Friday, June 19, 2009


(1989)I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I remember seeing it on display at the video store when I was little and renting it because I was drawn to the cover. As a child I couldn't get past the first twenty minutes because I was a slasher fanatic and didn't have the patience for psychological thrills. I am so glad I gave it another chance as an adult! The movie is set in what appears to be typical 1950's suburbia and is seen through the eyes of a young boy, Michael Laemle, who suspects his parents may be cannibals. The boy's suspicions grow stronger as he has a series of nightmares involving his parents' eating habits. Are his parents really cannibals? Or are you watching the imagination of a mentally disturbed child? Depending on how you look at this film, the answers may seem obvious or up for debate.

Parents definitely opens up the door for a great discussion because at times you'll just be saying, "What is going on"? In fact, I thought for sure while watching this movie that David Lynch must have had some involvement due to the beautiful cinematography, choice of music, set design and weird Lynchian plot. Also, keeping with the David Lynch comparisons, the movie features a song by Angelo Badalamenti called "Meatloaf Mambo". It turns out that the similarities are just that and there is no connection to the king of visual weirdness. The movie was actually written by Christopher Hawthorne and the director is Bob Balaban, who many may recognize from the Christopher Guest film A Mighty Wind or the countless roles he has played on sitcoms such as Seinfeld or Friends. The parents, Nick and Lily Laemle are brilliantly played by Randy Quaid and Mary Beth Hurt. Michael Laemle is played by Brian Madorsky, whom it seems decided not to continue his acting career which is unfortunate because he was an excellent child actor. This movie is available on DVD, though rather hard to come by due to cult following. However, it's also highly recommended.

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