King’s Halloween: The Dark Half (1993)

Tonight: The Dark Half (1993)

So this is an interesting one for me. I’ve seen the ending for this movie a few times. Never really had a context for it, just noted how similar it was to another movie ending.

I saw a scene with the Thad Beaumont and George Stark having their final showdown and George Stark getting torn apart by birds. Reminded me a LOT of the ending of The Crow: City of Angels where the Crow sends a storm of crows against the Judah Earl and he gets torn apart. The difference being in The Crow, they just used cgi to sort of warp him out of existence. This being a George C. Romero film, you actually see the birds tear off bits of flesh and bone until he is gone.

Now that you know the end, lets recap how we get there. It will be like one of those classy art films told in reverse order.

So Thad Beaumont apparently had a tumor when he was a kid that got cut out and buried. It got better. 23 years later. Thad Beaumont is a successful writer of crime novels, written under the pseudonym of George Stark. He builds the persona of George Stark as a writer who was in gangs and spent time in jail for murder, etc.

Thad gets tired of murder writing and decides to “kill off” George Stark(specifically after someone figures out his true identity and tries to blackmail him). Well, after taking pictures of Stark’s “burial,” George Stark pulls a Lady Stoneheart and pops out of the grave.

George Stark then goes on a murder spree wearing Thad’s face. Because he looks like Thad and has his fingerprints and DNA and such. So it brings Sheriff Yondu around to Thad’s doorstep accusing him of murder and offering Chocolate Covered Pretzels.

What follows is everyone trying to come to terms with the supernatural as the body count racks up.

Finally we get to the epic showdown between George and Thad making heavy use of sunglasses and hats to avoid too much use of crappy split screen. I mean they don’t have the HIGH CLASS technology that we have now with Gemini Man.

So apparently it ends with them having sort of a . . . write off? Thad starts writing the novel and then tries to out man George Stark by forcing him to come to grips with his inability to write. But George actually starts writing and stealing the lifeforce from Thad.

I really wonder if this is sort of how Richard Bachman was finally killed off.

Realizing his plan is about to fail, Thad decides to beat the crap out of George. But of course, George is a murderer. Sadly Thad doesn’t keep any pig statues around, so he has to stab George with a pencil and George falls down “dead.”

Then the bird scene I alluded to earlier arrives just in time to take George away after he does the “killer pops up for one last try.” We even get Sheriff E.Z. Ponder (look it up) to arrive and see the final demise of George Stark so Thad isn’t stuck with all the murders.

All in all, a pretty good movie. I recommend it, especially since this seems to be on of King’s lesser talked about movies.

Tomorrow: Well, we’ve explored King’s fear of getting killed by his fans, we’ve explored King’s fear of getting killed by Richard Bachman, now lets explore King’s fear of getting killed by the guy he plagiarized.

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