Welcome to the Kill Count, where we tally up the victims in all our favorite horror movies. I’m James A. Janisse and today, we’re looking at ‘The Mist,’ a 2007 Frank Darabont film based on a Stephen King novella… …that I actually managed to read in preparation for this video. ‘The Mist’ is Frank Darabont’s third Stephen King adaptation, after writing and directing both ‘Shawshank Redemption’ in ’94 and ‘The Green Mile’ in ’99. And after ‘The Mist,’ Darabont would go on to create ‘The Walking Dead,’ which is why you’ll find no less than four actors here who eventually wound up on that show. ‘The Mist’ tells the story of survivors trapped in a supermarket after a heavy fog rolls into town and encompasses everything around them… …cutting visibility down to nothing and hiding things that go bump in the mist. While that may sound like a simple monster movie, ‘The Mist’ spends more time examining how human beings react in moments of crises… …with a lot of philosophical and religious discussion to go around as the situation grows ever more dire. One last note, I initially watched this movie in the black-and-white version, because that’s how Darabont wanted it to be made and shown… …but I’ll be using the color print for this video because that’s the way it was released. And because, if the ‘Night of the Living Dead’ Kill Count’s views are any indication, y’all don’t give a damn about black and white movies. Alright, let’s get to the kills! The movie begins with a storm in the small town of Bridgeton, Maine. Local artist David Drayton takes his eight-year-old son Billy and his wife Stephanie downstairs to weather it out. Good call Dave, because this one’s a doozy, as evidenced by the giant tree popping in through the living room window that night. While surveying the damage the next morning, they find another tree has fallen and smushed their boat house. As they look across the lake they notice some smoke on the water, but luckily no fire in the sky. David walks over to his neighbor Norton, an attorney played by Andre Braugher, to exchange insurance info since it was his tree that broke his boathouse. Norton’s had a bad morning too, since the storm also claimed his prized car. David offers his condolences, even though they have a fraught relationship, Norton having sued David in the past over property boundaries. Man! Boat houses, prized cars, property boundary disputes? What kind of mist does a guy have to walk through to have those problems? Norton hitches arrived with David and Billy to head into town for supplies. On the way, they see a bunch of trucks heading to a nearby military base. “The Arrowhead Project? Any idea what they do up there?”
“Missile defense research? You know, I’m sure you’ve heard the stories.” Between that and all the radio stations and phones being down, something’s clearly gone wrong. Inside the store, we meet some of the ensemble cast. The most important are Ollie, an unassuming-looking guy who I promise you will love by the end of this movie… …and Mrs. Carmody, played by Marcia Gay Harden, who I promise you will hate with every fiber of your being. Others include Irene, an elderly schoolteacher, and her friend Hattie… …a trio of military dudes from Arrowhead including Private ‘Starkiller’ Jessup, who has the eyes for store employee Sally… …and Amanda Dumfries, Irene’s fellow schoolteacher who’s new in town. A military police officer shows up at the store to tell the soldiers that their leave has been cancelled, and after a bunch of emergency vehicles drive by, a siren goes off. [Sirens wail] Running to the store is Dan, Bridgeton’s very own Paul Revere. “SOMETHING IN THE MIST! SOMETHING IN THE MIST!” He tells them to shut the doors and stay inside, but one dude decides to run for his car instead. As the mist moves over the shopping complex, it engulfs everything in its path. Although we see a bunch of people down there, I’m only gonna count the dude who ran out on the Kill Count, because he had a line of dialogue and we hear him scream off screen. So, congrats, random guy! You’re our first kill of the video. A giant tremor shakes the store, knocking everyone over and destroying a good number of light fixtures in the process…. …and people immediately start theorizing about what’s going on. Ol’ grizzly bear Ambrose claims it’s some kind of chemical plant explosion, while Mrs. Carmody goes for a much simpler, tried and true classic. “It’s the End of Days!” One woman, played by Melissa McBride, says she has to get back to her kids she left