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Tell me, big shot, how you gonna write a book about something you know nothing about?
~ Early Grayce to Brian.
Early Grayce is the main antagonist of the 1993 drama-thriller film, Kalifornia.
Early Grayce was living in Louisville, Kentucky and grew up there. As a young boy, his dad would verbally and physically abuse him. Early went to prison for beating a bartender half to death, and got paroled after a few years. Early met a woman named Adele Corners, who he saved from some guys raping her and they would fall in love and live together despite her parents' objections to it. Early has shown to be sweet to Adele at times, but has beaten her a few times when she does something he does not like. Early believes a woman shouldn't drink, smoke, or cuss, which is why Adele spells her cuss words instead of saying them. Early and Adele were living in a trailer park, owned by John Diebold. Early was working at a mirror factory and got fired for breaking some mirrors there and that would cause him and Adele to be behind on the rent, though Adele was working at a local diner.
One rainy night, Early was out in pouring rain and he would pick up a big rock and then drop it from a bridge on an oncoming car, which was driven by a man who picked up a female hitchhiker. Early would then take her highheals and give them to Adele for a birthday present.
Early was about to go out somewhere and Adele told Early that Diebold stopped by and demanded the rent money of he will kick them the "Fuck" out of there. Early not too pleased that Diebold cussed at her. Later on that day, Early gets home and sees a car and as soon as he goes in, he sees his parole officer. The parole officer tells Early he is supposed to notify him when he loses his job-and to be at an address at 3:00pm and tells Early what job it is, a janitor's job which Early doesn't want and the parole officer tells him if he does not show up, he will have him arrested.
The next day, Early gets a visit from John Diebold and demands his money. Early tries to run him down in his car for fun and then drives off. Diebold tells Adele he wants them out of the trailer by Sunday or he will call the police. Early goes the place where he is supposed to be at an interview for a janitor's job at the local college and sees a bulletin board with an note about sharing expenses for a ride across country to see historical murder sites all the way to California, a note left by Brian Kessler, who is a writer, going to write a book about the murders.
Later on that night, Early kills Diebold, cuts off his middle finger and buries his body by his trailer, which he burns later along with his car. The next morning Early and Adele are at the bus station and meet with Brian Kessler and his girlfriend, Carrie Laughlin, to go on the road trip.
In Tennessee, Early, Adele, Brian and Carrie arrive at a farm, the former Novak farm, where some murders took place. Carrie is taking pictures of the place and Brian is recording on his recorder his voice log. The new owner's of the farm refuse to let them in the house to take pictures. Early goes up to a window in the kitchen and opens the window and takes the purse on the table. Later on that evening, they are at a hotel and having dinner. Early takes his shoes off and scratches his feet to Carrie's disgust.
Later on in there travels, they arrive in Texas and stop at a gas station and Early, while in the bathroom, kills a man with a small knife and takes his money and they all leave. While driving, Brian talks about a killer called the "Black Dalia Killer" and records on his recorder and Early offer his opinion of the killer. At a hotel they stop at, Brian and Early go out to have some beer at a bar and Brian nearly gets into a fight with some other guy, but Early saves Brian and beats up the other man.
The next morning, they drive off and Brian is hungover from the other night. Later on in the day, they stop at an old building. Early, who brought a gun with them teaches Brian how to shoot it and are shooting it at the windows of the building. Later on, they stop at their next destination and Brian and Carrie are taking pics and get into an argument. Carrie walks away and sees Early and Adele having sex in the car and Early gives Carrie an evil look, scaring her.
At a gas station in the desert of Arizona, they stop and Brian talks to Early and Adele about them taking a bus cause of personal reasons while Carrie is inside the station. Carrie sees the TV and the news is on and sees Early on TV, about being wanted for murdering his landlord and the man at the gas station in Texas. Early walks in and takes Carrie and the gas station attendant, Walter Livesy, hostage. He has Adele distract Brian and kills Walter before he takes both of them hostage.
Later on, they are driving to the next destination and Brian is not interested anymore in his pictures. At a building out in the Nevada desert, Early takes some pics himself. Brian tells the story of the murders and Early is amused. 2 state police see Adele and Carrie and tell them they are on private property and the car is identified and Early shoots the male cop and kills the female cop in the car. Early tries to force Brian to shoot the wounded male cop, but he refuses and then Early kills the cop.
They then stop at a desert house, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Hank Musgrave. Early has Brian and Carrie handcuffed to the piano. Early asks Mrs. Musgrave where her husband is and she tells him she is a widow and Early finds out she was lying when he went up to the upstairs part of the house and kills Hank Musgrave. Mrs. Musgrave sees her husband dead and Adele is there, too. Adele helps sneak Mrs. Musgrave out of the house while Early is looking at some of Carrie's pictures. Early goes to the door to look for Mrs. Musgrave and shoots everywhere outside and then Adele picks up a cactus and hits Early in the face with it and tells him she doesn't love him and cause of him killing people, she doesn't want to be with him anymore. Early gets angry and then shoots Adele to death.
Early goes about into the house and sees Carrie loose from the piano and gets angry. Early is about to shoot Brian but begs him to spare his life and will go with Early. Early hits Brian in the head with his gun, knocking him out. Early drives off with Carrie in Brian's car and go to a nuclear test site, located near the Nevada-California border. Brian gets freed by Mrs. Musgrave and drives Hank's truck to find them.
Meanwhile, Early is about to rape Carrie, who stabs him with a piece of glass and Early hits her and takes her to a room and handcuffs her to a bed and rapes her. Brian arrives at the site and hits Early with a shovel. Brian goes to see Carrie and sees she is raped and is angered. Early gets Brian from behind and Early does cut Brian with his knife and Brian manages to keep fighting and grabs Early's gun and Carrie hits Early in the face with a part of a dummy. Brian then shoots Early dead.
Early with Adele
Early tries to force Brian Kessler to shoot the wounded cop.