THINGS (1989)

Moe now demands all his


hookers wear devil masks…



I’m in a bit of a conundrum, I don’t think I’m nearly educated enough to attempt to dissect the psychology of THINGS. I’m also not nearly stupid enough to relate to it. I’m not saying stupid in terms of intelligence, I mean the sheer silliness of it is a step or two beyond my capability to rationally discern my response. My reaction to THINGS is 100% id, pure pleasure center. As I watched it alone in the middle of the night in my little cottage in the woods my brain swelled with the increased insanity of what I was attempting to ingest. THINGS, despite all logical evidence, is not a movie. Oh no, it’s an experience! It’s like going to see THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT at a midnight showing or camping out to buy STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE tickets. The major difference is when you’re done with THINGS you’re not sad, lonely and disappointed. Allow me to paint you a picture…

Let’s say you’re a Canadian, and you’re visiting your brother in his remote cabin in northern California with a buddy of yours. You have what can only be described as one of the fiercest dirt-staches ever with a matching mullet. You’re wearing stone washed denim jeans at least one size too small for you and a pull over sweatshirt. You get to the cabin and help yourself to a beer and discover a tape recorder and book in the freezer. That’s when shit starts getting weird for Don and Fred. Shit was already weird for Doug, Don’s completely looney brother.


THINGS starts with Doug having the most disturbing sex dream ever. A demon (?) with nice tits and a full 80’s bush offers to have Doug’s baby. Don’t you younger kids even think of telling her to shave that  thing down and donate it to “MERKIN-AID”! A good bush is hard to come by these days and I’m not about to waste it! Doug’s wife Susan is preggers from some crazy experiment. Not too long after Don gets there with Fred, Susan “gives birth” and the entire cabin is overrun with THINGS! It’s up to Don, Doug, and Fre…what’s that? Fred gets sucked into a wormhole in the kitchen? OK so Don and Doug have to save the cabin. As previously mentioned Doug is bat-shit crazy. At least I hope he is because his reactions to situations and his responses to outside stimuli is so off from what it should be there’s has to be a diagnosis code for it somewhere in the DSM.

Intercut throughout the madness is clips of Amber Lynn playing newscaster. She’s telling the story of Don and Fred which rarely and barely matches the action happening that she’s supposedly reporting on. She knows details about the story that no one should know. Hell if I were the police watching her report I’d collar her as a prime suspect. Actually Amber’s scenes serve as a good way to break up the dementia of the main film with little clips of unintentional comedy gold. Whoever decided to hold Lynn’s que cards held them way off to the right so she has to look hard to grab quick glances of her lines every second or so.

Meanwhile back at the cabin the boys are either scared to death or casually sitting down to have a drink or a sandwich. I know I said this already, but the way these guys respond to their impending doom is so wrong. Fred gets sucked into a black hole in the kitchen, splatters Doug with blood, and Doug’s reaction is to spend the next 5 minutes wiping the blood off and using it as an excuse to go shirtless for the next 30 minutes. Don’s no better, he wants to know where Doug keeps his hard liquor and then argues with Doug about having to be the one to take half a step over to grab it. It really seems like every time someone dies the characters are initially freaked out for a second and then settle into their regularly scheduled plans. Don’s there to drink, that’s what he’s gonna do!

THINGS throws so many curve balls at you that you never really know if what’s happening on screen is real or a dream or some psychotic reaction or a drug fueled hallucination. This is actually what makes THINGS so brilliant, it takes no shit from anyone and tells the unrepentant story that they wanted to tell, editing be DAMNED. THINGS is so aware that it’s an experience that at the end of the film it tells you “you have just experienced THINGS”. Stick around after the credits to (at least on the VHS from Intervision/Mondo Video) see Amber Lynn tell a tale of working in porn, but not porn Hollywood. You’ll never be the same after watching THINGS and trust me, you won’t regret it!




Drink up Don! We’ve got movies to watch,


Jon Abrams

Editor-In-Chief at Daily Grindhouse
Jon Abrams is a New York-based writer, cartoonist, and committed cinemaniac whose complete work and credits can be found at his site, Demon’s Resume. You can contact him on Twitter as @JonZilla___.
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    September 12, 2011

    Update: a coworker of mine read my THINGS review and wants to watch it now…poor fool!

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