Series: Storm of the Century

"Give me what I want and I'll go away..."

A 1999 television Mini Series scripted by Stephen King.

The worst storm in sixty years is about to hit the coast of Maine, but the people living on Little Tall Island have a bigger problem to deal with, for the Devil has come to town, and he's going to be having some fun today...

This miniseries contains examples of:

  • Accentuate the Negative: Linoge is accused of this by Mike, who claims that he's focusing on the sins instead of the good deeds. Linoge counters that the good deeds are mostly in his imagination.
  • Affably Evil: Linoge is polite and has a very pleasant bearing. He's also nice to children, especially Ralphie. He has one or two moments where he flashes some anger, but he spends most of the mini-series speaking quite reasonably and pleasantly to the people he's torturing.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Is Linoge capable of doing everything he said he can do, or was he bluffing? The movie never makes it clear either way.
  • An Axe to Grind: It's what Lloyd Wishman uses to kill himself.
  • Arc Words: "Give me what I want, and I'll go away."
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: See Linoge's quote at Dark Secret. Also, for all the sins he recounts, Mike's big secret is that he... cheated on a test to keep his scholarship.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Linoge does indeed "get what he wants."
  • Berserk Button: Never touch Ralphie without Mike's permission. This extends to all the parents when Linoge hypnotizes the kids and renders them comatose.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Linoge can manifest pitch-black eyes at will.
  • Break the Cutie: Kat Withers. First, she receives a Hannibal Lecture from Linoge, which reveals that she had an abortion, and that her boyfriend has been cheating on her in front of everyone in the store. After having a falling-out with her boyfriend, she is possessed by Linoge and kills him, only to find herself covered in blood when she snaps out of it. She's also the first person to notice that all of the kids are under the same spell, and has another Freak Out.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "Born in lust, turn to dust. Born in sin, c'mon in!"
    • "Hell is repetition" shows up in a few of Stephen King's other works.
  • Closed Circle: Once the storm starts, Little Tall Island is completely cut off from the mainland and civilization. The residents can't get away from Linoge and have to either accept his deal or let him kill them all.
  • Close-Knit Community: Little Tall Island. Invoked by Linoge, as such communities have an abundance of people with skeletons in their closets and a propensity to keep secrets, the perfect location to get what he wants.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: Ralphie
  • Dark Secret: Linoge says it best: "Your town is full of adulterers, pedophiles, thieves, gluttons, murderers, bullies, scoundrels, and covetous morons. And I know every last one of them."
  • Deal with the Devil: "Give me what I want, and I'll go away." They do and he does.
  • Dirty Coward: Kat accuses Billy of this when he harps on her abortion while completely ignoring his own infidelity. Linoge agrees with her when he cannot force Billy to bash Kat's head in. Instead, he makes Kat bash Billy's head in.
  • Downer Ending: Linoge gets what he wants, Mike loses his son and divorces his wife for going along with the lottery, Molly winds up in therapy (though she ultimately remarries), several people end up being Driven to Suicide out of shame for what they did or the Dark Secret they were hiding, and finally Mike gets to see his son after Linoge has corrupted him. Comes close to being a Shoot The Shaggy Dog Story.
  • Driven to Suicide: Linoge's preferred method of killing his victims, when he doesn't do it himself outright. Preceded, naturally, by Go Mad from the Revelation. As mentioned above in Downer Ending, a few characters kill themselves years after Linoge's visit since they can't live with their decision or their secrets anymore.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Linoge enters the story by beating an old woman to death, just so you know who the villain is.
  • The Everyman: Mike Anderson.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Andre Linoge.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: What happens to Angie Carver after she's kidnapped and given visions by Linoge. Her hair turning white isn't just from exposure to the snow...
  • Eye Scream: We're told that Martha's eyes were knocked right out of her head by Linoge beating her to death, and Mayor Beals is warned that Hell will consist of his eyes being eaten endlessly. The Dark Secret of one man that Linoge reveals is that he got in a drunken brawl and made another guy lose his eye. The ending shows that he willed what little money he had left after his wife divorced him to his victim before committing suicide. It also reveals that he gouged out his own eye beforehand to punish himself further.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: Linoge continually taunts Mayor Beals about how he'll go to hell and have his eyes eaten over and over again, as an ironic punishment for allowing his mother to die in truly horrible conditions. Considering everything else Linoge said was true, this may happen.
  • Glamour: Linoge's true form is that of a robed, elderly man. Most of the time, he masquerades as a middle-aged man in winter apparel.
  • Genre Blind: Molly turns her back on Mike and goes along with the town's decision to give Linoge a child. When Linoge chooses Ralphie, she breaks into unbelieving hysterics, clearly unaware that she was in a Stephen King story and that this result was eminently predictable.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We don't actually see Martha's face.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Linoge is capable of delivering these at the drop of the hat.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Mike's son Ralphie immediately starts bonding with Linoge and thinks of him as a new friend. Justified since 1) Linoge acts perfectly friendly towards Ralphie, 2) he doesn't make fun of his "fairy saddle" birthmark and 3) Ralphie is a small child.
  • Hostile Weather: The titular storm.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Mike. The worst secret Linoge has on him is that he cheated on a college test to keep his scholarship. Compare that to a town full of secrets about beatings, abuse, or corruption. Linoge even says as much, noting that Mike won't find much in the way of similar company on Little Tall Island. It's also worth noting that he's the only one who can walk away from the whole mess with a clear conscience, while everyone else will have to live with what they did.
  • Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: André Linoge's goal is to take one of the town's children to raise as his successor. Although he is an incredibly long-lived wizard/demon compared to a human lifespan, he admits that he is not immortal by revealing that he's actually a frail old man beneath his Glamour. He lets the townfolk decide which of their children he'll take or he'll wipe out the whole town. They eventually decide on the protagonist's son against his father's will.
  • Invincible Villain: Linoge may not be long for this world (by his own standards; he'll still outlive every human he meets by many decades), but that really doesn't matter. The town is completely incapable of stopping him and anything they do to him is solely because he lets them do so.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: "I'm a little teapot..." King certainly seems to like using this one, since it also appears in Rose Red.
  • Lighthouse Point: There's a lighthouse on Little Tall Island which featured prominently in trailers and promotional art, despite the fact no character in the miniseries ever interacts with it (except for one creepy segment with Linoge). However, it does get rather spectacularly toppled during the height of the snowstorm (a clear bit of miniature work), an event witnessed by most of the town which also leads to the disappearance and deaths of several characters.
  • Light Is Not Good: Linoge can create blinding white light with his cane, but it's hardly a good sign.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Linoge = le neige, the snow.
    • LinogeLegion
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: An idea to get rid of Linoge, suggested by Molly of all people.
  • Mayor Pain: Robbie Beals is an incredibly headstrong Jerkass. It's not until Linoge humiliates him in front of all the townsfolk that he loses his ego.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: When Linoge first arrives at the island, he beats an old woman to death for no real reason.
  • Our Demons Are Different: As mentioned below, it is heavily implied that Linoge is the demon Legion mentioned in The Bible. When Mike figures out the anagram, he relates the story of Legion to the people with him at the time, just in case the viewers can't figure it out for themselves.
  • Pedophile Priest: Linoge implies this about Reverend Bobby Riggins.
  • Play-Along Prisoner: The only reason Linoge even goes to prison is because he clearly felt like screwing with the town for a bit before getting down to business. He could just have easily waited quietly until the storm isolated the island. It also helps to establish that they have no way of stopping him.
  • Present Day Past: Part 2 contains a fairly blatant bit of Product Placement for a brand of Mac laptop that did not exist in the late '80s when the story is set.
  • Prophetic Names: Linoge = Legion, a Biblical demon.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: When he isn't forcing people to murder one another, Linoge is doing this. He threatens a psychic-assisted mass suicide should the town refuse him, though he implies at the end that this was a bluff.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Linoge's true form is a very old man. He actually admits that his plot is based on the fact that he is dying of old age, though he also states that compared to the townsfolk's "mayfly" like lifespans, he'll still be around long after the vast majority of them are dead (although he concedes that some of the teenagers might outlive him).
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mike's level-headed personality makes him a natural leader. Linoge even lampshades that Mike is one of the few people in town that could genuinely be said to be a good person, as opposed to most everyone else using the good as a coping mechanism. It also ends up alienating him from the rest of the townsfolk when they decide to sacrifice one of the kids.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Linoge does this occasionally.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Martha Clarendon's brutal murder is what sets Linoge's plan in motion.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • "Give me what I want, and I'll go away." Linoge wants a child, or he'll make the entire town throw themselves into the ocean, disappearing like the Roanoke civilization. They reluctantly give up a child at random, and Linoge twists the knife by implying that he was bluffing about the mass suicide.
    • Mike lampshades this when he wonders about telling Molly that he saw Ralphie with Linoge nine years later. He ultimately decides to keep silent.
      Mike: When every choice hurts, how do you know which is the right one?
  • Screw Politeness Im A Senior: Cora Stanhope, easily the most vulgar townsperson in the movie. Linoge forces her to drown herself.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: After losing his son Mike divorces his wife and quits his job as Constable. He leaves Little Tall for good, and never comes back.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Subverted. Mike tries to invoke this with Linoge, telling him that while everything Linoge knows about the town might be true, he's only focusing on the bad and ignoring the good. Linoge just laughs at Mike and tells him that the "good" is mostly in Mike's imagination.
  • Sinister Minister: The televangelist.
  • Stock Unsolved Mysteries: Linoge implies (via dream) that he had come to a small island once before to "get what he wants," only to drown all its inhabitants when they refused him: Roanoke. This may or may not be true.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: Courtesy of little Pippa Hatcher, upon slapping her mother's face. Granted, she was under Linoge's spell at the time...
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Suggested frequently. It's not until Linoge demonstrates his ability to Bullet Catch that it stops being a solution.
  • You Have to Believe Me: Averted in a Pet the Dog moment for Mayor Beals. While he is at first stunned and disbelieving about Davey Hopewell's claim that Martha Clarendon has been murdered, he takes the teenager's fear and shock seriously, getting him care and going to investigate.

Alternative Title(s):

Storm Of The Century