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Stephen King's Desperation
Stephen King's Desperation
Actors: Tom Skerritt, Steven Weber, Annabeth Gish, Charles Durning, Matt Frewer
Director: Mick Garris
Genres: Horror, Television, Mystery & Suspense
R     2006     2hr 11min

Cross-country travelers on an isolated highway are arrested by a corrupt sheriff and jailed in a desolate town whose streets are littered with the dead bodies of local residents. The captives manage to escape, only to dis...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Tom Skerritt, Steven Weber, Annabeth Gish, Charles Durning, Matt Frewer
Director: Mick Garris
Creators: Christian Sebaldt, Mick Garris, Bruce Dunn, Kelly Van Horn, Mark Sennet, Stephen King
Genres: Horror, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Horror, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Lions Gate
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 08/29/2006
Original Release Date: 05/23/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 05/23/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 2hr 11min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Member Movie Reviews

Reviewed on 9/4/2018...
Stayed at a 4/5 until about 45 minutes left, that's when the plot disappointment started.
Keith A. (Keefer522)
Reviewed on 8/25/2013... wife and I picked this up out of the bargain bin @ Walmart over a year ago and until last night it had never even been opened. There was nothin' on TV last night so we finally took pity on this lonely film, cracked the shrink wrap on it, and sat down to watch. About an hour into it, I was wondering why we bothered, and by the end, I was wondering what possessed me to sit through this overly long, talky, not-scary-in-the-slightest made for TV adaptation of one of King's lesser recent works in its entirety. (My wife fell asleep about halfway thru, and woke up just as it ended... I told her "don't worry, you didn't miss anything." Ron ("Hellboy") Perlman was fun to watch as the demonically-possessed smalltown sheriff but fun went right out the window any time he wasn't on screen. This was originally a TV mini-series covering four hours (the run time minus commercials is just shy of two and a half hours) but the whole thing could've easily been boiled down to one 90 minute film, IMO. I felt really burned because I could've watched TWO crappy movies last night in the time it took me to get through this thing.
Avoid, avoid, avoid!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL
Reviewed on 5/10/2011...
Desperation is an effective, if slightly flawed, adaptation of the Stephen King novel. The largest problem is the fact that this novel is tied into The Regualtors, a Richard Bachman Book (King's pen name used to write Thinner,The Long Walk,Blaze), but the film removes all references to it. A shame since the two books add a depth to the situation and expand upon one another in a very interesting way.

Mick Garris Stephen King's The Shining,The Stand,Riding the Bullet) is one of the few directors who understands how to translate King's material from the page to the screen.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Rae W. from KILLEEN, TX
Reviewed on 6/19/2010...
Not a bad rendition of Mr. King's book. Of course no movie so far has proven to be as good as the book. Ron Perlman does a superior job of playing Colly Entragian! Added this one to my DVD collection of Stephen King stories.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Stephen King's "Desperation" adapted for television...TAK!
Eddie Lancekick | Pacific Northwest | 12/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Stephen King's novel "Desperation" comes to life on the big screen with an all star cast that is led by Tom Skerritt. The dark desert saga is told very close within the novel itself and unlike other King TV adaptations, it seem to do a good job with portraying the mood and landscape that I discovered when reading the story a few years ago.

Desperation follows the tale of a variety of people who are traveling on a lonely open road through the deserts of Nevada. Slowly one by one, they are pulled over by a cop, and ultimately taken in to the jail that is a one stoplight town called "Desperation". As each person has a different experience with the highway patrolman, they all realize the same thing: This guy is more than just a dirty cop who plants evidence to haul them in. He's strange. Aside from him enormous figure, his skin looks like it is almost decaying, and in conversation he continually seems to suddenly include the word "TAK" in his sentences.

