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Parents (1989)

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 3,914 users  
Reviews: 65 user | 38 critic

A young boy living in 1950s suburbia begins to wonder where his parents get their meat from...

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Title: Parents (1989)

Parents (1989) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Lily Laemle
...
Millie Dew
Bryan Madorsky ...
London Juno ...
Sheila Zellner (as Juno Mills-Cockell)
Kathryn Grody ...
Miss Baxter
...
Mrs. Zellner
Graham Jarvis ...
Mr. Zellner
Helen Carscallen ...
Grandmother
Warren Van Evera ...
Grandfather
...
Lab Attendant
Uriel Byfield ...
Little Boy
Mariah Balaban ...
Little Girl
Larry Palef ...
Announcer
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Storyline

Michael Laemie (played by Brian Madorsky) is a young boy living in a typical 1950's suburbanite home... except for his bizarre and horrific nightmares, and continued unease around his parents. Especially his father, Nick Laemie (played by Randy Quaid). Young Michael begins to suspect his parents are cooking more than just hamburgers on the grill outside, but has trouble explaining his fears to his new-found friend Sheila, or the school's social worker. Written by Jeff Mercer <riffer@afn.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There's A New Name For Terror...


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

27 January 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hús a húsból  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$870,532 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in seven weeks. See more »

Goofs

Sixteen minutes into the movie, Michael comes home early from school, surprising his father who comes up from the basement with a bottle of wine. He announces that the wine is a Chateau Margaux, which must breathe. Clearly the bottle is not from Bordeaux but has the sloped shoulders of a Burgundy wine. Later, the wine label is seen on the dinner table where the word "Beaujolais" can be clearly read. See more »

Quotes

Lab Attendant: I have here an opportunity
[holds out a pen to Michael]
Lab Attendant: this pen is made of chemicals, but if I took these same chemicals and recombined them, I could make an automobile, or an electric light! The whole world is made of chemicals Micheal, you can make anything! And if you're smart... you'll make opportunities.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Robert Hall
Commercial courtesy of Increase Records
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User Reviews

 
A '5.9' Doesn't Do This Wonderful Film Justice
27 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I just had the pleasure of watching Bob Balaban's 1989 black comedy "PARENTS". Although after having sat through nearly an hour and a half of the film, the sense of there being any comedy at ALL seems like fiction. Yes, it is dark humor. And yes, you may laugh at some parts. But the film's bleak tone and even bleaker images (black and white, grainy shots of bloody sexual intercourse; slow motion shots of a young boy diving into his bed, only for it to sink into an ocean of blood) will distract you into the fact that this just may be one of the greatest horror films you will ever see. Why? Because, similar to David Lynch's films, it does not repeatedly go for the jugular with attempts at getting a jump out of the audience. It works slowly and suspensefully, using at first strange images, which only become even more horrifying as the film progresses. The acting (particularly Randy Quaid as the menacing father) is effective and almost queasying at how forbidding and mysterious it is. These characters are not the Blands from "EATING RAOUL". They don't give us humor to match the carnage every few minutes on the screen. They aren't lovable. They are everything that can make a villain frightening. They're subtle. And as time shifts through the movie that subtlety twists and bends until it can't take any more pressure. They're completely different characters at the end of the film. But they're not the maniacal Sawyer family we see in "THE Texas CHAINSAW MASSACRE" films and they're not the maniac-killers we see in "PSYCHO" and "FRIDAY THE 13TH". They're ordinary people who have snapped, but are still seemingly normal on the outside. And this makes them even more dangerous. Why else does the film work? The editing. The pacing. Suspense builds and builds until the end. There are no 'sudden-fright' gags used in the film until the climax. Everything is slow and building, like an opera about to combust with sadness. Bob Balaban does a great job in saving the main scares for the end. He wants you to have your nerves on the edge of being fried and so he lets everything rise and rise until those last 15-20 minutes. And he does a damn good job of it. Nothing runs on too long. Everything serves its purpose. There is not a single second of wasted celluloid. Everything that must happen does. The imagery is also a key factor in why "PARENTS" works. Many of the images are very striking. Young Michael's nightmares in particular are extremely disturbing, but the shots of his mother cooking food make that very kitchen seem like an abattoir. That kitchen is our slaughterhouse. Yet, the crimes have already been committed. We know that these are people they're eating, but Michael's mother could be ours too. Getting that Thanksgiving turkey ready. Christmas dinner. In a way, Michael's mom is all of our mothers. Just making supper for the family. It's hard to stick one's finger on exactly what it is that makes this movie so damn scary. But we see all the factors from a distance. We know it's scary. But we don't need to know. We can FEEL it. Perhaps that's the main reason why Bob Balaban's "PARENTS" MORE than succeeds.

10/10


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