(First story, written by King specifically for the film) Nathan Grantham, the miserly old patriarch of a family whose fortune was made through bootlegging, fraud, extortion, and murder-for-hire, is killed on Father's Day by his long-suffering spinster daughter Bedelia. Bedelia was already unstable as the result of a lifetime spent putting up with her father's incessant demands and emotional abuse, which culminated in his orchestrating the murder of her sweetheart.
The sequence begins seven years later, when the remainder of Nathan's descendants—including Nathan's granddaughter Sylvia, his great-grandchildren Richard, Cass, and Cass' husband Hank—get together for their annual dinner on the third Sunday in June.
Bedelia, who typically arrives later than the others, stops in the cemetery outside the family house to lay a flower at the grave site and drunkenly reminisce about how she murdered her insufferable, overbearing father. When she accidentally spills her whiskey bottle in front of the headstone, it seems to have a reanimating effect on the mortal remains interred below. Suddenly, Nathan's putrefied, maggot-infested corpse emerges from the burial plot in the form of a revenant who has come back to claim the Father's Day cake he never got. Before obtaining his long-desired pastry, the revenant avenges himself on Bedelia and the rest of his idle, scheming, money-grubbing heirs, killing them off one by one, which includes some apparent supernatural abilities such as making a heavy tombstone move by will.
The final freeze-frame shows the undead Nathan in the kitchen triumphantly carrying a platter that is crowned with Sylvia's freshly severed head and covered with cake frosting. The corpse gurgles hoarsely at a terrified Richard and Cass, "It's Father's Day, and I got my cake! Happy Father's Day!"
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Famous quotes containing the words day and/or father:
“We can remember as easily as the day we were born
The maggots we passed on the way and how the day bled
And the night too on hearing us, though we spoke only our childish
Ideas and never tried to impress anybody even when somewhat older.”
—John Ashbery (b. 1927)
“A dryness is upon the house
My father loved and tended.”
—Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917)