By the time a group of people are gathered at the jail, they have already experienced death and dismay. Who is this Collie Entragian, and why has he arrested them and brought them here? What is happening to his body? Why does he keep saying "TAK"? It is soon discovered, thanks to a little boy with a connection with god, that Collie Entragian is definitely more than meets the eye, and that the strange happenings in the China Pit mine nearby have a lot more to do with it than they realize. King's story explores themes of survival while at the same time using a simple plot of good vs. evil to lay out the foundation for the story. Mick Garris directs and despite accused botchings of past film adaptations from novels, doesn't do a bad job here. The key for the success of Desperation is that the viewer feel like Ron Perlman (playing Collie Entragian, the large, strange cop) is believable as one of the more poignant figures of the story. I think Garris did a good job here in showing that Collie was not only simply a large individual but somewhat of a jerk AND a smart alec when it came to the opening scenes of the movie.

Tom Skerritt is excellent as Johnny Marinville, a writer who is traveling cross country on a Harley Davidson when he is suddenly stopped by Entragian. Marinville gave up on god long ago, and is not buying the kid's (Shane Haboucha as David Carver) visions he receives at the jail when talking to his dead sister. Marinville soon realizes that he in fact experienced TAK back in the Vietnam War. TAK is, for lack of a better description, an entity of evil that was released during a mine cave in the early days of Desperations western development. Now it's up to this group of people to fulfill the wishes of a higher power and take on TAK, who by now is realized as a hideous "body snatcher" that commands the animals, reptiles, and insects of the desert at its whim.

The films does and excellent job in the cinematic landscape of Desperation. The old movie theater and jail within desperation were just as I had pretty much envisioned them when reading the novel. TAK is conveyed with all the power and darkness it can be, while the humanity and perseverance that lies within a group of strangers being thrust into a bad situation is conveyed well. The scenes of the wolves, dogs, spiders, snakes and other animals were also done well as it added to the impact of TAK's powers as well as the reminder of the isolated desert locale. The dialogue is changed somewhat to give it a whisk of modern day culture, which mostly comes from Marinville making references to everything from Adam Sandler to Ann Coulter. The music, filming and acting I feel save this from being a possible disaster. Compared to past botchings of King's novels when they come to the screen, Desperation works.

Desperation also stars Annabeth Gish and Steven Weber. Due to the film originally going to be a mini-series, it lasts 3 hours in its entirety."
Tak! Tak a lah!
Roland | 06/17/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Stephen King, as reknowned as he is, has a bad habit of recycling ideas for his books. Likewise, films based on his books, particularly the made for TV ones, are often nothing short of awful. Desperation has its moments, but is too muddy, too weird, and too saccarine sweet at times.

The film feels overly familiar to other King adaptations such as the Langoliers, IT and even the Stand. A group of sundry people are trapped in a Nevada ghost town and are at the mercy of a powerful earth demon or entity known as Tak, who dates back to an ancient, pre-Native American civilization. In the first half of the movie, Tak is played by the woefully underrated Ron Perlman, one of my favorite actors. Perlman chews up the scenery and seems to be enjoying himself. But the problem is that Tak can only inhabit human bodies for short amounts of time as they decompose rapidly, so Perlman isn't really seen in the second act. Lots of familiar actors and actresses show up, including Tom Skerrit as a Vietnam vet writer, Matt Frewer, Anabeth Gish and Stephen Webber. However, things get really muddled in the clash of good vs. evil. There are ENDLESS speeches and pep talks about God and christian faith, its really tiresome. However, the little boy who stands in for Danny from the Shining often finds himself asking if maybe the God he worships might be no less sadistic than Tak, so things aren't all black and white. The atmosphere of the town of Desperation is cool, but suffers from bad lighting. Probably the creepiest scene is a supernatural old film reel of how Tak was released from its ancient slumber.

Its too bad that there wasn't much light shed on what exactly is Tak trying to accomplish. It simply awakens, posseses people, controls animals and that's about it. It would also have been cooler if they delved a bit deeper into the ancient civilization that is connected with Tak. Oh well, if you're a King fan you might eat it up.

Stephen King is awesome! Tak a Lak
Chris S. Barbay | 11/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I read the book before I Purchased the Movie, which is always better, but the movie folows the book very closely from beginning to end. 2 people driving in a desert stopped by a demented cop, who plants drugs on them.They are taken to a jailhouse where others that were abducted are kept, and the story builds from there. Don't want to give away to much, but if you are an avid Stephen king fan, you will not be disapointed."