Monday, July 11, 2011
REVIEW - THINGS (1989) - Dropping from InterVision on 7/12
Fans of exploitation and horror know all about the hunt. You hear of a title and become obsessed with tracking it down, most times sight unseen. Once the VHS or DVD hits the player your reaction is one of three things: Elation, mediocre appreciation, or some times full on disappointment. Every once in a while though you find a film that goes beyond elation and into full on geek-gasm. Everything you have heard is true. Every shocking or odd scene lives up to the comments that inspired the hunt to begin with. THINGS is that movie and that’s why it’s the most unique film experience of the summer.
In the last three days I have watched THINGS four times and I still don’t think I can begin to tell you what the fuck this is about, but in a retarded nutshell: Doug lives in a remote California cabin with his wife Susan. Doug wants to have a baby and has dreams of a naked chick in a devil mask and buckwheat size bush handing over a baby. Doug enlists a local doctor to perform experiments on Susan who eventually gives birth to some spider babies that crawl out of her to wreak havoc on the cabin. Before she gives birth though, Doug’s brother Don (played by Barry J. Gillis who also wrote and produced the film) and his friend Fred decide to crash at the cabin to drink beers, eat cheese sandwiches, and talk about gifts from the queen of England in between going through his brother's freezer and filling empty beer bottles with tap water.
Yes I am serious.
There are moments in this that are legitimately disturbing. There moments that are both intentionally and unintentionally hilarious. There are moments that make about as much sense as me fingering a jar of peanut butter while I masturbate to Khloe Kardashian with Rush’s 2012 blasting in the background. The moment THINGS was over, I spent the next 60 minutes talking about it, watched it again, talked another 30-45 minutes and then watched it again with cast/crew commentary. Part of the reason I keep coming back is this endless quest to make sense of it. If nothing else, this is aptly titled.
Director Andrew Jordan and Gillis made this film out of a passion for the horror genre. This is less a horror film and more about a couple film geeks finding their way through film. Yes the dialogue is completely out of sync most of the time, yes the lines sound like they are delivered in between beer burps, but they did what film fans dream about. The cherry on the fucking cake is that THINGS has a life of it’s own now. The shit has become self aware like a Terminator. Jordan and Gillis are like a more competent Mark Borchardt from AMERICAN MOVIE. They got financing, shot on Super 8, hired a cast that included not only a hooker but also an adult film star, and made a movie. We can laugh at THINGS, and my cheeks hurt by the end of it, but they did something I haven’t. Released a film.
There were titles back in the day that my video store carried but where either frequently stolen or just checked out and never returned: FACES OF DEATH, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, MORON MOVIES and others. There was one film though that was always checked out that I never had a chance to see until now: THINGS. Cheers to Andrew Jordan, Barry J. Gillis for making this, and to Evan Husney over at InterVision for releasing this, it's one of the best of the year.
THINGS has two commentary tracks: one with cast/crew and one with the Cinefamily gang and both are worth the extra time. The Cinefamily crew did a great job of breaking the film down, having some laughs, but also respecting the work that went into this film. The cast/crew commentary requires drinking, and lots of it. By the end of the commentary I think most involved are shit-faced and it is awesome.
Aspect Ratio: Full-Frame, 1.33
• Audio Commentary With Director Andrew Jordan And Stars Barry J. Gillis, Jan W. Pachul And Doug Bunston
• Audio Viewing Party With The Cinefamily
• Testimonials On THINGS: All-New Interviews With Tobe Hooper (THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE), Jason Eisener And Rob Cotterill (HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN), Canuxploitation.com Creator Paul Corupe, Joseph A. Ziemba And Dan Budnik Of Bleeding Skull, And “THINGS-ite” Joey Izzo
• THINGS 20th Anniversary Cast And Crew Reunion
• Behind The Scenes With Star Amber Lynn
• Vintage Barry J. Gillis TV Appearances (these are classic)
• Original Trailers
See you on forty deuce,