Craig here with the Monday Monologue.
She can touch this: Annie says it's hammer time.
Annie Wilkes, you crazay beyatch. What you can do with a sledgehammer and a pair of feet is... is interesting, yes. It's inspired, sure - and so well researched; it's great that you spent all that time in secluded domesticity whiling away the hours not just re-reading old Misery Chastain adventures, but swotting up on creative hobbling techniques. Well done you. (Although what you do with a match, some lighter fluid and an old portable garden barbeque is just plain mean.) But what you can do with a potty-mouthful of bombastic dialogue can strike a person harder than any sledgehammer blow to the ankles. 'Sticks and stones' and all that, yes, but your words hurt, too.
So, Annie m'dear, you wander in to halt Paul Sheldon - mid-flow with your next Misery Chastain instalment - before he continues to write what you see, what you know, is unworthy of him ("this is all wrong, you'll have to start again") - and not before allowing yourself a sly touch of humour ("... apart from naming the gravedigger after me - you can leave that in") - to oh-so-forcibly explain the pitfalls of deceptive plotting:
Annie Wilkes: When I was growing up in Bakersfield, my favourite thing in the whole world was to go to the movies on Saturday afternoons for the Chapter Plays.
Paul Sheldon: [nodding] Cliffhangers.
Annie Wilkes: [shouting] I know that, Mr. Man! They also called them serials. I'm not stupid ya know... Anyway, my favourite was Rocketman, and once it was a no breaks chapter. The bad guy stuck him in a car on a mountain road and knocked him out and welded the door shut and tore out the brakes and started him to his death, and he woke up and tried to steer and tried to get out but the car went off a cliff before he could escape! And it crashed and burned and I was so upset and excited, and the next week, you better believe I was first in line. And they always start with the end of the last week. And there was Rocketman, trying to get out, and here comes the cliff, and just before the car went off the cliff, he jumped free! And all the kids cheered! But I didn't cheer. I stood right up and started shouting. This isn't what happened last week! Have you all got amnesia? They just cheated us! This isn't fair! HE DIDN'T GET OUT OF THE COCK-A-DOODIE CAR!
Paul Sheldon: [long pause] They always cheated like that in cl... chapter plays.
Yeah, get it right Caan - Mr. Man! Chapter plays. Chap-ter. Plays. Well, or serials. I guess it doesn't matter though - she told you. She told us, too. Of course these are William Goldman's words, by way of Stephen King, but Kathy Bates made Nurse Wilkes flesh and bone. Without the fusspot mannerisms and manic vocal inflections she honed to a tee in the role, Annie wouldn't have been half as enduringly fearsome (think about what the original actors suggested for the roles - Bette Midler and Gene Hackman - would've been like.) Ol' over-animated Annie does have a point though. Notsamuch with the kidnapping and breaking of bones and all-round generally murderous, demented behaviour, no, but with the being cheated in works of fiction thing.
Annie, via Goldman (the go-to guy for King adaptations), knows her stuff. It's right there in the way she - shaking her head and certain how right she is about it all - comes out with: "but I didn't cheer". It's in the knowing that implausible escapes won't wash with a savvy audience. And Annie was savvy enough - still discernible through her cloudy, haphazard ranting during the scene - to call the fictional writer of Rocketman (and the fictional King replacement of Sheldon - nay, all fiction writers) on this little dishonest nugget of plotting. Sheldon shouldn't be allowed to get away with such shoddy penmanship. Just 'cause you're tied to a bed, tortured and forced to write an entire novel from scratch against your will is no excuse for sloppy plotting.
Nurse Wilkes, you're taking the p**s, surely?
But it's perhaps ironic, and a bit of a shame, that the film's dénouement falls foul of its own instructions and has Annie do a 'come back from the dead' routine (after the nifty metal-pig-to-the-face bit). But then again, I always allow Misery this one minor stumble due to the fact that the killer-coming-back-for-one-last-attack thing most popularly refers back to Carrie (1976), which as we all know King was responsible for. (This was, of course, before the Scream franchise made parody of this whole thing, too.) If King "started" it, then he can surely shoehorn it into whatever story he sees fit. And, if anything, it's a testament to Annie's desperate, undying desire to see good writing restored to her favourite books. And what's really wrong with that? (If you ignore all that daft and unnecessary kidnap, torture and murder business. Tsk.)
So, Annie, despite your dirty bird ways, there was some method in your madness. You may be barmier than a bag of cats, but at least you tried to maintain some kind of quality control in your life. And couldn't you have 'come back' just one more time, to do a quick polish job on the script for Dreamcatchers? Lord knows it needed a woman's touch.
I'd write more, but I better wrap this thing up, post haste. There's a woman in the next room playing Liberace records at full volume. She just got back from the store (she was out of matches and lighter fluid), and if she discovers me writing this she'll make a right old oogie mess of it for sure.