at home. She implores them all for some accompaniment… “Won’t somebody here see a lady home…?” …but everyone diverts their eyes, so she leaves the store without them, heading off into the mist alone to go find Terminus–er, save her kids. Some time later, David heads into the back room to get a blanket for Billie, and finds the generator [The Mask impression] SSSMOKIN’! He’s all like, [The Mask voice continues] ‘SOMEbody should STOP this!’ so he turns it off… …but on the was way back he hears some really loud creaking and sees the loading dock gate get bumpin’. He asks Ollie and these two mechanics, Myron and Jim, if they heard it, but they just think he’s hearing things in the dark. They’re joined by another store employee Norm, who I didn’t mention earlier because I figured everybody knows his name. They all head to the back room, where Myron says something’s blocking the generator’s exhaust port on the outside, so Norm volunteers to go out there and unblock it. David tries to stop him, but Jim calls him a big old sissy. They open the gate a bit, and while they’re laughing at David’s sense of caution, a tentacle slithers in and grabs Norm’s leg, tripping him to the ground. David tries to save him as the mechanics freeze in fear, and the tentacles rip skin from Norm’s leg and neck. Ollie’s a G, though, and grabs a fire axe, but before he can bring it down on the tentacle, Norm is pulled away. The tentacles keep on comin’ like popups on a hentai site, and Norm is dragged out to his death offscreen for our second kill of the movie. When David and Ollie get the gate closing again, the tentacle start to retreat, but David breaks him off a piece of that squid-like arm and closes out a wonderful action-horror sequence. After David rightfully punches Jim in the face for getting Norm killed, they come out of the back room and David changes his shirt while talking to Amanda. Girl, she don’t mind! The fellas are all shook up, mm mm mm, when they realized the entire front of the store is plate glass. So they start doing what any good American does in times of stress, drinkin’ beer. They try to recruit Norton to help them warn everyone since he’s a big-shot, respectable attorney…. …but he doesn’t believe them one bit, thinking they’re playing a trick on him since he’s an out-of-towner, and as payback for the time he sued David. Their little spat attracts the attention of everyone else in the store, including owner Bud, who threatens to write down everyone’s name for drinking the store’s beer. “Write down your names.”
[Bud] “I will.”
“And in the meantime, shut the fuck up and listen.” David tells everyone how something out of the mist took Norm away. There’s obviously skepticism, but David takes Bud and this biker dude to the back and shows them the tentacle… …which reacts violently after a poke and then turns black and starts smoking, before dissolving away into nothingness. That’s proof enough for Bud.
“It appears we may have a problem of some magnitude here.” While people stack bags of fertilizer and dog food against the windows as defense… …Mrs. Carmody prays and asks God if He can help her save some of the people in the store. It’s a great monologue from Marcia Gay Harden, whose performance in this movie earned her a Saturn Award, so that’s pretty cool. Amanda interrupts her prayers on the porcelain altar, needing to use the bathroom, but also offering her friendship. “The day I need a friend like you, I’ll just have myself a little squat and shit one out.” So…that’s a no? Different camps of ideology begin to form in the store. Norton leads the skeptics, saying there’s no proof to David’s tale, while Carmody says this is all straight out of ‘Revelations.’ “‘And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God…'” She goes on a real fire-and-brimstone sermon about sinners in the midst of an angry God and starts touching a kid’s face. Hey, uh, Mom! Why don’t you stop that crazy lady from touching your kid’s face there? When Carmody calls for expiation in the form of blood sacrifice, Amanda’s had enough. “Another down payment. A few more pennies in the jar.” Carmody concludes with a promise that more people will be taken in the night. Billy oversees the military men having a hushed discussion, before David tries to comfort him by saying Stephanie will be just fine at home. Thinking of contingencies, Dan asks if anyone has a gun, but the only one packin’ is Amanda and she’s not an experienced shooter. Does anyone in this place know how to shoot well? “I do.”
