only in this version, it's a fight to the death.... with dueling guitars!

In an awkward flashback, it is revealed that the pandemic was caused by Underwood selling his soul to Flagg at midnight at a Louisiana crossroads. In exchange for a (ironically brief) taste of stardom, the New Yorker signed a contract in his own blood giving the Devil "anything he desired."

Even this might have been acceptable had the producers stayed with the traditional blues motif. However, with a duel featuring songs from such late-80s pop-metal bands such as Ratt and Skid Row, every last inch of dramatic seriousness is drained from the scene.

So for all you aspiring directors out there, remember. While a little Winger might go fine at your 20th Year High School Reunion, it's probably not a good idea for your first feature.

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