Saturday, January 28, 2012

my very brief thoughts on.... 'Parents' (1989)

If you just read my review of 'The Stuff', you might remember some of the nice things I said about it and the nostalgia of watching an 80's film.... none of that applies here. NONE OF THAT.

I am so unsure of what to write in this review. I have stayed away from 'Parents' (1989) for so long, as I always heard about how much of a "cult classic" it was and every review had good things to say. I have no freakin' clue what movie they were watching, but it couldn't have been this. I loathe this movie, if you can even call it that. I am still not 100% sure why in the hell I sat through the whole thing. It wasn't funny, it wasn't darkly comic, it wasn't a drama, it wasn't really horror, it wasn't really much of anything. The last time I was this ticked off about watching something was after I sat through 'Very Bad Things'. (man, that one SUCKED too!) Maybe I'm missing the point of this movie? I don't think so. I mean, I am a student of all things film. I love to watch anything and everything and have dedicated a good portion of my life to films. This however, is just so terrible that I have to warn you all to stay as far away from it as possible. It's like washing the blood off your hands after a murder, they just won't come clean. I can only dream of getting my hour and a half back. I did, however, sit through the entire thing (in the hopes it might redeem itself af the end) and tried really hard to get into it. It just has no point. None. Zero.

Here is the, so-called, plot: (taken from "Michael Laemie (played by Brian Madorsky) is a young boy living in a typical 1950's suburbanite home... except for his bizarre and horrific nightmares, and continued unease around his parents. Especially his father, Nick Laemie (played by Randy Quaid). Young Michael begins to suspect his parents are cooking more than just hamburgers on the grill outside, but has trouble explaining his fears to his new-found friend Sheila, or the school's social worker." What are they cooking you might ask? Human meat. Yup, they're cannibals. That is the whole thing in a nutshell.I am assuming that this first full length movie directed by Bob Balaban, was supposed to be some kind of dark satire. (and for those of you who don't know Bob Balaban, I think of him more as an actor.... look him up, you'll know exactly who he is) I kept trying to get some kind of subtext in the screenwriting about the 50's or the 80's or the dark comedy angle, but if it's there it must really be hidden. I couldn't see anything in all of the images and storyline that was anything more than a family in crisis. Two, not very good, parents who feed their child human flesh. A child that has horrific nightmares about this parents and see's them doing strange things and becomes suspicious. A counsler that doesn't buy into it all until it's too late and a bit of blood and guts. There isn't anything charming or enjoyable about watching this. The characters aren't likable, the lead is annoying, the script is boring at best and it just has an overall negative feel to it. It's kind of like watching a news story about puppies being killed for thier fur. You want to know why anyone would do that, but instead.... you just get to hear about and see puppies being turned into fur and no ending in sight. No explanation. Nothing at all. And in my opinion, I guess it's better that way. I really could care less about this family or anything to do with them.

So, here we are at the end of it all. I don't like to give anything a '0' star rating, but I can't in good faith give this anything but that. It's time I will never regain and a memory that bleach won't remove. It's 0 our of 5 stars and that's being generous. I don't know how this movie got made or why the people involved were involved in the first place. I have nothing good to say about this movie and I really like Randy Quaid and Bob Balaban.... I really do. Let's just move on from this disaster and stuff it away in the back part of our memories and try to block it out. I only hope that Hollywood doesn't ever get the bright idea to remake it. I don't think I could tolerate a world with two versions of this fiasco.

If you watch this, I can't compare it to anything else. I will merely recommend that you don't watch it and just punch yourself in the groin for an hour instead. (that goes for you too, ladies.)