"What in hell are you doing with that lawnmower blade?"
Description: Redneck Doyle Hargraves (Dwight Yoakam) asks Karl Childers (Billy Bob Thornton) a poignant question and Karl obliges with an answer ("I aim to kill you with it. Mmm!") in the motion picture Sling Blade (1996).
Karl Childers has been hospitalized since the age of 12 for the murder of his mother and her lover. Now a grown man, but simple-minded, he is released from a psychiatric facility and returns to his childhood hometown. There, he befriends a young boy named Frank (Lucas Black).
Frank’s Mom, Linda (Natalie Canerday) has the misfortune of having Doyle as a boyfriend. He dislikes the fact that Karl is allowed to hang out at her house and complains:
“Hey is this the kind of retard that drools and rubs shit in his hair and all that, 'cause I'm gonna have a hard time eatin' round that kind of thing now. Just like I am with antique furniture and midgets. You know that, I can't so much as drink a damn glass of water around a midget or a piece of antique furniture.”
Doyle also tells Linda in no uncertain terms, “If you even think about leaving me, Linda, I told you: I'm gonna kill you deader than a door nail.”
Unfortunately for Doyle, Karl tires of Doyle’s abusive behavior, kills him, and then phones the police. Stoically, Karl reports:
“Yes, Ma’am, I've killed Doyle Hargraves with a lawnmower blade. Yes, ma'am, I'm right sure of it. I hit him two good whacks in the head with it. That second one just plum near cut his head in two...It's a lil' ol' white house on the corner of Vine Street and some other street. There's a pick-up truck out front that says 'Doyle Hargraves Construction' on it. Doyle said, besides sending the police, you might wanna send an ambulance or a Hearst. I'll be sitting here, waiting on ye.”
Karl is returned to the mental hospital, and looks out of one its windows. One can imagine that Karl's thoughts are of his young friend Lucas and his mother and hopes that even though he did a bad thing, that bad thing made their lives better.