DVD Review: THINGS from Intervision

Brian Kelley

by: Brian Kelley
July 12th, 2011

THINGS opens with a dream in which a man named Doug encounters a masked woman who proceeds to undress and inform him of his success in impregnating her. Later, Doug's brother Don (Barry J. Gillis, screenwriter and dude on the cover) and his buddy Fred show up at Doug's house for some drinking. They find the house empty, put their coats in the freezer, crack open a few breskies, admire the classy artwork in Doug's house, and surf channels, marveling at the reception of the "bestiality channel". It's not long before weird things begin to happen and they discover Doug has turned to some unusual methods in order to get his wife pregnant. This turns out to have been a bad idea as they are now sharing the house with the large, insect-like creatures that have emerged from her unholy womb.

No amount of reading is going to prepare you for a movie like THINGS. It's a product of so many forces foreign to the majority of people on Earth (and I'm talking well beyond the Canadian connection) that all the reviews in the world are not going to give you an idea of whether you or not you'll connect with the film. Films like THINGS have a built-in fanbase, one that ranges from the those truly intrigued by this sort of free-for-all no-budget direct-to-video lunacy to those always on the lookout for the next great "party film" where friends gather to drunkenly marvel at the incomprehensible goings-on. Beyond those that already know THINGS is up their alley, many will find the absolute lack of rules intriguing and should have just as much fun delving into the singular world created by the film.

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Intervision impresses once again by not only unearthing and presenting a home video curio but also finding a way of cramming the disc with special features. The fun kicks of with a pair of the commentaries, the first of which includes director Andrew Jordan and stars Barry J. Gillis (along with his daughter?!), Jan W. Pachul, and Doug Bunston and is a boisterous, booze-fueled reunion featuring plenty of laughs (mainly coming from Gillis' daughter's "expert" comments on the movie) and is every bit as entertaining as the film itself. The second commentary is an Audio Viewing Party with The Cinefamily including David Chien, Tom Fitzgerald, Bret Berg, and more. This is another entertaining listen as the guys have an un-ironic love for the film which comes off in the form of high praises in some cases and astute criticisms in others.

Special features continue with a group of "Testimonials on Things". Barry J. Gillis appears with Tobe Hooper at a convention where he shows the legendary director the trailer for things to which Hooper has an understandably dumbfounded yet positive reaction. Jason Eisener and Rob Cotterill of HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN fame show up to express their love for THINGS, gushing Canadian-style love for the Canadia-style horror. Paul Corupe from the wonderful Canuxploitation.com provides his unique insights into the film. Joseph A. Ziemba and Dan Budnik (from another bitchin' website, Bleeding Skull) have a few words to share as well. Finally, so-called "THINGS-it" Joey Izzo recounts his many times renting the tape until he ended up just keeping it to share with new, potential friends.

The next couple of features are as weird as the movie itself. A "THINGS 20th Anniversary Cast And Crew Reunion" sees Barry J. Gillis and his cohorts appear on some other-worldly public access show to talk about the movie's past. The "Vintage Barry J. Gillis TV Appearances" package has Barry showing up on different TV news shows talking about his homegrown horror which was then pre-distribution. He seems, in turns, uncomfortable and tickled by talking about his movie. The straight-faced answers he gives in these interviews make the movie stranger as it's hard to believe (especially with some actors in the film smiling during key scenes) THINGS was done 100% seriously. "Behind The Scenes With Star Amber Lynn" is a peak at the adult film superstar's time on set as a TV news reporter, the footage being shot in what looks like a thrift store closed for the night. The entire package is rounded out by some trailers, highlights being one for THE BURNING MOON, an angry German gore-shocker coming soon from Intervision, and an investor reel for EVIL ISLAND.

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