“Where the Red Fern Grows” is a very entertaining film with some great scenes. The story follows a young, rich son of a wealthy family as he travels to Kansas to meet his old man and has a long, strange trip. Along the way, he meets the beautiful and spirited red fern. The whole movie is comical, and the songs are appropriate for this age group.
Martin Sheen plays the title role of where the red fern grows, and he does a good job of selling the character. The supporting cast includes Tim Matheson, Pam Grier, and Kurt Russell. This is the first film of the trilogy “Sleepless Nights”. I enjoyed this film. It was not as good as I thought it would be. I do wish that the fern was shown in more detail, but overall, this is a fun film.
The film starts in the late 1800’s in Kansas where a young man (Ishtar) is staying with his Aunt Polly (Grier). She is an older woman who is extremely worried about her son’s journey to visit his Uncle Rico in New York City. His uncle is a legendary pirate who has been mentioned in many books. Polly tells her daughter, Amy (Sealand), that she must accompany her son on this trip or he will never see his Uncle. She tells them that her brother, Bob ( Stewart), had told her that if they were to go, they would need to bring where the red fern grows.
The three head into the woods to find where the fern grows. The two women spot a large fern and stop to take a look. They are shocked to see that it is a huge red fern. The two women return to where the red fern grows and Polly attempts to catch it but gets scared when it jumps out of her hand.
The next day, a police officer, Mike (Bates) arrives at the site to investigate a rash of robberies in the area. The two women go there to find a fern that has been sliced open. Inside, they find the bodies of two women and a child. Mike is convinced that the murders were done by the same person and sets out to find where the fern grows next. Meanwhile, the women have discovered that the bodies were disposed of and only one of the bodies could have come from where the fern grew. When they go to tell this information to the police, the killer strikes again.
When the killer strikes again, this time he has no one with him but two women. As soon as the killer strikes, the fern grows rapidly. It is at this point that the two women drive past the location where the fern grows. As soon as they pass it, the killer strikes again, but this time he has the woman in his grip. Just as she is about to be killed, Mike arrives on the scene. By this time, the killer has shot the woman and killed the man who was holding her against the fence.
Mike goes to the hospital in an attempt to help the woman who was being held down. He realizes that something is wrong with her appearance. Later, he is told by JoAnne that she thinks that the killer is the same person who killed her mother. Mike decides that he will go after Richard, whoever killed JoAnne’s mother, and try to find the location of where the red fern grows. Along the way, he realizes that there are others involved in the crimes; the killer is involved in a scheme to get rid of a political opposition leader.
All in all, this book is fun and interesting for those who like to spend their time reading about the paranormal. This book is not for the squeamish; there is plenty of blood, violence, and murder involved. However, if you do not like this then do not read it. The story is long and it is very graphic; there is even some mention of suicide. The only people who should not read this are those who are allergic to gore, hate the mystery, or have sensitive skin.
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