Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 18th, 2011
Theatrical Release Date: Canada, 1985
Director: Andrew Jordan
Writers: Barry J. Gillis, Andrew Jordan
Cast: Barry J. Gillis, Amber Lynn
DVD released: July 12th, 2011
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 Full Frame
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: Intervision Picture Corp.
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.95
Made at the tail end of the 1980’s, Things is horror oddity from Canada was shot on 8mm on a very modest budget. And right from the get go it quickly becomes apparent that the creative forces behind this film have no knowledge, let alone experience of how to a film ( at least conventional film). The narrative structure is a convoluted mess that tries desperately to tie things together with a series of scenes with a reporter character, who is portrayed by 1980’s porn icon Amber Lynn. These scenes were shot after the fact, for what was already a poorly constructed narrative. First off why would a news reporter be given up to moment comments for two random dudes, who’s disappearance in most circumstances would never been news worthy.
Another area in which this film often boggles the mind is its inept dialog that at times induces humor, even though said dialog most likely was not meant to be funny. And to further drive home just home bad the dialog is in this film, one need not look any further than any of the performances which are all atrocious. Ina ll my years of watching cinema, I can honestly say that I have not seen many performances that reach that as awful as those in this film. A few more areas in which this film often comes up short is its ridiculous designed special effects which are best described at jaw dropping monstrosities that look like they were designed by a kindergartener. And film’s lethargic pacing that only further drives home the banality of the story at hand.
Though Things have a cult following, I find it difficult to justify this films existence. Sure it is not the only bad example of cinema out and yet it does make a strong case for itself as being one of the greatest examples of ‘it’s so bad it’s good’ cinema. So with that in mind, if you are determined to check out Things, make sure you are inebriated like this film’s to protagonists. And then you might be in the right frame of mind.
Things is presented in its original 1.33:1 full frame aspect ratio. Shot on 8mm, this transfer looks as good as one would expect considering the limitations of the source materials.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. The volume levels fluctuate throughout and background noise varies in degree.
Extras for this release include a trailer for Things (2 minutes 57 seconds – 4:3 full frame), vintage T.V. appearances with screenwriter / actor Barry J. Gillis (5 minutes 47 seconds – 4:3 full frame), a Things 20th anniversary with cast & crew (16 minutes 22 seconds – 4:3 full frame), behind the scenes footage with actress Amber Lynn (10 minutes 36 seconds – 4:3 full frame), an investment reel for a yet to be made film titled ‘Evil Island’ (2 minutes 6 seconds – 4:3 full frame), section titled ‘Things Testimonials’ which includes comments from Paul Corupe of Canuxploitation.com (6 minutes 41 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), Hobo with a Shotgun director Jason Eisener and producer Rob Cotterill (5 minutes 21 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), director Tobe Hooper (3 minutes 37 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), Joseph Ziemba and Dan Budnik of Bleeding Skull (2 minutes 16 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), Thing-ite Joey Izzo (3 minutes 58 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and two audio commentaries, the first audio commentary with director Andrew Jordan, Barry J. Gillis, Jan W. Pachul, Doug Bunston and Victoria Elizabeth Turnbull and the second audio commentary is audio viewing party with The Cinefamily. This release comes with a wide array of extra content with the Testimonials and the two audio commentaries being the stand out extras. The first audio commentary fun and informative track that covers the various aspects of this production, while the second audio commentary finds a good balance between humor and critical analysis of this film. Also after the main feature, there are about eleven minutes of outtakes. Rounding out the extras are trailers for The Burning Moon, Sledgehammer and The Secret Life of Jeffery Dahmer. Overall it is hard to imagine that Things will ever get a better DVD release, then this one.