I think the most accurate review of 1989's Things that I've skimmed over said something to the effect of, "I don't even know if this is a real movie." I've given it ample time to sink into my marrow. It has passed through my urethra and may have caused irreversible damage to my endocrine glands. Currently, this DIY abscess of homemade horror is lodged in my bowels. And yet, I have no clue what to type about it. Things defies perception. It defies...the laws of physics. The actual synopsis doesn't begin to tell the story. On paper, a barren couple employs a mad scientist to mount a pregnancy through artificial insemination. I would mention that it's an experimental procedure, but you probably already knew that.
Approximately fourteen days later (don't ask), demonic ants erupt from the expectant mother's distended belly. Okay, that could be a decent creature feature...in the hands of normal filmmakers. Where the fuck do I begin? Things was shot on Super 8. That's not an issue, but director Andrew Jordan (alongside star/co-writer Barry J. Gillis) ditched the audio. Apparently, the tracks weren't up to their lofty standards. So each actor dubs every single line. Horribly. The dialogue is more random than the contents of Satchmo Gloopen's velvet quiver. Who? Exactly! The two main characters tell corny jokes to one another moments after witnessing the death and subsequent dimensional dissipation of their friend.
Oh, did I fail to broach the subject of Fred's contingent slip into a mouse hole that doubles as a portal to a parallel universe? Because that happens. He crops up in the third act out of fucking nowhere wielding a chainsaw. Trust me, it's not as cool as it sounds. We spend the bulk of Things following Don and Doug as they drunkenly stumble around in red-tinted rooms. There are a couple of cutaway scenes. Porn star Amber Lynn isochronally interrupts the "exposition" as a news anchor doling out useless tidbits of celebrity trivia and confusing plot points. To add insult to injury, she's fully clothed.
We also visit the mad scientist's lair, so to speak. I must admit, it's pretty damn warped. The doctor's crepuscular cubbyhole is littered with flesh and bone. It's wall-to-wall torture. After giving it minimal thought, the whole scene reminded me of The Burning Moon. See, that's an example of quality z-grade exploitation. I don't mean to slag Things as unwatchable tripe. I had plenty of laughs, and I can picture myself popping the DVD in with a friend nearby. Still, it tests the boundaries of "so bad, it's good." It really, really tests those boundaries. I honestly couldn't settle on a rating, hence the two-and-a-half Z'Dars. This flick is rating-proof. Hell, it's review-proof.
Posted by Dom Coccaro at 11:49 PM