Review: Things (DVD)

Video resurrecters Intervision Picture Corp. unleash an obscure Canadian, hallucinatory Super 8 nightmare you'll never forget called THINGS onto an extras packed DVD!

  • Director: Andrew Jordan & Barry Gillis
  • Starring: Barry Gillis, Amber Lynn
  • Year: 1989
  • Runtime: 83 Minutes
  • Company: Intervision Picture Corp
  • Format: DVD
  • Discs: 1
  • Video: 1.33:1 - 4:3 - Full Frame
  • Audio: English 2.0 Mono
  • Region: 0 - NTSC
  • Released: 6/12/2011

I'm going to try my absolute best to describe the sheer illogical insanity of THINGS. If your brain implodes, I'm genuinely sorry.
We open up with Doug (Doug Bunston) watching a woman begin to undress herself. This would be prime boner material except the woman is wearing a devil mask and has a bush the size of a rain forest. Repeating lines of, "I'll have your baby", endless cries from a baby and you have the beginning of a nightmare. Which is what it turns out to be as Doug screams back to reality and tends to his ill pregnant wife, Susan. Cue to Doug's mullet, mustache wearing brother Don (Barry J Gillis) and his friend Fred as they journey up to Doug's house that happens to be in the middle of nowhere. Upon arrival they create their own fun by drinking booze, eating cheese sandwiches and reading demonic excerpts that mean jack shit. Meanwhile Susan gives birth to the titular THINGS (teethy, overgrown ants) and they gobble her up. Doug tells them they couldn't have a child normally so they asked fucked up local scientist Dr. Lucas (Jan Pachul) for some help. Fred literally disappears leaving Don and Doug to fight off the dozens of THINGS. Oh and porn star Amber Lynn pops up as a newscaster to deliver meaningless messages.
Hold onto your brain, it's gonna get messy.
Text does no justice nor does it do any favors for THINGS. My above "synopsis" is about as coherent as I could get it. The only way to get the gist of THINGS is to put your face in a blender mixed with all the drugs on the market you can think of. Hit blend and you're on your way to comprehending the nonsensical madness. I've always known about THINGS but never did any research for myself. Going into this blind was both a blessing and curse at the same time. At first, I was laughing my ass off. Then I felt my brain try to register what my eyes were witnessing. Ultimately drool started to escape from my mouth due to the trauma.
THINGS is just that, a series of random things. It doesn't ask for reason or sense, rather it demands your attention by hitting you over the cranium till you go numb. You can't help but wonder what Andrew Jordan, Barry Gillis & co were thinking during this endeavor. For starters, the entire film's dialogue had to be dubbed in post production. Meaning every thing anyone says comes across as either dry, hilarious or overly exaggerated. Lines such as, "You've got murder all over your face" and "All I see is this goddamn chainsaw and a golf club at the door" are particular ones that will make you howl with laughter.
YOU HAVE JUST EXPERIENCED THINGS. I can't think of a more appropriate sentence to describe the preceded 83 minutes I had witnessed. THINGS isn't something you watch or rate with logic. I'm not even sure yet if it's meant for human eyes. THINGS is a wholly unique, celluloid mind fuck that will leave you laughing, confused and ultimately speechless.

  • Video
THINGS is a prime example of amateur, homemade filmmaking. The majority of THINGS was shot on Super 8 and 16mm was used for Amber Lynn's "newscaster" inserts. Considering that, you should get an idea of how THINGS looks. It's a soft, color drenched nightmare that would make Mario Bava do backflips in his coffin. THINGS has a true retro, vividly unique look that is only enhanced by finally making the jump to DVD...for better or worse.
  • Audio
Since all of the dialogue was created in post-production, the discs mono mix can only make the dubbing sound so good. That's in no way a con as it only enhances the THINGS experience. Dubbing, screaming, synthesizer, chainsaws and demonic rambling can all be heard loud and clear.

Bonus Features
  • Audio Commentary- Director Andrew Jordan & Actors Barry Gillis, Jan Pachul & Doug Bunston
  • Audio Commentary - The Cinefamily
This is a fun listen provided by the programmers of the Cinefamily who are just as stupefied by the film as you are. They pretty much say what you are thinking throughout THINGS, recommended for people who might think they are going crazy while watching the film.
  • Featurette - "Testimonials on THINGS"
New interviews from horror director Tobe Hooper, Jason Eisner & Rob Cotterill (Hobo with a Shotgun, Treevenge), Canuxploitation creator Paul Corupe, Bleeding Skull writers Joe Ziemba & Dan Budnik and THINGS mega fan Joey Izzo. Definitely my favorite feature on the disc, it's great to watch everyone discuss and dissect the zaniness of THINGS.
  • Featurette -"THINGS 20th Anniversary Cast & Crew Reunion"
Carried over from the DVD release of THINGS a couple years back. Barry Gillis, Director Andrew Jordan and other people associated with THINGS answer questions moderated by a ventriloquist. Oh and Barry Gillis feeds a dog pizza. I can only imagine what a night of partying with these guys could be like.
  • Interview - "Behind the Scenes with Actress/Porn Star Amber Lynn"
A true behind the scenes look of filming Amber Lynn's scenes. Barry Gillis tries to direct the scenes as best as he can under the circumstances and Amber Lynn tells everyone that Fred Lincoln (Weasel in Last House on the Left) directed Last House on the Left (as well as an abundance of porn) instead of Wes Craven. It's a fun peak behind the camera but also shows the hectic nature of directing a film Satan himself would be scared of.
  • Interview - "Vintage Barry Gillis TV Appearances"
Barry Gillis is interviewed by the local Canadian news to discuss the THINGS but it get's awkward cause you honestly can't describe THINGS to people. Let alone unsuspecting newscasters who have probably never heard of horror films or acid.
  • Trailers
Sledgehammer, Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer and German gore fest The Burning Moon round out the disc.