Black SplatStand by Me (1986)

"You got two choices. Leave quietly, we take the body. Or, you can stay, we beat the shit out of you, we take the body."

Stand By Me - Ace threatens Gordie and his friends

Description: Keifer Sutherland as teenager Ace Merrill threatens adolescent Gordie LaChance (Wil Wheaton) and his friends who were the first to discover the body of a missing boy in the motion picture Stand By Me (1986).

"I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being. It happened in the summer of 1959 - a long time ago, but only if you measure in terms of years. I was living in a small town in Oregon called Castle Rock. There were only twelve hundred and eighty-one people. But to me, it was the whole world." [voiceover of Gordie as an adult]

This is a tale of four young boys who trek into the woods to Back Hollow Road, a dead end by the Royal River in South Harlow to find the body of Ray Brower, a missing twelve-year-old boy killed by a train. The boys include:

  • Gordon "Gordie" LaChance (Wil Wheaton), an aspiring writer whose brother, Denny (John Cusack), a popular athlete, died in a Jeep accident four months earlier.
  • Christopher "Chris" Chambers (River Phoenix), the son of an abusive father who pushed his son's right ear onto a hot stove top nearly burning it off.
  • Teddy Duchamp (Corey Feldman), whose father fought in Normandy in WWII and was later send to the mental institution. There is a touch of loony in Teddy's behavior and his friends don't think he will live to be twenty years old.
  • Vern "Verno" Tessio (Jerry O'Connell), a plump boy, whose favorite candy is Cherry-flavored Pez, who overheard his older brother Billy (Casey Siemaszko) talking about the dead body. At first, Billy was reluctant to report the body because he had stolen a Dodge car at the time.

"You guys wanna go see a dead body?" - Vern

Latching on the opportunity to take credit for discovering the body and becoming local heroes who get their pictures in the paper and maybe on TV, Gordie, Chris, Teddy, and Vern set out on a mission to find the body.

Stand By Me - Gordie, Chris, Vern and Teddy begin their journey

As they prepare for the trip, Chris steals a .45 revolver from his father's bureau to bring along for protection just in case they see a bear. Gordie accidentally fires off a round while pointing the gun, which freaks the boys out and they run away from the scene and right into Ace Merrill, a creepy teenager (who likes to smash mail boxes with a baseball bat while driving in his a car), and Chris's older brother, Eyeball (Bradley Gregg). They begin to taunt the boys by snatching a Yankee baseball cap off Gordie's head.

Eyeball: Hey girls, where ya goin'?
Gordie: [Ace snatches Gordie's baseball cap] Hey, my brother gave me that!
Ace: [Ace dangles the hat high] Now, you're giving it to me.
Gordie: Hey! C'mon, man! That's mine!
Chris: [glaring at Ace] You're a real asshole, you know that?
Ace: [flicks his cigarette] Ooo. You're brother's not very polite, Eyeball.
Eyeball: Now, Christopher. I know you didn't mean to insult my friend.
Ace: I know he didn't mean to insult me. That's why I'm going to give him the chance of taking it back. [Ace pushes Chris on his stomach against the sidewalk and begins holding the lit cigarette close to his eye] Take it back, kid.
Chris: You bastard! Let go, man! Shit!
Gordie: Stop it, man! You're hurting him!
Chris: Filthy bastard...! Okay, I take it back! I take it back!
Ace: Now, I feel a whole let better about this. How 'bout you?
[grins at Chris and pats him on the cheek] Good.
Eyeball: See ya later, girls.
Teddy: Jesus H. bald-headed Christ!

Stand By Me - Milo's Junk Yard - Home of Chopper the Dog

Along the way, the boys realize that none of them brought any food, so they pool their money and buy some snacks at a nearby store, but first they need to re-fill their canteens with water, so they ignore a "Keep Out" sign at a junkyard owned by Milo Pressman (William Bronder), illegally scale the fence and pump water from a well on the property. But soon, they encounter Chopper, the most feared and least-seen dog in Castle Rock, who reportedly was trained to attack specific parts of the human anatomy.