Hell yeah you do, Ollie, ‘cuz you one unassuming badass! “I was in target shooting. State champion in ’94.” Norton’s had enough and prepares to leave with his group of skeptics, and biker dude says he’ll go with them just to grab a shotgun from Ambrose’s truck outside. He also agrees to tie a rope around his waist to let everyone know how far they make it, in case anything happens to them. Carmody taunts them as they go outside, but they press on regardless… …and this is the last time we see Norton and his crew, so I’m going to add him and his six nameless redshirts to the Count right now… …meaning Jake Peralta can look forward to a promotion. Nine-nine! I think it’s safe to say they’re dead, since something obviously goes awry when the rope first goes slack… …and then is pulled out with such speed that it burns David’s hand. The rope is pulled skyward then falls slack again, and when David reels it in it looks like he caught a big one! Or…half a big one anyway, as he drags the biker’s lower body towards the store, confirming his death and pushing our Count into double digits. Night settles in and we get a non-book scene between Jessup and Sally in the back of the store, so that we can care more when one of them inevitably dies. Yeahhh! Build up those pathos points! Out front we get the first good look at a creature from the mist when a bunch of big nasty bugs start crawling all around on the windows outside. Their presence just serves as more evidence in Mrs. Carmody’s mind. “‘Locusts upon the earth’….” The bugs may look real gross but they don’t seem like much of a threat, unlike these pterodactyl-looking motherfuckers… ….who start crashing into the window as they’re grabbing their midnight snacks. Nothing gets you flying like the promise of fourth meal! One of them eventually breaks its way into the store, letting a bunch of bugs in as well. Amanda’s able to defend herself with a nice, squishy bug stomp… …but Sally gets stung on the neck and starts to convulse on the ground. As Ollie chases down the pterry in the store with his gun, another flies in and lands on this dude Tom… …pinning him to the ground and ripping out his throat which does old Tom in pretty quickly. Too bad for Tom no one was there to draxx up them pterries when they got froggy! Right after Tom’s death Sally taps out too, dying from the bug’s poison and bumping our Kill Count up to a dozen. David lights the Hungry Hungry ‘Dactyl on fire, so now there’s a flaming beast from Hell flying around that David has to chase down with his mop and beat to death. I dunno what part of that whole situation looked like fun, but this dude Joe wants in on it lighting his mop just like David did, but then spilling the bucket of fuel and lighting himself on fire. That’s, uh…that’s not how David did it, Joe! Be less clumsy. Mrs. Carmody gets a visit from one of the insect creatures as well…. …but stands perfectly still while praying, and so the bug flies off, further cementing her sense of self-righteousness. It’s not until Ollie is finally able to hunt down the first pterry and shoot it to death that the people in the store have a chance to breathe. As the rational people put the store back in working order, one of the not-so-rational patrons tells David that Mrs. Carmody was right about people being killed in the night. This lady is turning to something extreme out of hopelessness… …which Hattie also does, but in a different way, when Amanda finds her dead by suicide later that night, an empty bottle of pills next to her. David and some of the others start putting together a plan. They’ll head up the pharmacy next door to get pain pills for Joe, who’s so badly burnt from the ‘dactyl attack that he’s sincerely asking for the gun so he can kill himself and end the pain. And then they’ll get the hell out of there entirely. David has a Land Cruiser that fits eight parked closer to the store than Norton’s people got… …and the plan is to get there and head south before Carmody and her growing congregation become a problem. “We can start worrying about who she’s gonna sacrifice to make it all better.” After a scene filled with some admittedly clunky dialogue, with everyone nakedly stating a bunch of philosophical viewpoints about the nature of humankind and such… …David’s fears are validated when Carmody gets everyone riled up against their plan to leave, saying it will attract more of God’s wrath or whatever. Irene shuts her up with a can of peas. “Shut up, you miserable buzzard!” Then joins David’s foraging group, which includes Jim the asshole mechanic, Bob, the brother of burn victim Joe, Jessup the Arrowhead soldier, Dan, Ollie, and this dude Mike. They walk through heavy mist to the pharmacy for another great extended sequence. Irene helps David and Ollie find the painkillers they need as the others discover they’re not alone. In