The Stand

release year: 1994 (TV miniseries)
genre: sci-fi/horror/drama
viewing setting: home DVD, 3/23/20 and 6/21/09 and 4/5/03

synopsis: A government-created superflu wipes out 99% of the world's population, and the survivors polarize into two distinct camps, led by (or seduced by) extreme good or evil.

impressions: I watched this apocalyptic, tangentially-religious TV miniseries most recently (March 2020) in the context of the coronoavirus epidemic, which made it timely and powerful. For historical notation, I actually watched it the first time while at home extremely sick with bad flu, thus it seemed like a good joke then. Anyhow...this TV movie, disc to disc and without any commercials, is a 6-hour undertaking. It's a classic story of good vs. evil, with numerous characters who flock to one side or the other. The choice is theirs and seems to be based on what sort of person they are. There are just enough horror or sci-fi/fantasy elements to keep things weird. This is undoubtedly one of the best adaptions of a Stephen King novel to get filmed.

things to watch for: The beginning portion, during which the virus spreads, is kind of creepy.

acting: Outstanding work from all the leads, including Gary Sinese, Molly Ringwald, Rob Lowe, Ruby Dee, Miguel Ferrer, and Jamey Sheridan as the Devil-in-human-guise. This is really more character-driven for the bulk of its running time.

final word: Good apocalyptic-survival drama.

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