Stephen King's It (1990)
Oh ho ho, this scene. I could write a thousand paragraphs and still have more to say about this scene... so of course I put this off this post until the last minute and am now having to rush through in order to get it done. So this'll have to be the Cliff's Notes version, I fear. Probably better for those of you not willing to read a thousand paragraphs (aka every single person on Earth) anyway.
I haven't read It since high school but I remember all of this seeming even more explicitly gay in the book - the teen boy hormones in King's books swing every which way, much to the excitement of this teen boy's hormones - but I'll be damned if it doesn't get across its gayness just fine with a couple not-so-subtle winks. The bullies pressing Stanley between them and pressing their knife in his face, then slicing the buttons off of his shirt one at a time. And the pipe! The pipe, man. What we've got here is essentially a teen boy being threatened with rape who is then saved by a bright evil light pouring out of a giant anus which then sucks his proposed victimizer inside. I could write a thousand paragraphs, I tell ya what.
But all that delightful symbolic bull-crap aside, this is just a scary effing scene ya know? It's one of the series' many moments that scarred me as a kid. There's so much good in It - of course everything with Tim Curry, but other stuff too (dear lord those fortune cookies!) - it's a shame we have to wander around with John Boy Walton for so much not good stuff. I still can't stomach Richard Thomas in anything because of it. Stupid ruiner!
Previous Ways Not To Die: An Arrow Up The Ass - The Numerous Violent Unbecomings of Olive Oyl -- Ack! Ack! Zap! -- Baby's First Acid Splash -- Chop, Drop and Sashimi Roll -- Forever Rafter -- Can't You Hear Me Now? -- Daisies Ways #5 - Harpoony Side Up -- Acid Dip -- On a Wing and a Prey -- For Standing in the Way of Sappho -- Busting Rule Number Three (For The Purpose of Number Two) -- Daisies #4 - Window Dressed To Killed -- Hands Off the Haas Orb -- Bullet Ballet -- A Single Vacancy at the Roach Motel -- A School Bus Slipped Thru The Ice -- Trache-AAHHHH!!!-tomy'd - For Mel Gibson's Sins -- A Wide Stanced Slashing --- Daisies Ways #3 - Scratch n' Snuffed -- The Victim of a Viscous Hit & Run -- Curled -- Kabobbed -- Daisies Ways #2 - Aggravated Cementia -- Boo! Nun! -- 2009's Ways Not To Die -- Bug Scratch Fever -- Daisies Ways #1 - Deep Fat Fried in My Own Unique Blend of 500 Herbs & Spices -- By the Yard End of the Stick -- Screwed From A Very Great Distance -- A Righteous Bear-Jew Beatdown -- Fisted By Hugo Sitglitz -- Xeno Morphed -- Fuck-Stuck -- A Vengeful Elevator God: Part 4 -- Lava Bombed -- The Cradle Will Rock... Your Face Off!!! -- The Food of the Nilbog Goblins -- The Slugs Is Gonna Gitcha -- Phone Shark -- Hide The Carrot -- Sarlacc Snacked -- Avada Kedavra!!! -- Hooked, Lined and Sinkered -- "The Libyans!" -- Axe Me No Questions -- Pin the Chainsaw on the Prostitute -- The Wrath of the Crystal Unicorn -- The Ultimate Extreme Make-Over -- Drown In A Sink Before The Opening Credits Even Roll -- The Dog Who Knew Too Much -- Don't Die Over Spilled Milk -- Inviting the Wrath of Aguirre -- An Inconceivable Outwitting -- The Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique -- Nipple Injected Blue Junk -- Your Pick Of The Deadly Six -- Thing Hungry -- Don't Fuck With The Serial Killer's Daughter -- DO Forget To Add The Fabric Softener -- Any Of The Ways Depicted In This Masterpiece Of Lost Cinema -- Rode Down In The Friscalating Dusklight -- Good Morning, Sunshine! -- Mornin' Cuppa Drano -- The Cylon-Engineered Apocalypse -- Tender-Eye-zed -- Martian Atmospheric