Stand By Me - Chopper attacks

Milo: Chopper! Sic'em, boy!
Voiceover: Now he said, "Sic'em, boy!" But what I heard was, "Chopper! Sic balls!"
Gordie: THAT'S Chopper? [Chopper turns out to be a golden retriever]
Voiceover: Chopper was my first lesson in the vast difference between myth and reality.
Teddy: Come on, Choppy! Kiss my ass, Choppy! Bite shit. Come on, Choppy! Sic balls, Choppy!
Milo: You kids stop teasing that dog, you hear me! Stop teasing him! Sonny, I'm gonna beat your ass, teasing my dog like that!
Teddy: Yeah? I'd like to see you climb over this fence and get me, fat ass!
Milo: Don't you call me that, you little tin weasel. Peckerwood looney's son.
Teddy: What'd you call me?
Stand By Me - Milo insults Teddy and the boys
Milo: I know who you are. You're Teddy Duchamp. Your dad's a looney. A looney up in the nuthouse in Togus. He took your ear and he put it to a stove and burnt it off.
Teddy: My father stormed the beach at Normandy.
Milo: He's crazier than a shithouse rat. No wonder you're acting the way you are with a looney for a father.
Teddy: You call my dad a looney again, and I'll kill you.
Milo: Looney, looney, looney!
Teddy: I'm gonna rip your head off and shit down your neck! I'm gonna kill him.
Milo: You come on and try it, you little slimy bastard!
Chris: [his friends restrain Teddy] He wants you to come over there so he can beat you up and take you top the cops!
Milo: You watch your mouth, smart guy. Let him to his own fighting.
Gordie: Sure, you only outweigh him by 500 pounds, fat ass!
Milo: I know your name. You're LaChance. I know all you guys. And all you fathers gonna get a call from me. Except for the loony up in Togus.
Stand By Me - Teddy's friends restrain him
Teddy: I'll kill you!
Milo: You little foul-mouthed whoremaster.
Teddy: You son of a bitch! I'll kill you! [his friends drag Teddy away]
Milo: Come back here, you hear me!
Teddy: Nobody ranks out my old man! My father stormed the beach at Normandy!
Milo: Come Back here! I said come back here.
Teddy: He stormed the beach, you faggot!
Milo: Come back here!

With Teddy under control, the four boys continue on their bold adventure. A short while later, the boys encounter a train trestle and cautiously decide to walk across it, but as they are half way across the trestle, they see the billowing black smoke of an oncoming train and the boys frantically rush to the other side to avoid being killed.

Stand By Me - Gordie and Vern dodge the train

After making it to the other side just in time, Teddy says, "That was the all-time train dodge! Too cool! Vern, you were so scared you looked like that fat guy, Abbott Costello, when he saw the mummy."

With night coming on, the boys set up camp. Sitting by a fire, Gordie, a born storyteller, offers up a funny story to while away the time. The story stars Davie Hogan (Andy Lindberg), an overweight kid known as Lardass. Even his little brother and sister calls him Lardass. At school, they put a sticker on his back that says "Wide-Load". And they rank him out and beat him up whenever they get a chance. But one day, he gets an idea; a greatest revenge idea, a kid ever had.

Drinking a quart bottle of Castor Oil and eating a raw egg before a pie eating contest, Lardass consumes mass quantities of blueberry pie, and then vomits the entire contents of his stomach onto horrified onlookers. The site of Lardass throwing up causes a chain reaction where everyone in the vicinity explodes in a flurry of projectile vomiting.

Crowd: Lardass! Lardass!
Gordie: What the audience didn't know was that Lardass wasn't really interested in winning. What he wanted was revenge, and right before he was introduced he'd gotten ready for it. Diving into his fifth pie, Lardass began to imagine that he wasn't eating pies. He pretended he was eating cow-plops, and rat guts in blueberry sauce.

Lardass: Done! [Lardass prepares to dive into his sixth pie, but then his stomach starts rumbling]
Stand By Me - Lardass upchucks his stuff
Gordie: Slowly, a sound started to build in Lardass' stomach. A strange and scary sound, like a log truck coming at you at a hundred miles-an-hour. Suddenly, Lardass opened his mouth, and before Bill Travis knew it...[Lardass barfs all over Bill]...he was covered with five pies worth of used blueberries. The women in the audience screamed. Bossman Bob Cormier took one look at Bill Travis and barfed on Principal Wiggins, who barfed on the lumberjack that was sitting next to him. Mayor Grundy barfed on his wife's tits. But when the smell hit the crowd, that's when Lardass' plan really started to work. Girlfriends barfed on boyfriends. Kids barfed on their parents. A fat lady barfed in her purse. The Donnelley twins barfed on each other, and the Women's Auxiliary barfed all over the Benevolent Order of Antelopes. And Lardass just sat back and enjoyed what he'd created-a complete and total barf-o-rama!

The next day, the boys continue there journey and shortly before finding the body, they encounter a swamp filled with leeches and scream "Leeches!" as they discover their bodies covered in them, especially Gordie who faints when he finds one in his underwear.

Meanwhile, as the four boys close in on the body, Billy Tessio and his friend spill the beans about the dead body and Ace Merrill and his gang of punks set out themselves to become local heroes - getting there faster as they can drive a car.

