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JulyDiaz

Episode 159 - Sleepwalkers

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i noticed something when i was watching it but i had to look it up to make sure and it turns out my brain made the correct connection. the street with tanya's house was the same street used for the burbs. i was dead proud that i noticed but as it turns out it's on the univeral studios backlot and it has been used alot over the years ... alot.

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Also, the cop had two empty corn cobs on his plate, and the mom asked him if he wanted the last one. He was straight up eating corn, like, 20 seconds before Alice Krige came in! She stabbed him with a corn cob that was only empty because he had eaten it.

 

It could be argued that corn on the cob is technically a grain, not a vegetable. I'm not sure how fine a distinction would be drawn by demons who only feed on virginal essence, though.

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That's all really great information, and I get that I'm arguing a bit of semantics here, but I feel like you're answering "how come" and not "why." Of course they're called Sleepwalkers because that's what Stephen King called them and it sounds somewhat evocative, but, in universe, why are they called Sleepwalkers? What about their abilities has anything to do with "Sleepwalking?"

I think, in this case, that's a distinction without a difference. "Sleepwalkers" is a pretty good example of lazy writing from King and so the "why" in this story is no deeper than "because I said so".

 

Just my two cents, of course.

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Okay, so I'd like to talk about the pre-title card that introduces the concept of Sleepwalkers, interpreted entirely through the Oxford English Dictionary. Ready?

 

thumb-350-241355.jpg

 

A few things. This strategy of reinforcing the following material by prefacing it with an authentic-sounding authority figure is a common approach in fiction writing, to bring the audience on board by saying 'trust me, it's from a dictionary'. We see an excellent example of this in the Cohen brothers' Fargo:

 

fargo-opening_title.gif

 

This title card is replicated in every episode of the TV series as well, so as to trick the audience into thinking something this outlandish could actually be true. The additional credence that we give the story of the scam gone wrong in Fargo hinges entirely on this title card, where we think that the following was real, because we were told that's the case.

 

In terms of the content of the Sleepwalkers pre-titles card, the syntax of the phrasing absolutely outs it as being a modern construction. It claims to be taken from the Chillicoathe Encyclopaedia of Arcane Knowledge, 1885. It's an interesting touch that they spell 'Encyclopaedia' in the English way (as opposed to the American 'Encyclopedia') to give it a sense of old-timey gravitas. It's another nice touch to suggest it's the 'First Edition', which implies that there are many other editions, too. But, when you look at the phrasing, it's entirely modern. The use of the term 'life-force' is the dead giveaway: according to the Oxford English Dictionary, there are only two nineteenth century uses of the term, and only one that pre-dates this encyclopaedia entry, whose usage is unconnected to the way the encyclopaedia uses it:

 

life force n. (a) vital energy; a force that gives something its vitality or strength; cf. élan vital n., will to live at will n.1 5c; ( the spirit which animates living creatures; the soul.

 

1848 C. D. Meigs Schopenhauer's Syst. ix. 500 The will is the life-force that pulsates through man's nature.

1903 G. B. Shaw Lost Girl xii. 309 Even the will of God is a life-force.

1952 C. Day Lewis tr. Virgil Whistler's Lane x. 160 The relentless, uncheckable advent of spring..this all-powerful life force which flowed so strongly.

2003 Harleian Misc. IV. 358 These Vampyres are supposed to be the Bodies of deceased Persons, animated by evil Spirits, which come out of the Graves, in the Night-time, suck the Blood of many of the Living, and thereby destroy them.

 

It's been well established on the boards that the Chillicoathe Encyclopaedia is fictional, and there appears to be little online that suggests other than the term was coined by the screenwriter as a generic name for a Necronomicon style book, or something else from HP Lovecraft (an excellent piece of HDTGM crossover since Paul Scheer played Lovecraft in an old episode of PFT's Dead Authors Podcast!). There is a town called Chillicoathe in Missouri, but there's little reason to think there is a connection. As for the sleepwalkers themselves, the term does pre-date this encyclopaedia entry:

 

One who walks while asleep; a somnambulist.

 

1747 Sporting Mag. 4 106 A Sleep-walker and Sleep-talker perambulated and muttered.

1833 H. Martineau Prevention & Cure Dis. i. vii. 198 The popular notion that sleep-walkers never hurt themselves is far from true.

 

There is little in the etymology of the word (essentially a portmanteau) that gives hints as to why this term was chosen, aside from the idea that these people stumble through the world groping for...light? I don't know.

 

I feel like I'm circling around something. I'll continue to ponder on it.

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Apologies for the double-post, but one more thing:

 

Why does Charlie say that he comes from such an outlandishly-named place as 'Paradise Falls, Ohio'? That doesn't sound like a place in Ohio to me, and immediately sends up a red flag as a place worth checking out. Why not say you're from Cleveland? Why not New York City or Los Angeles or somewhere large that doesn't around suspicion?

 

And as a Stephen King joint, why is this set in Indiana and not Maine? WHY?

