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FAQ Contents

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Firestarter can be found here.

Nine-year-old Charlene "Charlie" McGee (Drew Barrymore) has the ability to start fires with her mind thanks to an experiment in which her parents were given a chemical called LOT-6 when they were in college. The experiments were conducted by a secret governmental organization known as the "Shop", and the Shop is super interested in studying Charlie's ability for use as a military weapon. When they go so far as to kill Charlie's mother to get at Charlie, her father Andy (David Keith), who has the ability to influence minds, takes Charlie on the run. Not to be deterred, the Shop sends "exterminator" John Rainbird (George C. Scott) to apprehend and bring them in, at any cost.

Firestarter (1980) was written by American horror novelist Stephen King. The novel was adapted for the movie by Canadian-born screenwriter Stanley Mann. Firestarter was followed by a made-for-TV sequel, Firestarter 2: Rekindled (2002).

In the novel, Dr. Wanless (Freddie Jones) describes Lot Six as "a synthetic copy of a pituitary extract, a powerful painkiller-hallucinogen that we did not understand then and that we don't understand now." One thing they do know, he says, is that "Lot Six somehow changed the physical composition of the pituitary glands of those who participated in the experiment" and that "Lot Six was responsible in some way for the occasional flashes of psi ability that nearly all human beings demonstrate from time to time."

According to the novel, the Shop is really the Department of Scientific Intelligence. They claim to be involved in domestic scientific projects related to national security, e.g., electromagnetic energy and fusion power, but they're also conducting secret experiments on people with certain parapsychological abilities that might be useful as weapons.

Andy forces Captain Hollister (Martin Sheen) to get a message to Charlie, telling her to meet him in the stables at 8 PM. Charlie shares this good news with her friend John. When Andy and Charlie meet in the stables, John is already there, hiding in the loft. Charlie is glad when she finds that John is there, but Andy has been warned by Hollister that it was John who shot them and who has been tricking Charlie to cooperate. Charlie threatens to burn down the stables, but John warns that she'll kill the horses, so she backs off. Charlie begins to climb up to the loft but Andy pulls her down. He then forces John to jump, but John shoots Andy in the shoulder as he lands. He then turns the gun on Charlie, but she burns bullet, gun, and John. With his dying breath, Andy tells Charlie to burn down the Shop so that they can't do anything like this again. As the barn begins to flame, Charlie frees the horses and heads outside where she sends fireball after fireball, burning everything cars, helicopters, and buildings. Shop agents try shooting her, but Charlie burns the bullets before they even reach her. When the entire compound is on fire, Charlie walks away, saying, "For you, Daddy." In the final scene, Charlie arrives at the Manders' farm. Norma (Louise Fletcher) takes Charlie into her arms and Irv (Art Carney) is shown accompanying Charlie into the New York Times building, presumably to go public with her story.

No. This is one movie in which Stephen King does not have a cameo.


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