When a book opens with a demonic clown ripping off a small boy's arm in the sewer, you know you're in for a nightmare-inducing ride. However, there's one scene from Stephen King's IT novel that may turn out to be too controversial for Andres Muschietti's R-rated movie — and the most surprising thing of all is that there's no Pennywise in sight!
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Stephen King is no stranger to controversy. Across a body of work that includes over fifty novels and countless words, the King of Horror has written about the most disturbing facets of sex in graphic detail, including everything from child rape to necrophilia. However, none of that will prepare you for the most unexpected scene in IT.
The Kids In 'IT' Sure Did Like To Clown Around Together
After you've temporarily defeated an evil shape-shifting clown, what's the first thing you would do? Tell your parents? Throw a party? Swear off McDonalds for life? While everyone reacts differently in these situations, you might be surprised to learn that the kids from IT found the whole ordeal strangely arousing...
That's right, guys. Nothing marks the end of childhood like a full-on kids orgy in the sewers of Derry, giving the concept of body horror a whole new meaning... First though, some context.
Following the defeat of Pennywise, the Losers Club begin to bicker as they find themselves lost in the sewer system. Sure, (seemingly) killing a trans-dimensional beast of ancient power is all in a day's work for the kids of Derry, but ask them to navigate a few tunnels pre-Google, and suddenly all hope is lost. That is, until Beverley suggests that each of her pre-teen friends take turns making their own beast, one with two backs.
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Why Do The Children Have A Sewer Orgy In 'IT'?
It turns out that the power of the Turtle that flowed through the group (don't question it) had begun to dissipate. The only way that the Losers Club could unite once again long enough to escape was by creating their very own sausage-fest inside of Bev. By losing their virginity together as a group, the kids would become strong enough to emerge victorious from Derry's dank sewers.
"You have to put your thing in me."
As far as pulling techniques go, it's hard to fault Beverley's bluntness. Following her suggestion, King then continues to describe the orgy for pages and pages, exploring the rather uncomfortable experience of what it feels like for children to lose their virginity. Oh, and one of the kids has an impressively large wiener.
"Mike comes to her, then Richie, and the act is repeated. Now she feels some pleasure, dim heat in her childish unmatured sex, and she closes her eyes as Stan comes to her and she thinks of the birds."
Birds eh? Sure beats lying back and thinking of England.
What Does Stephen King Say About This Controversial Scene?
Without reading IT, the idea of a pre-teen gangbang in the sewers verges on child pornography, but it's worth noting that the scene is actually portrayed in a rather loving manner that goes some way to dispel the sleazier implications of the act.
While speaking to StephenKing.com, the author explained how the sex acts as a bridge between the two time periods that readers jump back and forth between in the book:
"I wasn't really thinking of the sexual aspect of it. The book dealt with childhood and adulthood --1958 and Grown Ups. The grown ups don't remember their childhood. None of us remember what we did as children--we think we do, but we don't remember it as it really happened. Intuitively, the Losers knew they had to be together again. The sexual act connected childhood and adulthood. It's another version of the glass tunnel that connects the children's library and the adult library. Times have changed since I wrote that scene and there is now more sensitivity to those issues."
This "sensitivity" is one of the reasons why the infamous gangbang was left out of the '90s TV adaptation and presumably won't appear in Muschietti's 2017 movie either. No amount of references to poetry and bird-watching will help a pre-teen humpfest make it past the censors.
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To be fair, the children's sex scene works for the most part in the context of the book, despite the surprising nature of it all. In fact, this scene from IT is arguably one of the most positive depictions of sex ever seen in a Stephen King novel, uniting people through the act of love. However, Muschietti better Pennywise up if he thinks that mainstream audiences would be ready to see this scene play out on the big screen.
Should the pre-teen orgy appear in the 2017 movie adaptation of 'IT'?
(Source: StephenKing.com. Poll Image Credit: New Line Cinema)