The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

THINGS (1989) ** ½

At the end of this movie there is a title card that reads, “You Have Just Experienced Things”. And that’s pretty accurate. You don’t watch this flick. You experience it. Since it’s an experience and not a motion picture, assigning it a star rating is sort of beside the point. I’m just gonna give it ** ½, but that in no way is an indicator of its “quality” (or lack thereof).

Things is a relic of the ‘80s. It’s an extremely low budget horror flick (I’d almost say it was “no budget”, but I’m sure porn star Amber Lynn got paid something to appear in it) that is more watchable because of the DIY inspiration (or maybe desperation) of the filmmakers than because it’s actually a good movie. I hate the cliché “so bad it’s good”, so I’ll refrain from using it here. But if any film challenges the concept of that tried and true cliché, it’s Things. Just know that somewhere, Ed Wood is smiling.

The “plot”, such as it is, revolves around a couple of guys hanging out in a house in the middle of nowhere. After a lot of sitting around and drinking, they are attacked by giant termite-like creatures. To give any more of the “plot” away would be a disservice any potential viewer. I’m not entirely sure I comprehended what was happening most of the time because the editing and overall storytelling is so shoddy.

Stuff just kind of happens in this movie, and you’re forced to deal with it. Characters’ loved ones die horrible deaths and they just sit around making sandwiches and acting goofy afterwards. Guys spontaneously combust and then reappear with no explanation. There are also long scenes of people cleaning up blood with paper towels. There are so many of these scenes I began to suspect that it was bankrolled by Bounty.

Most of this is entertaining. However, when the filmmakers actually try to go for genuine laughs, the movie falls flat on its face. In fact, there’s a long stretch of the film that plays like a silent movie comedy that is fairly excruciating. Seriously, you guys were funnier when you weren’t trying.

But more often than not, Things keeps you chuckling. I think my favorite scene was the opening where our hero tried to seduce the hot babe in the devil mask. And while there are some definite lulls in between the lunacy, Things will surely be one of the great party movies for decades to come.

Tags: cult, horror, t

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