Monday, January 15, 2007

a totally depressing post for your Monday

I'm sure I'm not the only one kind of skeeved by the whole Shawn Hornbeck kidnapping story. Not so much the kidnapping, as the fact that he didn't escape sooner. As everyone ponders how it was possible that he was posting stuff on the internet and not running home to his family, can I remind you about I Know My Name Is Stevie?? And for those of you who are not aware of this Lifetime movie (also known by the lamer title "I Know My First Name Is Steven"), let me enlighten you:

I Know My Name is Stevie was one of those movies I saw as a kid that I really shouldn't have been watching
(I must have been like 11 years old. I have no idea what my parents were doing that day), and, like The Big One, a TV movie about the supposedly inevitable LA earthquake, it left such an impression that I still bring it up as much as possible today, hoping someone else has seen this landmark piece of cinema and can remember the image of little Stevie with his arms crossed over his thin frame, covering his nipples with his hands. If you can't get a mental picture of this, perhaps I should tell you that Stevie was played by the same kid who played the Nintendo genius in The Wizard.

The film, made in 1989, is based on the life of Steven Stayner, a boy who was kidnapped in California and held captive for 8 years, where he was subjected to all sorts of horrible sex acts. When his "father" finally abducted another boy [just like in the Shawn Hornbeck case], Stevie had finally had enough and up and went to the police.

The movie version of the tale, which is 3 hours long, doesn't stop there. It continues, showing how once Stevie (who now insists on being called Steven) is reunited with his family, he doesn't really like them very much, resists their rules and Christian values, and knocks up his girlfriend and goes and lives in a tralier. It's really quite sad, and as I sat in my living room watching all 3 hours of the story (plus a good hour of commercials for tampons and cleaning products) I could kind of see why Steve put up with his captive father. Sure, being invited into bed with "Dad" and Dad's cackling girlfriend seems awfully weird, but when you're 10 how are you supposed to know any better? Especially when "Dad" just told you that your parents don't even care that you're gone.

Sadly, the real Steven Stayner had an even more depresssing life than the Lifetime movie let on (unsurprisingly, as Lifetime movies always seem to end on an upbeat note)--his brother became a murderer and Steve died in a motorcycle crash before he could see any royalties from the film. I just hope Shawn has better luck.

1 comment: said...

This was probally the saddest movie Ive ever seen, I also instantly thought of it when this recent story broke. It gave me chills when, in the movie the brother went away on a weekend camping trip to the National forrest. Well, we all now know how his life turned out.
I enjoy your blog, keep writing!