is a novel written by Stephen King
Gary Ambrose "Jonesy" Jones, Pete Moore, Joe "Beaver" Clarendon and Henry Devlin are four lifelong friends
. As kids, they saved Douglas "Duddits" Cavell, a boy with Down syndrome, from a group of bullies.
As adults, they go on an annual hunting trip where they come across a delirious stranger talking about lights in the sky. It becomes revealed that he's infected by an alien parasite. The army arrives led by the psychotic Colonel Abraham Kurtz who puts the area under quarantine. As the infection develops, the plot thickens.
Was made into a film directed by Lawrence Kasdan
The novel and film provide examples of:
- Adaptation Dye-Job: In the book the minor character Trish had brown hair; in the film she has blonde hair.
- Adaptation Name Change: The film changes Kurtz to Curtis because of the Apocalypse Now/Heart of Darkness reference. King asked them to change it to a name that still sounded similar to Kurtz.
- Adaptational Heroism: Well, not heroism per se, but Henry was kind of a jerk in the book (of the intellectual persuasion), but not so much in the film.
- Affably Evil: Mr. Gray
- The Alcoholic: Although he attempts to deny it, Pete is definitely one.
- Alien Invasion
- Anyone Can Die: Beaver and Pete both die in the first half of the story. By the end of the book, Jonesy and Henry are the only surviving characters.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Between Mr. Gray and Jonesy.
- Body Horror: The aliens are referred to as "shit-weasels". Guess where they come out of infected people. Later on, Kurtz is infected by the Byrum, and it grows on his face like a mold infestation that's squeezing and cracking his skull.
- Canon Welding: Takes place in the fictional town of Derry, Maine, the site of previous King novels IT and Insomnia. At one point a character comes across a memorial written by the Loser's Club from IT. Scrawled on in graffiti is "PENNYWISE LIVES''.
- Evil Brit: Mr. Gray speaks with a British accent in the film.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: The animals are seen fleeing in mass migration.
- The Extremist Was Right: Kurtz. Doesn't make him any more likable, though.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Mr. Gray's head explodes, infecting Jonesy with hundreds of alien spores and transferring Mr. Gray's consciousness into him.
- Fartillery: One of the signs that you're infected with one of the shit-weasels.
- General Ripper: Kurtz.
- Going Native: Jonsey tempts Mr. Grey with this several times after seeing how much he enjoys human senses and emotions. Mr. Grey, for his part, seriously considers it several times, but cannot bring himself to go againsts his species' Hive Mind. Just before he is killed by Jonsey, Mr. Grey Laments that he should have accepted Jonsey's offer.
- Groin Attack: This is how one character dies in the novel (it happens to a different character in the film version).
- The Heart: Duddits
- Humans Are Special: Mr. Grey mentions several times how Humans have put up more resistance against them than any of race they have assimilated. In the end, it is revealed that over half of the human population is naturally immune to the Byrus.
- Humanity Is Infectious: Mr. Grey quickly realizes this, as he is tempted several times (and nearly accepts) by Jonsey to abandon his mission to infect the world and simply enjoy experiencing all the human senses and emotions. While he refuses, by the end of the novel he gradually grows, speaks and acts more human.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Duddits is of the Type C variety.
- Nobody Poops: Subverted horribly.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Mr. Gray plans on infecting the entire world.
- One-Winged Angel: In the film, both Mr. Gray and Duddits are able to transform into monstrous creatures a their 'final form'.
- Puppeteer Parasite: Mr. Gray to Jonesy.
- Race Lift: Kurtz is played by Morgan Freeman in the film.
- The Rainman: Duddits.
- True Companions: Jonesy, Henry, Pete, and Beaver are this, along with Duddits.
- Sad Clown: Beaver turns out to be this, when he tells Jonesy that "he has to be happy for the rest of them".
- Sense Freak: Mr. Grey, in Jonsey's body becomes this, his race of "sentient mushrooms" having never experience human emotions and senses like taste and anger. It takes a dark turn when Mr. Grey realizes how much he enjoys killing people.
- Shoot The Fuel Tank: how Henry blows up one of the two Hummers to kill the final shit-weasel. Double-subverted, since at first nothing happens and Henry even laments that in real life this kind of thing apparenty doesn't work the way it does in Hollywood movies, but then fuel tank explodes after all.
- Shout-Out: Kurtz is named after the character Apocalypse Now and Heart of Darkness. Lampshaded with a comment that it's probably not his real name and probably something that he decided to call himself.
Perlmutter had read Heart of Darkness, had seen Apocalypse Now, and had on many occasions thought that the name Kurtz was simply a little too convenient. He would have bet a hundred dollars (a great sum for a non-wagering artistic fellow such as himself) that it wasnít the bossís real name-that the bossís real name was Arthur Holsapple or Dagwood Elgart, maybe even Paddy Maloney. Kurtz? Unlikely. It was almost surely an affectation, as much a prop as George Pattonís pearl-handled .45.
- The government nickname for the alien fungus is "The Ripley" after Sigourney Weaver's character from the Alien movies.
- Jonesy is also the name of Ripley's cat from Alien.
- And Duddits's love for Scooby-Doo (despite not being able to pronounce the theme song's lyrics).
- Sympathy For The Devil is Kurtz's anthem.
- Spock Speak: Mr. Grey at first. He loses it and speaks more naturally as time goes by and he experiences more of Jonsey's emotions.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Mr. Gray loves BACON.
- Unexplained Accent: In the movie, Jonesy speaks with a British accent whenever Mr. Gray is controlling him for some strange reason.
- Vagina Dentata: The mouths of the "shit-weasels" in the film give this impression; as a whole they look something like a lamprey from hell.
- Vorpal Pillow: How Mr. Gray is killed.
- Water Source Tampering: Mr. Gray's plan of spreading the alien infection.
- Your Head A Splode: Mr. Gray's head explodes early on to infect Jonesy with his spores. Later on, Kurtz's head is blown off with a gun.