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Stephen King's Desperation
Approx. run time 180 minutes
Creator Stephen King
Written by Stephen King
Directed by Mick Garris
Produced by Bruce Dunn
Mick Garris
Stephen King
Mark Sennet
Kelly Van Horn
Starring Tom Skerritt
Steven Weber
Annabeth Gish
Shane Haboucha
with Ron Perlman
Editing by Patrick McMahon
Music by Nicholas Pike
Budget $12 million
Country United States
Language English
Original channel American Broadcasting Company
Release date May 23, 2006 (2006-05-23)

Stephen King's Desperation is Stephen King's television movie adaptation of his own novel of the same name, which was filmed in 2004 and broadcast in 2006. The film is directed by frequent King collaborator Mick Garris and stars Ron Perlman as Collie Entragian, Tom Skerritt, Steven Weber and Annabeth Gish. Filming primarily took place in Bisbee, Arizona, in the nearly deserted Lowell borough, with other sequences in Old Bisbee, the outskirts of Bisbee and Tucson, Arizona. During filming, a set in the Tucson Convention Center (TCC) caught fire. Five people were injured. The fire destroyed everything on the set, including all production gear and equipment, and the TCC was heavily damaged.[1]

The film closely follows the plot of the novel and has received moderate reviews, including a 46 rating from Metacritic.[2] Though originally intended as a two-part miniseries, Desperation aired in its three-hour entirety on May 23, 2006, on ABC, after a red-carpet premiere screening at Tucson's historic Fox Theatre (built in 1929). ABC aired Desperation at the same time as Fox's American Idol, an action that King himself was upset with;[3] thus, it did not do well in the ratings. Even the bemused populace of Bisbee was torn between the two programs.[citation needed]



In the Nevada desert, a couple, Peter and Mary Jackson are driving just as they are stopped by a sheriff, Collie Entragian. He soon learns they are in possession of dope. In response, he takes them to jail. After they enter the police station, they see a little girl, dead, on the floor and Entragian shoots and kills Peter. Mary is thrown in a jail cell along with a young boy, David Carver, his parents, Ralph and Ellen, and an old man, Tom Billingsley. It's also learned the little girl is the Carver's daughter named Pie. In jail, David is praying to God and he's been doing it because of his best friend, Brian. David and Brian were riding bikes just as a crazy drunk guy in a car was coming towards them. David saves himself while the car hits Brian's bike making him fly. The car crashes and injures the man while Brian flies and smashes his face on a nearby house, causing David to pray for him, which works. The doctor at the hospital where Brian had to go called it a "miracilous recovery".

Meanwhile, Steve Ames is in his truck following famous author Johnny Marinville who is 50 miles up ahead. Steve soon picks up a young female hitchhiker named Cynthia Smith. Johnny stops in the desert to urinate just as Entragian shows up behind him and puts the same weed he got from Peter and Mary under Johnny's motorcycle seat and "arrests" him.

Later, David realizes Entragian's skin is breaking out and he keeps saying "Tak" because he is possessed. Entragian then takes Ellen so he can shift his spirit into her body and puts a vicious dog in charge of things. Pie's ghost appears and gives David a bar of soap. He proceeds to scrub his body with the soap and while the dog is distracted, David slips through the bars of the jail cell and gets out of the room. David searches the police station and finds a gun on the corpse of another sheriff. He returns to shoot the guarding dog to free everyone.

Meanwhile, Steve drives up to where Johnny was captured by Entragian to find Johnny's motorcycle hidden behind dry bushes. Cynthia and Steve later searches the town called Desperation where they find all the residents dead. That night, they both meet up with the gang. Everyone comes to a theater and Tom tells a story that took place 120 years ago when these Chinese workers that dug in a mine and discovered an evil spirit named "Tak". Just then, Ellen, now possessed, sends a mountain lion to kill them but it only kills Tom. Mary is captured by Ellen so that she can have a new body.

David sees the ghost of Pie in the theater again where she leads him to the movie editing machine revealing the truth of how Tak came to the town. Mary wakes up to find herself trap in a shed waiting to be the next host for Tak. With the help of Pie she manages to escapes while seriously injuring Ellen's body forcing Tak to take over the body of a crow.

Johnny later confesses 40 years ago in Vietnam he saw a guy possessed by Tak blew up a bomb in the bathroom of a bar killing 87 people. The group decides to return to the cave with some explosives they found to put an end to Tak. At the entrance the crow came out and killed Ralph. In order to redeem himself, Johnny goes into the mine and falls in a hole leading a small hole where Tak is. Johnny ignites it, blowing the mine while the rest of survivors drive away in Steve's truck.

Along the route driving away from the town, they pass by the RV vehicle owned by David's family and Peter's sister's car. Mary tells Steve to stop the truck to retrieve an overnight package from the car. In the back seat Mary finds an album belonging to Pie, which Steve identifies as being signed by Johnny.



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