fact, they find another four people in the store just hangin’ around! I’ve shown three here, I’ll show the fourth in a minute when the movie gets to it. A fifth body grabs Jim from behind and it turns out to be the MP officer from earlier. He asks for help as he writhes out of pain and guilt. “It’s our fault! It’s all our fault!” Then up from his skin comes a bubbling spew. Spiders, that is. Black Death. Bridgeton bugs. He falls to the ground and dies when his back bursts open to a whole host of these baby nasties. Mama spiders start showing up, including in a shot with that fourth anonymous body, and the webs they shoot at the group appear to be acidic. One of the webs wraps around Bobby’s leg and messes him up real good, and as the gang starts to retreat, another hits Mike in the face. He drops to the ground and is quickly swarmed and eaten by baby and Mama spiders alike. It’s a good old-fashioned family dinner! Through the power of Ollie’s firearm, Irene’s homemade flamethrower, and Dan’s proficiency with piercing weapons they’re able to escape the massacre… …but not before Bobby succumbs to his leg wound and bleeds out to death, left behind by Jessup and David on the floor of the pharmacy for spider chow. They get back and the tale of their adventure causes a panic in the rest of the store. Sometime later, David wakes up from passing out to the news that Joe has passed away during the night via infection from his burn wounds. So we’ll add him to the Kill Count and just take a minute to reflect on how much that pharmacy trip was all in vain. Seems like all they really did was inspire another passionate sermon from Carmody, who’s now converted a whole bunch of people to her cause, including Jim the asshole mechanic. “Expiation!” That’s good enough reason for David and his crew to decide that now’s the time to make some moves and gtfo. Before they leave, David wants to get some intel from the soldiers, since that MP officer was saying this whole thing was their fault. Jessup claims ignorance, and so they go to look for the other two, finding them in the back room where they’ve hung themselves. Apparently the Arrowhead Project was responsible for this whole thing. Something about portals to other dimensions and the storm messing up their power? It’s never fully articulated, but that’s what we’re working with here. As Jessup pleads innocence to David he’s grabbed by Jim, who takes him out and throws him to the ground in front the rest of the survivors, blaming him for bringing down the wrath of God. Carmody takes this thread and runs with it, spinning a whole yarn about how pissed off God is at us for messing with Mother Nature. In the ensuing frenzy, Jessup gets beaten a whole bunch and eventually stabbed by the butcher, Mr. Mackey. [‘South Park’ Mr. Mackey impression] ‘I just wanted a little expiation, mmkay?’ Mackey and the other rabid devotees crowd-surf Jessup straight out the front door and throw him to the wild… …where he comes face to face with an acklay-lookin’ beast who snatches him up and pulls him back into the mist to eat. At least they’ll always know how big Jessup’s hand was. The next morning at dawn David’s group gets together and tries to make an exit, but Carmody stops them. Uh yeah, we need a clean up on Aisle One. There’s a crazy, religious fanatic with a knife. “I am His vessel.” In fact, there’s a bunch of knife-wielding crazies who surround the group and start to move in as Carmody orders them to grab Billy and Amanda for human sacrifice. Her yelling is cut short with a gunshot to the abdomen by Ollie, who follows up with a HEADSHOT to put her down… …ending one hell of a performance by Marcia Gay Harden as one of the most easy-to-hate characters I’ve seen in a very long time. Ollie’s sharp-shooting is enough to stop the rest of the crazies, and David’s group finally makes their big getaway. They get a little turned around in the parking lot and Myron, the other mechanic, is killed when a spider tackles him to the ground and devours him. Myron’s death brings us to 26 victims, officially passing ‘Jason X’ for the most victims in a Kill Count so far. Ollie fares a little better than Myron, making it to the Land Cruiser first and opening all the doors for everyone else… …but then the acklay comes back and grabs him with his big old lobster claws. The giant spider-crab tears Ollie to pieces, a sad but mercifully quick end to a guy who no one would have expected had so much badassery inside. The acklay leaves, allowing David and his crew to get inside his car. He honks for the others but to no avail, since Bud stumbles back to the entrance of the store and Ambrose gets cornered and eaten by a bunch of those big spiders. All these monsters are pretty horrible, but I don’t know if it gets worse than giant, acid web-spitting spiders, y’all. Before heading out, David