Asphyxiation -- Maimed By A Mystical Person-Cat -- The Sheets Are Not To Be Trusted -- Handicapable Face-Hacked -- I Did It For You, Faramir -- Summertime In The Park... Of A Pedophile's Mind -- A Vengeful Elevator God: Part 3 -- Strung Up With Festive Holiday Bulbs By Santa Claus Himself -- A Vengeful Elevator God: Part 2 -- A Vengeful Elevator God: Part 1 -- Decapitated Plucked Broiled & Sliced -- Head On A Stick! -- A Trip To The Ol' Wood-Chipper -- Pointed By The T-1000 -- Sucking Face With Freddy Krueger -- A Pen-Full Of Home-Brewed Speed to The Eye -- Motivational Speech, Interrupted -- A Freak Ephemera Storm -- When Ya Gotta Go... Ya Gotta Go -- Hoisted By Your Own Hand Grenade -- Having The Years Suction-Cupped Away -- Criss-Cross -- Turned Into A Person-Cocoon By The Touch Of A Little Girl's Mirror Doppleganger -- Satisfying Society's "Pop Princess" Blood-Lust -- Done In By The Doggie Door -- Tuned Out -- Taking the 107th Step -- Rescuing Gretchen -- Incinerated By Lousy Dialogue -- Starred & Striped Forever -- Vivisection Via Vaginally-Minded Barbed-Wire -- Chompers (Down There) -- Run Down By M. Night Shyamalan -- Everything Up To And Including The Kitchen Toaster -- Sacrificed To Kali -- Via The Gargantuan Venom Of The Black Mamba Snake -- Turned Into An Evil Robot -- The Out-Of-Nowhere Careening Vehicle Splat -- "Oh My God... It's Dip!!!" -- Critter Balled -- Stuff'd -- A Hot-Air Balloon Ride... Straight To Hell!!! -- Puppy Betrayal -- High-Heeled By A Girlfriend Impersonator -- Flip-Top Beheaded -- Because I'm Too Goddamned Beautiful To Live -- By Choosing... Poorly... -- Fried Alive Due To Baby Ingenuity -- A Good Old-Fashioned Tentacle Smothering -- Eepa! Eepa! -- Gremlins Ate My Stairlift -- An Icicle Thru The Eye -- Face Carved Off By Ghost Doctor After Lesbian Tryst With Zombie Women -- Electrocuted By Fallen Power-Lines -- A Mouthful Of Flare -- Taken By The TV Lady -- Bitten By A Zombie -- Eaten By Your Mattress -- Stuffed To Splitting -- Face Stuck In Liquid Nitrogen -- Crushed By Crumbling Church Debris -- Bitten By The Jaws Of Life -- A Machete To The Crotch -- Showering With A Chain-Saw -- In A Room Filled With Razor Wire -- Pod People'd With Your Dog -- Force-Fed Art -- Skinned By A Witch -- Beaten With An Oar -- Curbed -- Cape Malfunction -- In The Corner -- Cooked In A Tanning Bed -- Diced -- Punched Through The Head -- Bugs Sucking On Your Head
Richard Thomas isn't the only thing that ruins "It." Not changing King's lame original ending, for example. Really? After 600 pages of awesomeness, the best he could come up with is a giant spider? It's like some really awful 50's sci-fi ending because he couldn't think of anything better.
Forgot about that scene. Thanks for the homoerotic flashback. The only non Tim Curry scene I remember from that mostly train wreck of a mini series was John Ritter delivering the immortally cheesy line: "Is that you in there Bev, or is it the damn clown?"
This scene was my introduction to the wonderful world of homoerotic subtext. Of course, I didn't notice it the first time I watched it, because I was five and utterly terrified, but I picked up on it pretty quickly after that.
I remember this scene triggering something really scary for me as a tween, and it wasn't the horror aspect responsible. I was around the same age as the cute guy playing Stan as a kid, and seeing him all sweaty and in peril, well, it turned me on. I didn't know that was what was happening...I just felt an amorphous, dark blob of emotion that I knew was not a normal reaction to the scene. It's fascinating to reflect on it as an adult and to realize all the emotions that were at work.
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