Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Horrorthonpalooza 2013: Things

Tonight’s Horrothonpalooza movie is interesting to say the very least. It betrays all the technical rules of film-making. What makes it interesting is that you watch the movie wondering if this betrayal is deliberate or completely unintentional.

Friends, I present to you with some thoughts on the 1989 movie… ‘Things’.

‘Things’ is a Canadian horror movie written and produced by Andrew Jordan and Barry J. Gillis. I’ve read differing accounts of who directed the movie. IMDB lists Jordan as directing. We’ll go with that until Gillis contacts me and provides updated information.

Doug Drake (Doug Bunston) is having some trouble with his pregnant wife, Susan (Patricia Sadler). Naturally, two goons show up to drink his beer. The goons are Fred (Bruce Roach) and Doug’s brother, Don (Gillis). I’m not sure why they are at Doug’s house except, like I said, to drink his beer. They just sit around waiting for mutant ants to attack. For all I know this is common in Canada.

‘Things’ has the distinction of featuring porn star Amber Lynn in her mainstream debut. She appears randomly and provides random, pretend news. She looks great but it is jarring to see Amber with her clothes on for such an extended period of time.
Amber Lynn in Things. Picture borrowed from
I have read other reviews that did not "get" 'Things' humor. Don listens to a tape recorder he found in the freezer. After listening to a demonic tape recording; Don declares that he is “hot” and proceeds to remove his jacket and stuff it in the freezer. Fred then proceeds to search the kitchen looking for roaches to eat. How is this not amusing?

Some of my favorite quotes:
“There’s no creatures here! Not even the devil!”
“I’d better watch myself; I’m not very good at electricity things.”

‘Things’ is a polarizing movie. One you either appreciate or you absolutely hate. I happen to appreciate it. Would I use it to torture my friends who are unfamiliar with the title? Yes, absolutely. You should have a good clue where your allegiance’s lie within the first minute and forty-four seconds.

I use the word appreciate because it is difficult to call ‘Things’ good. I applaud the filmmaker for actually completely a feature length film. This movie was shot on super 8mm and 16mm film during a time when making a no-budget movie was extremely difficult. No budget films pop up daily now that every computer is loaded with video editing software and cell phones are capable of shooting High Def video. ‘Things’ was released in the US in 1989 – God only knows how long it 8took to film and edit. Based on what is on screen I would hazard a guess that it took less than a day – but some timelines are tricky. I kid.

The budget for ‘Things’ was between 35 to 40 thousand dollars. By today’s standards 40 thousand does not seem to qualify for the title of “no budget” but remember that back in the day film had to be processed. It might cost anywhere from 30 to 60 dollars for 3 minutes of film – not all of it usable. The film had to be transferred and then edited. And I’m guessing Amber Lynn didn’t come cheap. (Please fill in all appropriate puns yourself.)

The special effects are surprisingly good. IMDB lists Glenn Orr as the man responsible for filling the screen with gore. He also has a bit part as Stretcher Boy. It’s good to multi-task.

Would I recommend this movie? Yes. ‘Things’ is a crucible that all horror fans must pass. Which side of the experience do you fall on? Love? Hate? Appreciate? Any horror fan worth his machete should have a copy on the shelf. Think of how jealous your friends in the know will be when they see you have a copy. Buy 'Things' at .

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