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Some Folks Call It a Sling Blade

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Cast
Billy Bob Thornton, Molly Ringwald, J.T. Walsh, Jefferson Mays
Released
1999
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

A psychiatric ward provides the setting for the entire film which became the prequel to Sling Blade. (0:00)

Most patients in the day room sit quietly, some making repetitive movements. (0:01)

A patient sits in front of a checker board but does not respond when another moves his pieces. Catatonia? Another patient perseverates with a ball. (0:02)

A reporter comments on the insanity defense. (0:05)

 A female patient moves her head. Does she suffer from tardive dyskinesia? (0:09)

Karl tells the story of his isolation in his shed as a child and the murders that led to his commitment with what we might describe as flat affect. (0:13)

Do Karl's head movements suggest tardive dyskinesia? (0:20)

The price tag still hanging from Karl's shirt cuff suggests personal neglect. (0:21) How would you diagnose him? Mental Retardation? Autism? Schizophrenia? Compare Karl to Boo in To Kill a Mockingbird. What about Mr. Woolridge? Asperger's?

Would the insanity defense be used today to defend a 13 year old charged with such murders?