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How do female sleepwalkers feed themselves? If sleepwalkers need the "life-force of virginal females" and not virginal males, wouldn't that make it harder for female sleepwalkers to survive if seduction was part of obtaining human life-force? She has to wait for a male sleepwalker to regurgitate human life-force like some helpless baby bird?

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How do female sleepwalkers feed themselves? If sleepwalkers need the "life-force of virginal females" and not virginal males, wouldn't that make it harder for female sleepwalkers to survive if seduction was part of obtaining human life-force? She has to wait for a male sleepwalker to regurgitate human life-force like some helpless baby bird?

 

Question: why can't she just shapeshift into a man and get her own food?

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Apologies for the double-post, but one more thing:

 

Why does Charlie say that he comes from such an outlandishly-named place as 'Paradise Falls, Ohio'? That doesn't sound like a place in Ohio to me, and immediately sends up a red flag as a place worth checking out. Why not say you're from Cleveland? Why not New York City or Los Angeles or somewhere large that doesn't around suspicion?

 

And as a Stephen King joint, why is this set in Indiana and not Maine? WHY?

 

I found an "out of movie" answer that might help solve an "in movie" mystery.

 

According to Dr. Internet, "Paradise Falls, Ohio" was a fictional city that was frequently found in the novels of Don Robertson.

 

From Wikipedia:

 

Most of Robertson's novels were set in Ohio, and the fictional town of Paradise Falls, Ohio, figured in many of them. Paradise Falls was also the title of one of his longest novels.

 

Wikipedia goes on to state:

 

In 1987, Stephen King’s Philtrum Press published Robertson’s novel, The Ideal, Genuine Man. King has acknowledged Robertson as one of his influences

 

So, I think the use of Paradise Falls might have just been a nod to a writer that King admired.

 

Also, I think King might have liked the idea of "falling from Paradise" for its Biblical and Literary connotations. Unfortunately, this does provide some evidence that there might be some kind of fallen angel/demon situation going on here which might support the theory that they are not, in fact, having sex (for lack of the proper parts) and they only say that they are related as a "joke." But you won't hear me making that argument ;)

 

As for my "in universe" theory, I think that maybe that Mr. Fallows, the Creative Writing teacher, was a huge fan of Don Robertson's novels, so when he saw the name "Paradise Falls, Ohio," he immediately knew something was awry and that's how he was able to figure everything out so quickly.

 

Bam!

 

giphy.gif

 

 

 

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I found an "out of movie" answer that might help solve an "in movie" mystery.

 

According to Dr. Internet, "Paradise Falls, Ohio" was a fictional city that was frequently found in the novels of Don Robertson.

 

From Wikipedia:

 

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Wikipedia goes on to state:

 

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So, I think the use of Paradise Falls might have just been a nod to a writer that King admired.

 

Also, I think King might have liked the idea of "falling from Paradise" for its Biblical and Literary connotations. Unfortunately, this does provide some evidence that there might be some kind of fallen angel/demon situation going on here which might support the theory that they are not, in fact, having sex (for lack of the proper parts) and they only say that they are related as a "joke." But you won't hear me making that argument ;)

 

As for my "in universe" theory, I think that maybe that Mr. Fallows, the Creative Writing teacher, was a huge fan of Don Robertson's novels, so when he saw the name "Paradise Falls, Ohio," he immediately knew something was awry and that's how he was able to figure everything out so quickly.

 

Bam!

 

giphy.gif

 

 

 

tenor.gif

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Question: why can't she just shapeshift into a man and get her own food?

 

I don't know! Maybe regurgitated life-force is a delicacy.

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I don't know! Maybe regurgitated life-force is a delicacy.

 

Gordon Ramsay agrees...

 

11-Bon-Appetit-now-F-off.gif

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Maybe on top of all their powers and whatnot they're also afflicted with harmless episodes of sleepwalking, and they just choose to identify with that rather than the cat stuff.

I WISH that had been in the movie. That would've made them so much more vulnerable to the cats. Like if they randomly wandered outside while asleep.

 

Plus then you could have more instances of cats randomly jumping out of places which is a Hollywood trope I enjoy.

 

tumblr_mj0fdbnuxA1s3x41po5_r2_250.gif

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This strategy of reinforcing the following material by prefacing it with an authentic-sounding authority figure is a common approach in fiction writing, to bring the audience on board by saying 'trust me, it's from a dictionary'. We see an excellent example of this in the Cohen brothers' Fargo:

 

This title card is replicated in every episode of the TV series as well, so as to trick the audience into thinking something this outlandish could actually be true. The additional credence that we give the story of the scam gone wrong in Fargo hinges entirely on this title card, where we think that the following was real, because we were told that's the case.

This reminds me that there is an EXCELLENT movie called Kimiko, The Treasure Hunter that is about a Japanese woman who becomes obsessed with the idea that Fargo actually is based on a true story and just ups and leaves her life in Tokyo to find the buried money in North Dakota. Beautifully beautifully made film.