grabs the gun that Ollie dropped, narrowly avoiding another giant spider that cracks their windshield and crawls away over the roof of his car. They’re finally ready to leave the store behind and begin a somber finale to the movie, scored by a chanting choir. They drive past the store for one last slow-motion look at all the hopeless people left inside. Sorry Bud, so close! First stop on the gang’s fun little road trip is David’s home. But that place gets zero stars out of five, since it’s totally overrun with spider webs, and also because David’s wife Stephanie is dead. And that’s just not how you get a good Yelp rating, mist monsters! You can’t go around putting people in spider cocoons like that. The group drives south, determined to see how far their tank of gas will take them and see if they can get out of the mist. Though they pass a lot of destruction along the way, we only see a single body: a little girl on a school bus, so we’ll add her to the Count as well. Pressing onward, they also encounter an enormous beast with a bunch of legs and tentacles hanging from its torso, a super cool image that singularly conveys how FUBAR this situation has become. And then their gas runs out. Now, I’ma tell you straight up: in the book, this is pretty much where it ends. In fact, they don’t even explicitly run out of gas. They just pull into a Howard Johnson’s and bunker down there for the night, and it ends. But the movie’s got one more beat of this story to tell. As they sit there in silence, they hear distant noises from horrors unseen. An unspoken agreement settles between them, and David checks his ammunition to find only four bullets remaining. “But there’s five of us.” “I’ll figure something out.” And you’re watching like, ‘Okay but, y’know, what’s really gonna happen,’ right? Especially when Billy wakes up and looks at his dad with wide eyes, but then… [four gunshots ring out in succession] [David screams in anguish] REALLY? Yeah, really! He did it! The movie went there! David frickin’ mercy-killed Dan, Irene, Amanda, and his eight-year-old son Billy in an effort to spare them the horrors from the mist! It’s a total shock and absolutely devastating! David tries in vain to shoot himself, but there are no more bullets so he steps outside of his vehicle and starts yelling, ready for his inevitable death. Out of the mist comes some noises, and then…a TANK, and soldiers! Tons of them in fact, and a Humvee carrying a group of rescuee’s including Melissa McBride and her children. As David looks around in shock, he sees the military laying waste to the creatures around them and the mist finally receding. David stammers unintelligibly, his brain broken by the horrific irony that he and the others were mere MOMENTS away from rescue before he had to do the unimaginable. So, yeah! One of the most profoundly sad endings in all of film history and a change from King’s source material that the author totally condoned. There are also a few more explicit kills than in the novella. How many? Let’s find out and get to the Numbers! Something in the mist! SOMETHING IN THE MIST!! 34 people die in ‘The Mist,’ by far the highest count we’ve had so far in a Kill Count. Of the victims 21 were male, nine were female, and four were little cocoon corpses that you just can’t really tell. Either way, lot of dude deaths as per usual. With a run-time of 126 minutes, that comes out to a kill on average every 3.71 minutes. Which is like…wow! You crazy, ‘Mist’! Golden Chainsaw for Coolest Kill goest to the military police officer. It’s got some great effects when he shows his bubbling chest, and it’s awesomely disgusting the way his back breaks open to hatch a thousand tiny spiders. Dull Machete for Lamest Kill goes to Norton and the six redshirts he leads out into the mist, since it’s the most offscreen of all the offscreen deaths. And that’s it! ‘The Mist’ has gained a reputation for one of the saddest movie endings ever, and I was lucky enough to not have it spoiled before watching it, so god damn did that hit hard! Next week we’re getting into the Halloween spirit with ‘Trick ‘r Treat,’ and listen… I’m sorry I’m not able to cover Michael Myers right now. But when I do, I want to be able to cover all ten ‘Halloween’ movies, and I definitely don’t have the time to do that right now. ‘Til next week, I’m James A. Janisse. This has been the Kill Count. Hey guys, thanks a lot for watching my Kill Count for ‘The Mist’! I want to thank some of my patrons like Dylan Teverez, Ellen Ripley, and Jeremiah Walton. I know that my beard is gone, I had to shave it for my Pennywise costume! Go to my Instagram to check out pictures, it looks great! Don’t leave comments talking about my face, ‘cuz if you do I’ll know you didn’t make it to the end of this video. Don’t cut short my watch time, motherfuckah! Expiation! [cough, cough]