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.
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
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!
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,”
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.
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