“I never thought I’d have to live…with the dead.”- Don, “THINGS”
I have always had an appreciation for weird cinema, like “Eraserhead” and “Begotten”, which transport their viewers to a totally different world where normal rules do not apply. “THINGS” is no exception; with its lunatic lighting, shoestring production design, gooey makeup FX, amateurish dubbing, nonsensical dialogue, weird characters (and this movie ONLY has weird characters), whacked-out editing, and a plotline that defies logical explanation, “THINGS” is a movie experience like no other.
“THINGS” revolves around three Canadian schlubs named Doug, Don, and Fred, and is mostly set in an isolated cabin in the woods (Sound familiar?). Doug desperately wants to have a baby, but he’s impotent (Cue sad trombone). What to do? He hires the sinister Dr. Lucas to experiment on his wife Susan, to see if he can impregnate her (I know this sounds like a joke, but it’s not). Well, the experiment works; Susan does get pregnant, but to everyone’s horror, she dies birthing a brood of evil insect babies (Nope. Again, that is not a joke!). Doug, Don, and Fred are now forced to kill these monstrous offspring, or be killed by them!
But this is only part of the story: In addition to this, we are treated to female nudity, numerous disorienting nightmare sequences, extended cutaways to the weird horror movies and the news program the boys are watching on TV, tons of drunken, immature dialogue (including the priceless gem “How do you get paper children?...You fuck a bag lady!”), and more bodily functions than a National Lampoon film festival.
“THINGS” also has a fair share of slime and gore (as Don says hilariously at one point, “The blood is dripping like maple syrup!”), and a lot of truly unmotivated lighting: Most of the movie is lit in inexplicable, garish shades of red or blue. It actually does lend some atmosphere, and makes “THINGS” visually interesting. Since this movie was shot on 8mm film, then released on VHS, it has a butt-load of comically awful dubbing, and a distinctly low-resolution video quality that you just don’t see any more in this age of Blu Ray and 4K televisions. Being kind of old school, I found this refreshing and fun.
It seems as though co-writer/director Andrew Jordan and co-writer/star Barry J. Gillis were inspired by such diverse elements as Lucio Fulci’s zombie movies, the “Evil Dead” franchise, David Cronenberg’s early films, and a little bit of “Manos: The Hands of Fate” for good measure. Then they combined all these elements together in some kind of cinematic blender, added a bit of intentional comedy (and a bunch of unintentional ineptitude), and wound up with “THINGS.”
So, if you have a taste for 80’s movies that are so dumb and bad they are truly hilarious and unforgettable, check out Canuxploitation cult classic “THINGS”, now available on DVD!
Check out the Trailer: HERE