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John’s Horror Corner: Things (1989), bizarre Canuxploitation mutant monster-baby horror at its worst!

September 30, 2015


Let’s be clear, there’s a porn star, a bloody foot, an ant monster and a power drill on the DVD cover.
Don’t read this article at work, bro!

MY CALL: This is a strange, uber-cheap, home-made Canuxploitation film with abject writing, acting and editing, featuring a clothed porn star and cheaply made ant-like mutant monster babies. This is all you need to know to decide if this is for you. It’s probably not. MOVIES LIKE Things:   Better for gore and less awkward was The Abomination (1989), followed more recently by smutty horror like They Bite (1995; the worst in this list), The Killer Eye (1999), Night of the Tentacles (2013), Bio-Slime (2010; the best in this list) and Blood Gnome (2004); all of which were much better than Things.


Evidently this film serves as a cautionary tale of the dangers of artificial insemination.  Meet baby!

This bizarre film is about two guys (Don and Fred) who visit their friend Doug’s remote cabin only to find a breeding ground for monstrous creatures that look like surreal (but cheaply made) hybrids between ants and meatballs.


Evidently, she elected to have a natural childbirth.

After about 20 minutes of painfully slow scenes where little more happens than opening a beer and eating a sandwich, Doug’s girlfriend gives birth to some sort of insectoid monster. In fact, off camera, she evidently gave birth to many of them as the result of some experimental artificial insemination. The acting is “off” and nothing seems to “fit,” making this feel a lot like a weird dream. It’s surreal, but not in a flattering way.


From the opening scene there is something very perverse and disturbing about this film, like a more theater-centric approach to Troma. The dialogue feels dramatized for a mix of some twisted Broadway stage and an NC-17 MTV music video. If that didn’t make this sound classy enough yet, there is also full frontal nudity in the first 90 seconds of the film!


The DVD dust jacket reads “it remains perhaps the most bizarre, depraved and mind-boggling chunk of ‘Canuxploitation’ ever unleashed upon humanity.” I’m not so sure about that, but it is certainly depraved and bizarre. It even featured porn star Amber Lynn as a newsreporter; probably just to fool adult film enthusiasts into watching it. Apparently Amber was trying to really “act” for a change because her role in no way contributed to the exploitation aspect of the film. She had many lines (all delivered poorly by reading cue cards as she looked away from the camera) and she kept her clothes on.


What is she looking at!?!?!?!?!

Despite the zany, very dark exploitation of this film, what is most disturbing is the homemade score. Probably produced with a Casio keyboard, the “music” (if we’ll call it that) rarely matches the tone of the scene and is complemented by echoing background of creepy laughs, whispers of having babies, and begging for death in the opening scenes. The film quality, likewise awful, is grittier than an amateur 70s porno. The sound was so terrible; like it was dubbed with the volume set too high. To call the dialogue inane would be polite. It was like the writers were all severely mentally handicapped. But that’s ok, because the editing is horrible, too, with each scene lasting far longer than necessary to the point that the film moves at a sluggish pace.

But we don’t care about the score, dubbing or dialogue do we? No. We sought out this extremely obscure film because we wanted some 80s super-gore exploitation. And there’s a lot of that here. A skinned hand being prodded, all sorts of dismemberment, eyes and tongues are pulled out with squishy sound effects, lots of corpses and severed heads, the ant-baby monsters, sloppy gore…it’s all here. Just understand that there are much better ways to see this stuff nowadays.


Let’s just say I can’t recommend this. But maybe some would be interested since one Amazon reviewer called this “The Hope Diamond of bad movies.” So I’ll let you decide.


This image is how I felt while watching this film. By the way, this might have been the first ever straight to video Canadian horror movie.




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