"The train had knocked Ray Brower out of his Keds the same way it had knocked the life out of his body." - [Voiceover of Gordie as an adult]

When they come across Gordie and friends, Ace threatens bodily harm if they don't turn over the body to them. "You got two choices. You leave quietly, we take the body. Or, you can stay, we beat the shit out of you, we take the body."

Stand By Me - Ace threatens Chris with a knife

Ace: Okay, Chambers, you little faggot. This is your last chance. What do you say, kid?
Chris: Why don't you go home and fuck your mother some more?
Ace: [pulls out a knife] You're dead.

Stand By Me - Gordie defends his friends from Ace and his gang

Suddenly, Gordie fires a warning shot in the air to get Ace's attention. "You don't have the sack to kill a woodchuck," says Ace. "Come on LaChance give me the gun." Gordie refuses and replies, "Don't move. I'll kill, I swear to God." Then Gordie cocks the trigger and tells Ace, "Suck my big fat one, you cheap dime-store hood."

Although outnumbered, Gordie warns Ace that he will be the first to get a bullet. As Ace retreats, he warns, "We're gonna get you for this. We're not going to forget this, if that's what you're thinking. This is big time, baby."

In the end, the four boys walk through the night and make it back to Castle Rock a little past five o'clock on Sunday morning, the day before Labor Day. They decide to make an anonymous phone call to the police, instead of taking credit for finding the body.

Gordie and the others had only been gone two days, but somehow the town seemed different, smaller. They went their separate ways and promised to see each other in school. As Teddy walked away, he sang the lyrics from the TV show "Have Gun Will Travel," as all the boys had done earlier as they walked the train tracks in search of Ray Brower's body.

As for the four boys, Gordie became a writer, Chris a lawyer, Vern got married, had four children and works as a lumber yard forklift operator, and Teddy, who tried and failed to get in the military because of his eyes and ear, spent some time in jail and now does odd jobs around the town of Castle Rock.

Note: Based on the story "The Body" written by Stephen King, the movie begins with Gordie as an adult (Richard Dreyfuss) reading an article in the September 4, 1985 issue of The Oregonian about how Christopher "Chris" Chambers, his childhood friend, now an attorney, was stabbed to death in the throat, dying instantly, while tying to intercede in a squabble between two men at a fast food restaurant. The article brought back a flood of memories which were the basis for the action in the film.

The film is also filled with lots of great adolescent banter and insults. The following are excerpts of the best lines in the movie.

Chris: Hey, how do you know a Frenchman has been in your backyard? ...Your garbage cans are empty and your dog's pregnant.
Chris: You four-eyed pile of shit!
Teddy: A pile of shit has a thousand eyes. [Later Vern, in a moment of anger calls Teddy, a four-eyed-psycho.]
Teddy: [to Vern] Did your mother have any kids that lived?
Vern: What am I supposed to eat?
Teddy: Why don't you cook your dick?
Chris: It will be a small meal.
Vern: Screw you guys!
Teddy: You lose Gordie! Ha ha, Gordie loses! Ol' Gordie just screwed the pooch!
Gordie: Does the word "retarded" mean anything to you?
Teddy: Gordie, go get the provisions, you morphodite.
Gordie: Don't call me any of your mother's pet names.
Teddy: What a wet end you are, Lachance.
Gordie: Shut up.
Everyone: I don't shut up. I grow up. And when I look at you, I throw up. Aghhh!
Gordie: And then your mom goes around the corner and she licks it up.
Gordie: [to Ace] Suck my fat one, you cheap dime store hood.
Chris: [After Ace leaves] "Suck my fat one"? Whoever told you that you had a fat one, Lachance?
Gordie: Biggest one in four counties.
Vern: [coming upon a swamp] How are we supposed to get across this?
Teddy: We use you as a raft.
Vern: Very funny. [Chris checks for depth with a stick and recommends it is not too deep and they should cross over the swamp, but it turns out to be deeper that estimated and everyone sinks below the surface.
Vern: Told you we should have stuck to the tracks.
Teddy: Is it me, or are you the world's biggest pussy?
Vern: I suppose this is fun for you?
Teddy: No, but this is [Teddy dunks Vern under the water] Want some more?
Chris: Stop that! Come on! Teddy, act your age!
Teddy: This is my age. I'm in the prime of my youth and I will only be young once.
Chris: Yeah, but you're gonna be stupid for the rest of your life.
Ace: [to Billy and his friend] What's with you homos? You been acting psycho all day.
Eyeball: So, what's with you and this Connie Palermo chick?
Billy Tessio: I've been seeing her for over a month now and all she'll let me do is feel her tits.
Ace: She's a Catholic, man. There'll all like that. If you wanna get laid, you gotta get yourself a Protestant. A Jew's good.

Stand By Me - Movie Poster

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