Why Gordie's dad creeps me out!

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Connor B

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2015
729
3,879
24
#1
Y'know, I haven't seen much of Stand By Me, but I saw a just bit of it. Some of what I saw featured Gordie's jerk dad, played by Marshall Bell, who you might remember as Kuato from Total Recall. For some inexplicable reason, I got the creeps from his character, despite his limited screen time. Yes, he's an emotionally abusive pig (for lack of a better word), but that's just scratching the surface. Some things about him are just... off. The cold eyes, the monotone voice that rarely changes octave, and the robotic movements remind me of the mind-controlled father from Invaders From Mars, which King obviously had to have seen prior to writing The Body.

I happen to have an autism spectrum disorder, which usually makes it difficult for some kids with the condition to pick up on facial gestures and other little details. I never really had that problem. In fact, I'm really good at picking up on subtleties and oddities. It's part of the reason I want to be a writer. I'm of the opinion that horror fiction isn't about what's on the surface, like some psychopath with a knife lunging at you or some monster from the swamp. What's truly scary are the things that are underneath the surface, seeping through the façade slowly.

Here's to you, Marshall Bell! I'll see you in my nightmares!
 

Sigmund

Waiting in Uber.
Jan 3, 2010
13,980
44,040
In your mirror.
#4
Hi.

It's called "flat affect" or "blunted affect". A medical/psychological term.

The person has suffered a devastating loss. Such a deep, profound loss they can no longer express ANY feelings physically. Face/body are numb. Dead. They can, indeed, go about life in a robotic manner. The body is still active, goes through the motions but the mind, heart...the *being* is gone.

The loss of a child could certainly do that.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,675
92,025
USA
#6
Hi.

It's called "flat affect" or "blunted affect". A medical/psychological term.

The person has suffered a devastating loss. Such a deep, profound loss they can no longer express ANY feelings physically. Face/body are numb. Dead. They can, indeed, go about life in a robotic manner. The body is still active, goes through the motions but the mind, heart...the *being* is gone.

The loss of a child could certainly do that.
It was supposed to say 'flat affect', but apparently my predictive text thought it knew better than I did what I meant to say--lol
 

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,214
57
#7
My recollection of The Body (I've only seen Stand By Me once) is that Gordie's perception of his parents (and their indifference to him) is a titanic driving force in his life. It's a large part of why he writes and an impetus for some of the non-sensical things he does . . . like calling Ace Merrill a cheap dime-store hood.

Pure suicide, man.

I don't remember Gordie's dad being actively abusive with Gordie in any way. He just wasn't really there.

You know, it's one thing when your parents aren't there because they're busy trying to feed you and stuff (like mine) but when they're standing right in front of you and can't see you.

Well . . . I don't know, but it sounds pretty bad.
 

CoriSCapnSkip

Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2015
1,623
7,027
56
#10
The kids were super in this.
All the actors were super, and I agree about the parents' treatment. When Gordie was calling his mom and she didn't even answer--an unforgivable height of rudeness! Maybe it was meant to show that she was that out of it, she didn't even hear him, which in the story she was even before Denny died. Also agree with this being placed this on a list of films which should never be remade.
 

icarus

Well-Known Member
Mar 30, 2011
125
161
#11
Yeah I agree that Gordie's father is really cold and shows alot of hatred towards Gordie...like when Gordie is dreaming of the Dennis funeral and he and his family are standing around the burial grave and his father puts his hand of Gordie's shoulder and says "It should have been you Gordie"....or when Gordie gets the drink canteen from Dennis room and his dad says to him.."Why cant you have friends like Dennis's...and Gordie says Chris is alright....and his dad says..."a thief and two pheebes, he stole the milk money in school..he's a thief in my book!"....the acting is great in this film
 
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