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Did I miss the significance of the cemetary? The mum is all 'i'm so hungry' so he has to get her some sweet sweet virgin juice - and what do you know the girl shows up AT THE DOOR, mum escorts her in and makes nice - was there any reason why they couldn''t pounce on her then? His attacking at the cemetary was insane. Literally

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Man, you all have been on fire with this stuff! That was a very entertaining and informative 7 pages of catching up!

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I never followed Star Trek, but I was surprised to make this connection:

 

alice-krige-in-the-oas-season-1_g9jk.640.jpg

She was also on Deadwood as the manager of the whorehouse that Joanie Stubbs opens.

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"Do You Love Me" (the song Tanya is dancing to in the movie theater) *is* an old song from 1962, but it was a prominent song in the movie "Dirty Dancing", was included on the 2nd soundtrack, and was a top-20 hit on Billboard's chart in 1988. So even though this is an old song, in the world of Sleepwalkers (in 1992) it is a recent song for young people who LOVED Dirty Dancing and all its music.

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"Do You Love Me" (the song Tanya is dancing to in the movie theater) *is* an old song from 1962, but it was a prominent song in the movie "Dirty Dancing", was included on the 2nd soundtrack, and was a top-20 hit on Billboard's chart in 1988. So even though this is an old song, in the world of Sleepwalkers (in 1992) it is a recent song for young people who LOVED Dirty Dancing and all its music.

Such a

for Dirty Dancing...
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"Do You Love Me" (the song Tanya is dancing to in the movie theater) *is* an old song from 1962, but it was a prominent song in the movie "Dirty Dancing", was included on the 2nd soundtrack, and was a top-20 hit on Billboard's chart in 1988. So even though this is an old song, in the world of Sleepwalkers (in 1992) it is a recent song for young people who LOVED Dirty Dancing and all its music.

 

Didn't it also have some kind of modern beat underneath it? I don't think it was the original track, sounded like a remix version.

 

If so, props to Tanya for finding a tape of that in rural Indiana.

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"Do You Love Me" (the song Tanya is dancing to in the movie theater) *is* an old song from 1962, but it was a prominent song in the movie "Dirty Dancing", was included on the 2nd soundtrack, and was a top-20 hit on Billboard's chart in 1988. So even though this is an old song, in the world of Sleepwalkers (in 1992) it is a recent song for young people who LOVED Dirty Dancing and all its music.

 

 

To me it'll will always be the song that a furry Jason Bateman used to sing his way into popularity in Teen Wolf 2. I know Paul loves the original Teen Wolf, but I think this one is pretty fair game and they've already broached the teenage shift-shaping genre with Sleepwalkers.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNKeFqMLWRs

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I havent listened to the show yet.

 

Last time I saw this was probably at the movies when it first showed.

Was in love with Alice Krige, that skin was flawless.

 

What's the deal with a teacher who smacks a student in his hand with a ruler.

Then stalks another student and pulls him onto the side of the road to harass him and smack his hand in the car door.

And then another teacher or principal who is dragging a kid out of the classroom by his ear.

 

The kids refer to their make out point as Homeland?

 

My favorite part of the movie was when Krige annihilates two cars with 2 point blank gun shots. Bonkers.

 

Ok off to listen to the show.

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In thinking about how Stephen King likes to rewrite stories, I think the origins for Sleepwalkers can be partially traced the the 1985 anthology film Cat's Eye, also based on King's short stories. In particular, the 3rd story is called "The General" and is about a cat who must protect a small girl from a troll that is trying to steal her breath (life-force?) and kill her.

 

I remember watching this as a kid and it immediately came to mind listening to the episode this week.

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Didn't it also have some kind of modern beat underneath it? I don't think it was the original track, sounded like a remix version.

 

If so, props to Tanya for finding a tape of that in rural Indiana.

 

I noticed that too!!! It had like some drum reverb added... I bet Todd Glass loves that version ;)

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What I don't get is that why they set up the teacher to be a prime antagonist for the Sleepwalkers, only to use him as a expendable murder victim as soon as he states his opposition. As they say in the podcast, the teacher is positioned to have some knowledge about the Sleepwalkers from the essay (why else have that essay?), and when he catches up with Charlie on the road, that seems an ideal opportunity to pass on his knowledge. Particularly when the teacher says "I know what you are," the misdirect is that the teacher is actually saying that he knows Charlie is... what? Gay? And all of a sudden, an interesting character choice, with a teacher who puts their knowledge to use, becomes the trope of the angry, violent, closeted man making an unwanted advance. The fact that he's immediately killed after losing his hand means he's got his just desserts. But why bother with this penis-groping angle? Especially since there's little reason to believe in the classroom that the teacher has some kind of sexual desire for Charlie. Drawing this out, however, means that you have to wonder about what this teacher has done to get to this point as a sexual predator. He's pulling kids over on lonely roads and groping their balls: how many other kids has he done this to? Are we to believe this is the first time he's tried this? Does this maybe mean that the kid he whacks on the knuckles puts up with it because his teacher has power over him because of previously assaulting him?

 

Look, all I'm saying is that Charlie the Sleepwalker was a pretty nasty predator in the end. But it seems he's done that town a favour by taking out a predator of a different kind.

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