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  THINGS

A film that allegedly “defines what cult really is,” the Canadian THINGS has also been called the worst movie ever made. Yes, that latter claim is one that has been made about innumerable films over the years, but in this case it may well be accurate.

The Package
     1989’s THINGS was filmed in 16mm and video for a reported $40,000 budget (that much?). It was notable as the mainstream movie debut of porn star Amber Lynn, yet still represented a massive step down.
     Unbelievably enough, the film has amassed a following of dedicated “Things-ites,” and was given a deluxe DVD release in 2011 by Intervision Pictures--who were evidently extremely hard up for material!

The Story
     A scantily clad woman in a devil mask strips for a nerdy guy. The latter explains he’s desperate for a baby, which his wife can’t provide. The woman replies that she already has the desired infant, and shows him a box containing a dimly glimpsed creature.
     Then the man awakens on a couch, indicating that the proceeding has been a nightmare. Then the guy watches a TV program in which a couple guys torture a dude by ripping out his tongue, slicing off an arm and plucking out his eyeballs.
     Then the man has a party with his friends, who all fart incessantly. Then the party is interrupted when the guy’s wife, who underwent some kind of unholy scientific experiment, gives birth to a monster. Then said monster births a further set of monsters, leading to a lot of death and destruction; one of the protagonists gets his fingers chopped off and another is moved to vomit incessantly.
     Then one of the apparently dead guys somehow comes back to life and all the creatures disappear. Then one of the protagonists complains that all the dead bodies are starting to stink and--oh, why bother continuing? If you’re really interested in how it all turns out you can buy the DVD and find out for yourself!

The Direction
     This movie’s problems start with the opening credits, which list the same names over and over. As for the end credits, they list the filmmakers’ names yet again, as well as quite a few miscellaneous monikers I’m guessing were made up (“Melvin Nottenaamer,” “Edgar Ho”).
     Figuring out the scatterbrained mess of a narrative isn’t made any easier by the jumbled editing, stilted nonacting (calling the performances “bad” would be far too nice), distracting overdubbed dialogue (which rarely ever matches the visuals) and eye-burning cinematography that mixes 8mm and video and manages to locate the worst worlds of both.
     In true no-budget movie fashion, there are lengthy shots of people waking and opening doors to pad the running time (the movie is only 83 minutes long but feels at least three times that), with dialogue used to fill in the plot points that the filmmakers were too cash-strapped or plain stupid to show (i.e. “there are worms and maggots everywhere!”). As for Amber Lynne’s much-hyped appearances, they consist of shot-on-video inserts, one of which sees her blathering about George Romero and his attempts at prosecuting those who pirate NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, while scenes from that very movie play on a monitor in the background (get it?).
     The best you can say about this film is that it occasionally attains a kind of poverty row surrealism, with downright-bizarre elements like the complete lack of sound effects in some scenes and totally out-of-place music score, which ranges from the expected heavy metal tunes to bland (but still loud and distracting) elevator music. There are also suggestions here and there that the filmmakers were attempting to make some kind of comedy (such as the sight of a guy’s skull screaming “I’m still alive!”), but the whole thing is so inept it’s impossible to tell for sure what the intent might have been--or if the filmmakers were even awake when they perpetrated this piece of shit.

 
Vital Statistics

THINGS
InterAmerican Entertainment/Left Field Productions

Director: Andrew Jordan
Producers/Screenwriters: Andrew Jordan, Barry J. Gillis
Cinematography: Dan Riggs
Editing: Nancy Ellison
Cast: Barry J. Gillis, Amber Lynn, Doug Bunston, Bruce Roach, Patricia Sadler, Jan W. Pachul
 

     

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