A medieval reenactment troupe find it increasingly difficult to keep their family-like group together, with pressure from local law enforcement, interest from entertainment agents and a growing sense of delusion from their leader.
When Thad Beaumont was a child, he had an operation to remove a tumour from his brain. during the operation, it was discovered that far from being a tumor, the growth was a twin brother of Thad's that never developed. Years later, Thad is a successful author, writing his serious books under his own name, and his pulp money-makers under the pseudonum "George Stark". When blackmailed by someone who has discovered his secret, Thad publically "buries" George Stark. From that point on, Thad increasingly becomes the prime suspect in a series of gruesome murders. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The original novel mentions a character, who's never seen, by the name of Wilma who's catchphrase is "Just call me Billy." This is a clear reference to the character of Wilma in The Crate, a short story by Stephen King that was adapted by King as a segment of Creepshow also directed by George Romero. See more »
George Stark, Thad Beaumont's alter ego, was supposed to be from Oxford, Mississippi, which is in Lafayette County. The Mississippi license plate on his car incorrectly said Harrison County, which is on the coast of Mississippi at the opposite end of the state from Oxford. See more »
What's going on here?
Murder! You want some?
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In 1968, young Thad Beaumont has a brain tumor removed. It turns out to be an undeveloped twin. The sparrows swarm supernaturally. 23 years later, Thad (Timothy Hutton) is a college professor and a successful writer under the pen name George Stark. He's married to Liz (Amy Madigan) with young twins. Fred Clawson discovers that he's the secret pulp novel writer and blackmails him. His publishers accept killing off George Stark even with a fake tombstone. They try to publicize transitioning to the safer Thad Beaumont writing. Then the people involved start getting killed off by a mysterious figure and Thad is the prime suspect for Sheriff Alan Pangborn.
I like the basic idea and I think the movie is well made. However, a couple things keep bothering me. First, the whole idea of 'killing' off Stark doesn't make sense. Clawson's blackmail is based on the fact that it would hurt business. Yet they close up the Stark business themselves. A better reason has to be written to explain killing off Stark. It may be as simple as Thad being tired of the violent imagery.
The second is that I don't understand why the sheriff doesn't arrest Thad on that first night. It seems like he has enough evidence. It would be more compelling if he had less evidence. It would be more tense if the killer's face isn't revealed so early. They should stretch out the questions until the third act. The overall work is good. Timothy Hutton is a compelling lead. If only the movie could fix my concerns, this could be great.
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